Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week #78: Tamaulipas 1.1 - XIII - Week 22

This week a lot of things happened that were pretty cool, and worked out well.

To start off from the start of the week: Tuesday we had our Zone Meeting, and it was a pretty good meeting. They talked about a lot of various items, and then trained us on the street contacts that we do.

About a year ago, we received the challenge from Presidente Walker to invite people to be baptized from the first contact - in the street, as a spiritual preparation for the visit we had from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It was pretty cool, but then we stopped doing that. Well, the new training that they gave to us, coming from Presidente Bird, was that we are to do that again, with every contact. So, now we invite a lot of people to be baptized the very first time we meet them, and some even accept baptismal dates. This has been an effective method in improving the quality of our contacts, even if they do last a bit longer than they used to. I like it.

On Sunday we saw some results from this new focus on street contacts. We contacted some investigators earlier in the week, and tried to find them on Friday, but we didn´t. So yesterday (Sunday) we went back with a young man who was accompanying us named Carlos, and we found them. We shared part of "the Restoration" and this time they did accept a baptismal date. It was pretty cool. Hopefully they can progress towards baptism.

The Zone Leaders also decided to train us on helping get our investigators to Church, that being one of the greatest difficulties which we have. It was a good training, and I need to put it in practice. They came up with a lot of good ideas to help people make it to Church, and a good indicator of when they aren´t going to progress, and when it´s time to drop them. Sometimes it´s hard to drop investigators, but sometimes it´s just the best thing to do.

On Friday we had interviews with Presidente and Hermana Bird, and it was nice to see them and be able to chat with them about how things are going. It´s always great to see the Birds. They´re awesome, and I´m so grateful for the chance I had to be with them when they first arrived to our mission, and to have been in the offices with them for as long as I was. It has been a real blessing to have them here with us, and in my life. President Bird and I spoke a little bit more about "becoming" and he told me a bit about something he´s going to teach in a future Zone Conference (at least he´s thinking about it). It sounds good. I enjoyed seeing them.

The next big even was on Friday. I had my first baptismal interview with a youth from Elder Bautista and Elder Redford´s part of the ward. It was something new, and it was interesting. I ended up telling her that she was ready to be baptized, and we carried on with that decision. Afterwards, I felt a bit unsure about that decision, about if I had said the right thing or the wrong thing, but as I´ve thought more about it, I´ve felt a bit better and more comfortable with saying it was alright. The only real thing that made me unsure wasn´t really a big obstacle at all. She was baptized on Saturday, and it was pretty good service. She and her brother were baptized (and we had an investigator come with us, so we were able to attend). We almost didn´t go to the baptism.

The original plan was to go with Lucía, and maybe some other investigators to the baptism. So, we show up to Lucía´s house, and she´s still getting ready, so we came back after receiving some missed calls from her (I miss a lot of phone calls, when I have the phone set to just vibrate - and my parents can testify to this from my pre-mission days too) and it turns out that at the last minute she was going to her brother´s birthday party, so she couldn´t come with us! NO!! We moved on to another investigator, and we arrived just in time to go with him in his car to the baptism, and he seemed to like it, and it was a good experience for him. His name is Jesús.

Jesús is a pretty cool investigator. We can tell that there will be a few obstacles to his progress, but he can overcome them. He told us that he believes that the Book of Mormon is true, but is unsure about accepting a baptismal date just yet, since he´s between his old beliefs and the new ones. But, we´re going to keep visiting and helping him to understand and feel the Spirit. He actually told us something really cool. He had a dream before we showed up to teach him (we found him through contacting in the street, and he lives on our street actually), which he described with the following words, "Un ángel me dijo que iban a venir dos personajes a mi casa... Después escuché una voz que me dijo: Haz lo que hace Mi Hijo Amado" (Which translates to "An angel told me that two personages were going to come ot my house... Afterwards I heard a voice that told me: Do what my Beloved Son doeth"). So, that´s pretty cool. My first investigator like that - with a dream of that type. I thought of us and baptism when he told us that.

In other news, Nora (an investigator that I helped start teaching in my first area over a year ago) and her son Emilio were baptized on Saturday. I asked one of the Elders in her area about her a few times, and he said that she remembered that it was "Elder Erekson y Elder López" that started teaching her, or something. That´s pretty sweet. She was one of my favorite investigators, and I´m really glad that she did end up getting baptized.

Today we hiked up "El Cerro de la Silla" and it was pretty fun. It was a steep and tough hike, but it was really cool. We also go to go in "civilian clothes," and that was cool. I got some good pictures that I hope I can send home (we´ll see if switching to a different memory card worked). Today we were going to watch a movie, but it didn´t work out. Next week then.

I bear my testimony that the Lord loves each and every one of us. Jesus Christ and God the Father live. Christ did die for our sins, and He gave us the blessings of Repentance, which are available to all of Heavenly Father´s children. I bear my testimony of the Resurrection - that we all shall live again after death, with perfect and glorified bodies, free of disease, disability, and free of all frailties. I testify of Their love, and I hope that we can all remember and feel this love this Easter Sunday. These things I share in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I wish you all well, and love you very much! Have a great week!

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