Friday, September 3, 2010

Summer In paradise

August 18, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope that everyone is doing great! It sounds like you had a great week this past week and that you are all doing great! That's cool that the fam was able to take a quick trip down south! I hope that you had a good time and that you were able to enjoy that time together before school starts again and before Mckay is out and on the fast track! I cant believe that the summer is almost over. That is so crazy! But its good to hear that you are all doing well.

Well things here are going well. Training continues to be an absolute adventure but we are having a blast and we are learning a lot . . . both of us . . . a ton! I think I am learning more than my comp is but that's all part of the plan. We are having a fun time talking to so many people. We've had sort of a drop in our teaching pool these last few weeks. A lot of our investigators weren't doing the things that they needed to do and a lot of them just told us to stop coming by and wasting our time. So with that we have been doing a lot of finding this past week. But we have sure been blessed with some great miracles.

While I was writing my email to you last week we received a phone call from the office. On the other end was the secretary who assisted to the Vega Baja ward with me my first two transfers back from the islands. She was so excited! She said that a man had just come into the office and said that he was looking to change his life, that he had been involved in a lot of stuff, and he just wants to find the right path. He said that he wants to follow the Savior and he wants to find the true church. He told her that he was walking past the mission office and he felt so good. He felt like he needed to go inside and talk to somebody. He went inside and told them what was up. It turns out that he had a Book or Mormon given to him by one of his friends a while back. He had never really read it but he said that he has always felt good about it and liked what his friend had told him about the church and the doctrine. We called him as soon as we got out of the email place and he told us to come by the next day at 11:00.

We were teaching him, and the spirit prompted us to start teaching about the atonement of Jesus Christ. We taught him about it and read with him in the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong and he was really touched by the message. He said that he knows this is where God is leading him and that this is the path that he needs to be on. He told us he wants to get baptized and wants to get it started by reading the Book of Mormon. He was so excited to read it as we left. He is a miracle for two missionaries that have been working their hardest and really needed a miracle. This experience got both me and my companion fired up and we were excited to get out there and find someone else to teach.

We were able to pass by Joel and Virgina again and share another great message with them. We finally got to teach them about the restoration of the gospel and the Book of Mormon. They were really receptive to the message. When we talked about the great apostasy Joel said that it made perfect sense. That's exactly why there are so many churches in our day. He asked us how we could know when God is trying to answer our prayers? How we can know what the spirit truly feels like? We read with him in Galatians 5 where it talks about the fruits of the spirit. As we finished reading the scripture Virgina said very excitedly "Joel, that's exactly how I told you I felt when they left last week." She told us that as we had left she told her husband that she just felt good. She said she was in a great mood before we came, but after we left she was feeling something that she hadn't felt before. It was an incredible experience for me. She didn't remember all of what we had taught the first time we had passed by but the thing that had the greatest impact on her was how she felt and the spirit that touched her heart. I know that the spirit is with us here in this work and I know that its only through him that we can truly know the truth.

I had a trade-off yesterday with my old CCM companion Elder Zenger. He is our zone leader. We came back from the islands together, and he got sent to my first area, San Sebastian. Yesterday he was showing me his baptism pictures and he showed me a picture of a couple they baptized. I took a double-take and I jumped up and I screamed! "NO WAY! WE TOTALLY FOUND THEM!!!!" It was an awesome couple that we had found over a year ago. At the time they were building their house and going through some hard things. We taught them and helped them out the best we could but nothing was able to come out of it. Well at least that's what I had thought. He told me he found them once again and they were baptized within 3 weeks. I was so happy for them. I felt like a horrible missionary because we forgot to fill out a teaching record for them! But it was so neat to see the fruit of a seed that we planted. It was such a testimony builder to me. No matter what we are doing, if we are doing what the Lord wants us to do, good things are going to come out of it. Even if we never even get to see it in our lives and our efforts, our examples will change lives and bring people to our Savior.

Anyways, that's about it for this week. We have to get going. Once again we have a ton of stuff that we need to be doing. I wanted to leave you with something that I felt this week.

We had the opportunity to meet with Elder Vinas this week. He is the president of the Caribbean area and he spoke in general conference this past April. As we were with him in zone conference I couldn't help but think over and over again, about what a blessing it was to be able to be talking with a man called of Christ to lead and direct His church. I kept thinking of the scriptures, all of the stories that we read about the prophets and the apostles in the scriptures, we were able to live it this past weekend. I am so thankful that this Church is led and directed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our leaders are called by God and He leads and directs them and their efforts. I have no doubt in my mind that this is the true and living church of Jesus Christ and I am so thankful that I can be a part of this great work!

Thanks for all of your love and support! Good luck with school everyone! I hope it goes well.

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