So last week we went to Centro in Cuernavaca for p-day. We emailed first and then went and looked around the center. I fell in love. They have all these little shops with handcrafted things. Emily -- you would go crazy. I wanted to buy everything I saw but resisted. One day I'm going back and buying everything, though. When I'm rich and can actually speak spanish. :)
This week was another busy one. Get used to hearing that. Tuesday we had a special conference to watch the dedication of the CCM in Mexico. Elder Oak's dedicated it back in 2013 and it was recorded because he wanted all missionaries in Mexico to watch it. It was really cool to learn about how the Lord truly is guiding his work. Elder Oaks also mentioned that having a testimony is not true conversion. To be truly converted is to do and become. I got to see my companions from the MTC at the conference and Elder Montierth (one of the elders from my MTC district). The first thing he said to me was 'You are still white as ever'. Ok people...give me some time. The shoe tan line is really coming in strong.
We are teaching and working with many investigators but not many of them are progressing because they won't come to church. It's really frustrating. But we are trying to keep our heads up. One of the problems is that there are a lot of churches here that go out and 'preach' to people...similar to what we do. However, the difference between us and them is that 1) we have the fulness of the gospel and 2) we are asking people to do more than just listen. We are inviting them to come unto Christ by helping them make covenants...like baptism. We are asking them to receive an answer for themselves and in order to do that, they need to read the Book of Mormon, Pray and come to church. People here love to listen but they don't want to change. So we are trying to find the people who want to change. In one of the talks in conference yesterday said that those who are truly seeking to find the truth will do everything they can to obtain it. So our search for those people who are prepared continues...
Speaking of conference...I LOVED IT. It goes by way too fast as a missionary. I was able to watch it in English and it was lovely. Some of my favorite talks were: Elder Holland (of course), Elder Bednar, Elder Eyring, Elder Ballard...ok maybe all of them.
But did you all hear Elder Ballard's? Following up on his request for members to pray to find one person to share the gospel with? I'll admit, I didn't do that before the mission, but I've repented and now I'm realizing how important members are in this work. So you should all totally do that. And study preach my gospel!
I also loved all the talks about obedience. Man, this world is wicked. We need all the help and blessings we can get. We are given commandments to bless us. People don't always think that. They think commandments are just another way to tell us what to do. But it's a way to exercise our agency and faith and receive blessings.
Something Emily wrote to me last week and something that I learned from Elder Eyring's talk is that blessings for being obedient don't always come immediately (also, consequences for sin don't always come immediately either) but they always come. God is bound to bless us but He blesses us in His time and when it is best for us. This is because we need to build faith. I am definitely working on building my faith as a missionary. Every day my faith is tested as I walk out the door searching for people who want to accept the gospel. People ignore us, don't keep committments, etc and I have to walk up and down big hills...oh and I don't know a lot of spanish. Every night I get home tired with bug bites, dirty legs and achy feet, but I marvel that I was able to make it. How did I get through the day? I am not seeing 'success' like I think I should see it...with buckets of people wanting to accept the gospel, but I am seeing it every night when we get home safe and we've done all we could during the day. In time I know the Lord will bless us with success, but I also recognize He is blessing me every day with little things.
Ok, that's all for this week. I love you all. Here are some pictures from the special conference on Tuesday. The first is with Hna. Garcia, Hna. Junca, and Hna. Thompson. The second is our zone. The third and fourth is our companionship. Hna. Garcia told us we had to carry her since she is our trainer. She is crazy and I love her.
LOVE YOU ALL!!