Mi querida familia--
I forgot to mention something in my last email. We got some pretty exciting news from our Mission President. With the new age limits on missionaries, we will be gaining 86 new missionaries in the next 6 months. Literally, our mission is going to increase quite substantially. It's pretty exciting and I can't wait to be a part of this work out here in Oklahoma.
So the big highlight of this week has been the inspiring Mission tour we had we Elder Shayne Bowen from the presidency of the 70. If you remember, he actually gave an excellent talk during this past General Conferance. And let me tell you, he was incredible!
First off, I had the privilage of playing the piano for the meeting. He came up and shook my hand and then pointed me out to the audience, "Now here's a young man who listened to his mother!" I laughed, but it's so true. I must attribute much of my piano talent to my mother who lovingly persuaded me to stick with learning the piano...at least until I learned all of the hymns. Thanks Mom for encouraging me learn the piano, it's been an incredible blessing in my life.
Elder Bowen gave an inspring gospel discussion. It was centered on obediance, faith and work; but he spent most of the time talking about where we came from and who we were. Why? So that we will act accordingly. We are literally from the seed of Abraham and have been foreordained to be a part of these latter days. When you hold the Melchizideck Priesthood, there is just a certain lifestyle that you must live by simply because any less is not worthy of holding the authority to act in our Father in Heaven's name.
I could go on and on about what I learned, but needless to say, I'm going to look back on this night as one that changed the mission forever in my eyes. It filled me with a lot more faith and hope for this area we are working in. President Taylor talked to Elder Morrell and I for a little bit after the mission tour and mentioned that this transfer was a time for us to grow. I've definately felt myself gaining more experience this transfer with following the spirit and taking responsibility of things.
Now, for the few finding miracles we've had this week. Last Wednesday, Elder Morrell and I were tracting and we felt prompted to talk to this man working on a door in his drive way. He said he was busy and told us to talk to the lady that lived there. We talked with the young woman who said we could come back a week later when her husband was home. It's important to note that very few return appointments a week in advance actually end up working out. I go as to say maybe 1 in 3. But this one worked out. AFter mission tour, we went to this appointment we set, and we were greeted by the young lady's partner. He was very excited to see us and he invited us right in. Turns out he had been investigating the church 5 years earlier while living in Utah, and that he had been looking for the church in Oklahoma but he couldn't find it. Now, here we were. We had a first discussion, and set a baptismal date with Fabian and Yohola. WE are so excited for this young family! there may be some law of chastity issues we need to work out but there is no doubt we were led to this house.
I only worry, that this family will become like the dozens of families we've taught earlier. After 2 or 3 weeks they fall out of contact with us because of work and lack of being available. I pray for the organizational skills to keep this family investigating the gospel. We're going to do all we can to make sure we get them aquainted with the Branch members and coming church. The Lord has given us responsibility over this family to teach them gospel and we can't mess this up.
Then just the other night we were heading to an appointment at an apartment complex. We passed a Hispanic man doing his laundry, we said hi and continued on our way to the appointment. After the people were scheduled to meet cancel on us, I felt the distinct impression to go talk with the man who was washing his clothes.
Just as he was walking off the other direction, I took a chance and called him over. We talked for a bit and asked if we could share a prayer with him. He gladly let us. Turns out he had also investigated the church before when he lived in guatamala and knew where our building was. Woah!
So those are the highlights of the week. Things are happening in this area! I'm so excited to be a part of it. I hope these potencials we've found will stay active investigators. In the hispanic culture work seems to get in the way a lot. We just need to have them come to church and meet the branch. the social conversion is essential for even the spiritual conversion to take place. If you think about it, people followed Christ because he was kind and loving. They liked being around him. The same is with us as latter day saints.
The work is progressing. Faith, obedience and diligence bring about the miracles. I'm gaining a greater appreciation for the Savior every minute I'm out here serving him. It mustn't have been easy for him to preach his own Gospel to his own people, but nonetheless he knew he was the Son of God. I love John chapter 8 where he boldly proclaims that he is the life and light of the world. Immediatley after, people reject him, but Christ stands firm and says "I know my record is true" and I know who I am. When we are faced with rejection from the world, we must remember that our testimony keeps us grounded...specifically our testimony of the Book of Mormon. You can't deny what you know. When you deny this Gospel it's because you've stopped trying to stay close to Christ through going to Church, reading the scriptures and praying. If you are consistanly doing these three things and magnifying your calling, you will not have to worry about falling away.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. As far as I know, for Thanksgiving we need to work on setting appointments with the members in the Branch to share messages. We aren't supposed to go tracting on Thanksgiving for some reason....
Pasa a buena semana. Feliz Dia de Gracias!