We had a fairly good week this week. I think it was a little bit off just because so much happened, but it was still really good.
Monday evening we actually went to the YSA Family Home Evening activity with the less active we've been working with, Josh. He actually really enjoyed it! Then two days later we heard that he ended up going to play basketball with a bunch of the guys from that branch. It's great to see people get connected with the church again, and amazing to see them re-ignite that fire of faith.
Tuesday we had District Meeting in the morning. At the end of the meeting, we all got the chance to bear our testimonies of what we know to be true. It really brought a powerful Spirit into the meeting. Later that day we met with Andre, an investigator who we've been working with for a little while now. That day we actually got a call from the Zone Leaders and found out that there was someone who needed to be interviewed for baptism that evening. Elder Vergara did the last one, so I got to interview the baptismal candidate, Jonathan. It was a very neat experience to be able to represent the Lord in helping someone recognize that they are prepared to receive the sacred ordinance of baptism.
Wednesday morning we actually went to Transfer Meeting. Normally we wouldn't have gone because both of us are staying in the area, but I was asked by three sisters to accompany them in their rendition of "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" to the tune of "Come, Thou Fount." It was a lot of fun to arrange, improvise, and even sing a little at the end. It makes me grateful that I was blessed with a love for music. It really does bring me joy making music. That evening we had dinner with a member, and then went to the Paynes' for Bible Study.
Thursday morning we did a bit of service for a member of our ward who comes out with us all the time. It felt good to give back in just a small way for all that he does for us. That afternoon we had a quick lesson with Victor, a 16 year old that we've been working with. We had been teaching him and his mom for a while, and we showed up to an appointment last week and they had moved! The next couple of days we prayed that we would be able to find them. Then on Tuesday this past week we ran into the mother, Veronica, walking down the street because she had lost her car keys. We figured out at least which street she lived on. Then on Thursday we got to the street and still didn't know which house it was. We said a quick prayer that we would be able to find them. As we were walking down the street Victor stepped off the bus from school! God answers prayers!
Friday morning we had weekly planning. That evening we met with a recent convert named Catrena as well as a Spanish family that has been struggling for a while.
Saturday morning we met with a less active family. The daughter has been struggling a lot with her faith lately. As we talked with her, it became very apparent that many of her issues and concerns came from her decision to listen to the lies and half-truths that society and the media will tell us. It made me extremely grateful for the absolute truths of the gospel, centered Jesus Christ. After that we went to Coordination meeting. That afternoon we had a lesson with Rafael, a Hispanic man Elder Bishop and I actually taught at the end of that transfer. We haven't been able to see him for a while, but at the end of the lesson he committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. You could tell that he has a very soft heart and a sincere desire to know truth. After that we went to the Walls, the part member family that we've been working with. We were planning on going to the Temple grounds with them, hoping that the special Spirit there would help soften the father's heart. We got to their house and all piled into the cars. As we were driving to the Temple, rain was just pouring from the sky. I could hardly see through the windshield for a while. Elder Vergara and I were sitting in the back seat praying fervently that the rain would stop. As we were pulling up to the Temple, the clouds parted and the rained stopped, just in time for us to have a great walk around the Temple with their family. Again, God answers prayers!!
Sunday morning we had Church in our normal meetinghouse, which has been a rarity the past few months. We've had General Conference and then 3 Stake Conferences within the past 6 weeks! It was a lot of fun during third hour to play piano in Primary so that the Sisters there could enjoy some time together for Mothers' Day. I don't get to do that very often, but it was a lot of fun! That evening we got to Skype with our families! It was wonderful to be able see and talk to everyone for just a short time. It really makes me appreciate what an amazing family I have been blessed with.
In Alma chapter 56, we read about the faithfulness of Helaman's Stripling Warriors. One thing in particular that really stands out in this story is the profound influence their mothers had upon them:
"Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
The great faith of these amazing soldiers was so strong because of the efforts of these wonderful women. They were diligent and faithful in their efforts to raise their children in righteousness, and it resulted in amazing faith in the hearts of their children. So to all you mothers and mother figures out there, you DO make a difference, and God appreciates the difference that you make, as do many people here on Earth.
I love all of you, and I love this work!
The Church is True!