Monday, September 17, 2012

Small and Simple Things

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: it was another rough week. No investigators came to church, but we're planning on doing some real committing and putting baptismal dates with Maria de Jesus and Alfredo Jr. I know the Lord will bless us and help us help them. We had a little scare this week with Elder Cox. During companionship inventory, we were talking about a few things, which led to us putting some goals with Elder Cox (for the second time. He never finished the first time). That took all morning, but we didn't finish, so we went to eat and came back. I really felt that we needed to do that before we left to go look for people and contact, etc. so I kept us there doing that. Eventually, through some very careful guidance of the Spirit and inspired questions, it came out that he is really struggling with our apparent lack of success and doesn't really have a clear purpose for being here. Essentially, he told me he wanted to go home and stop wasting his time. I decided that this was a matter for President Call, so I had Elder Cox call him up and they worked things out. I found out that Elder Nuñez (companion in Tequis) had been sent home for something he had done while we were companions, and I wasn't about to let another one of my companions head home. Anyway, he's staying, but I'm having a hard time helping him get a real excitement for the work even when times are hard. I would really appreciate suggestions or ideas from anyone who can offer it.

I read a talk today by Elder Ballard from Oct. 2010 "Finding Joy through Loving Service" which was really strengthening for me. In that talk, he also mentions what I've been saying about the simplicity of the gospel. He talks about the need for members to participate in missionary work. He talks about charity. Basically, that talk summed up my life for the past couple of months, but in better detail and more spiritual than I've been doing in these letters. I also read about patience today in PMG, and I felt like that's something we could all benefit from right now. I decided that patience is understanding and accepting that God works on His own time, not on ours. Dad, He promised you a great job, and He'll give it to you. Maybe all it'll take right now is just a little patience. There's also a really good quote from Pres. Monson in that section that I can't remember, but that I invite you to look up. I'm so glad you continue to go faithfully to the temple. I'm absolutely committed to going at least once a week when I get home. As strengthening as being a missionary is, there are special blessings that I need from temple service.

It sounds like conference went well for everyone except Lys in the adult session. I'm not surprised that Dad could give a great talk on service. He's become my example of consecrated priesthood service now that I reflect on the example he's given and need something to emulate. That was a cool story with the woman who lost her husband. Sometimes I think of what I would do in that kind of situation. I sure hope I'd be strong enough to continue so faithfully. I sure love hearing about those grandkids. Thanks for the updates. I love hearing every week about what new things are going on with them and the funny things they do. I'm sure looking forward to enjoying Sundays with the family again. That's great that Scott's going to get back in school. It will definitely be added pressure for a time, but I've come to appreciate so much the blessing of having an education. Every day, the majority of people that I talk with are very, very uneducated and closed-minded. I know that the pursuit of education is a godly trait, and one of His greatest desires for us in this life.

I actually started praying for at least one opportunity to do real service every day after hearing about Jeff's experience. On Tuesday, as we were coming from eating, I had a very strong impression to go see the Villa family. They happened to be on the way to where we were headed, so it all worked out great. I asked why we needed to go or what we needed to do with them, but the Spirit just told me not to worry about it and to get there quick. We speed-walked to their house to find sister Villa there with her kids just enjoying a normal afternoon. I told her I had felt prompted to come and asked how we could serve her, but she said they were just fine. While we were talking a lady showed up that sells garbage bags and talked a little with sister Villa as well. Sister Villa told us she is trying to share the gospel with the garbage bag lady, so I gave her a Book of Mormon to give to the lady when she felt to do so. Walking away from that, I asked the Lord if I had done what he needed us to, and I felt that we had. I don't know if it was the visit, the Book, or just that the garbage bag lady saw us, but I knew that I had followed a very distinct prompting and done what the Lord wanted me to. This week I was memorizing D&C 64:33. "Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great". That probably wasn't a coincidence.

I know that God knows us. I know that His mighty hands are always over us to save us from physical and spiritual dangers that surround us. His love for us passes all human understanding. I know that He hears our prayers and gives us ansers to them as we pray with faith and humility. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. There is not a single soul, and single sin, sorrow, or pain, or any single weakness that cannot be healed through the power of His saving grace. I know that through the Atonement, we can put off our natural man and become a saint. Doing so is our mortal preparation for godhood. I know that the Lord chastens us because He loves us. As we seek His loving rebuke, He will mold us and shape us into what He knows we can be. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, called by the great Jehovah to effect the restoration of all things to the earth. I know that Thomas S. Monson is his authorized successor on the earth today, and that no other man is authorized by God to exercise every key, power, and authority of God's holy priesthood. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and is a powerful witness of the divine Sonship of Christ.

Elder Facer


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