Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 9 - The Lord Answers Prayers

Dear Family,

First of all, thank you so much for the prayers on my behalf.  This week was awesome!!  I know it's because the Lord is mindful of the faith of you all.  I cannot thank you enough for the support.

 So Monday was rough.  It rained all day and it was the day I was struggling a ton, but Elder Gentry shared some scriptures with me from Romans 8 talking about how nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and how the Lord is calling me to strengthen my relationship with him in my lonely times.  He then said you always have 2 people. The Lord, who is just a prayer away, and my companion who is attached at my hip so I'm never really alone.  haha.  It helped and once p-day was over I recommitted myself to just get lost in the work. 

We taught a family from Pere about the importance of the Book of Mormon and feeling the Spirit using 3 Nephi 11.  They've had all the lessons a couple  of times and we decided to visit them when we found them in the area book.  The mom, Lucy, won't keep commitments but we've been working hard with Daniel the 15-year-old son.  We've been dropping by almost daily and giving him chapters to read and talking with him so hopefully he will gain a testimony as he continues to pray about it.  We then taught Abdulai and his friend (they're from Senegal and Muslims).  We taught them the first lesson.  We met on the street and it was cool to learn more about Muslims and when we asked if we could offer a prayer with them they were like,  "No, we don't have time to go all the way to your church!"   ha.  We were like,  "No, we can pray anytime and anywhere."  It was pretty funny.  Tuesday we had 3 lessons fall through and nobody showed up to English classes so it was kind of frustrating. We went contacting and no one would listen to us.  BUT!  We were exactly obedient and worked up until 9:30 and right in front of our piso at 9:25ish we taught Marcos the first lesson. So working up until the last minute and exact obedience brings miracles. 

Wednesday we had district meeting.  Our district is awesome!!!  We have 10 Elders total. 5 are native Spanish speakers who don't speak English (including our district leader) and 5 Americans.  There are 4 of us in A Coruña and then elders in El Ferrol, Vigo, and Santiago. The other two elders in A Coruña are Elder Gomez from Big Lake Texas (where The Rookie takes place.  Elder Gomez played High School baseball for the Big Lake Owls so that's pretty sweet) and Elder Vasquez who was born in South America and lived in Barcelona most of his life.  They are awesome.  Later we met with Brauddy (from the Dominican Republic) he's a recent convert and we're teaching him the laws and ordinances.  He is a stud!!  He will always come with us to lessons and he's a great guy.  We taught a lesson in the street and then we dropped by Christian's.  We found him in the area book and we reviewed the first lesson and in the middle he asked, "What is your white building?"  We were confused so he took us to his room and on his wall he had a picture of the Madrid Temple hanging up, a picture of the Savior being baptized with an original baptism date for last March, and a drawing from other Elders of him with a strong body and a list of the dont's from the Word of Wisdom.  So we talked about why he doesn't want to get baptized and he said it's between his girlfriend and the church and he went off about something I didn't understand.  We left and we met with him a couple days later I'll explain what happened then.

We then met with Davy and Lorena who live in the piso above us.  She is a member, he isn't, and she is less active.  They have a son named Justin and they are awesome.  We went to go bring up Lorena's baptism and how she felt to try and re instigate some good feelings to try and get her to come back and reactivate her, but it turns out the Lord had other plans. Lorena's brother was there. (fist pump)  It was perfect.  So, we got to teach him the first lesson and now we are working with Lorena to teach him more.  He works a lot, but we will be meeting with his family soon, so the Lord definitely set that one up perfectly.  Thursday we taught a less active lady, the only reason she is less active is because she cares for her elderly mother.  As soon as she no longer has to care for her she will be back.  Her name is Raquel and she's an amazing woman!!  We read a conference talk with her and had a good discussion.  She's great and we meet with her weekly.  We then dropped by Jackeline, another lady we found in the area book.  We taught her the first lesson and it was interesting but good.  We had a memer with us and we started with a prayer and during the prayer her daughter started crying in the other room and she got up to go get her before he could finish the prayer, which is understandable, but it was awkward.  We all just looked at each other while she was gone and we were like - do we start the prayer over or pick up where we left off?  haha.  It was funny.  We then re-said the prayer and started teaching her lesson 1.  Every time I would go to say the First Vision something would happen.  It took 4 tries.  Her daughter started crying, the phone rang, someone knocked on the door, and finally the fourth time I was able to say it and it was still as powerful as ever. The rest of the lesson went pretty smooth and we're going back sometime this week so I'm hoping she still managed to feel something. 

That night we met with Andres the Gallegan (from Galicia) we talked about Alma 32 and faith and the ward mission leader was with us and it was an amazing lesson.  We were really worried about Andres because we had a lesson with him the last Friday and we were very bold in bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon and a recent convert named Miguel bore incredible testimony on it but then we couldn't get a hold of Andres the entire week until Thursday morning.  We were scared but then we had the faith lesson and it was good. 

Friday we watched the restoration with a man named Andres (we have two Andres investigators).  This one is a Venezuelan man who loves the bible and he loved the restoration video.  He loved the questions Joseph Smith asked and would comment about it during the video.  He was so excited when we gave it as a gift to him!!  He was like no way!? I can't wait to watch it again!   So were gonna continue to work with him. We then had a lesson that night with the other Andres (the Gallegan).  We discussed 2 Nephi 32, the doctrine of Christ and he has a baptismal date!!!!!!!!  February 15th.  He hasn't been taught everything but I know this should work out:)  We are so excited for him!!!!  We found out Sunday his dog died Friday and he's very very upset and lonely because he said he raised it and this dog taught him how to love.  We are going to teach him how Christ feels all of our pains, emotions, loneliness, everything (using Alma 7:11-12) and how He loves us perfectly. We want to help him through this time by helping him find his faith in the atonement of the Savior.  So keep Andres in your prayers.  Pray for all the investigators but especially him. 

Saturday we met with Luis and Leslie.  Luis is baptized and we ordained him to the Priesthood last Sunday and Leslie, the parents won't let her be baptized, but we watched some Mormon Messages with them since the parents weren't home and answered his questions about the Plan of Salvation and gave him a Predicad Mi Evangelio (Preach My Gospel).  

We taught Christian that night.  The one who had all the stuff hanging up in his room.  We figured from what he had said he had to choose between the the church and his girlfriend because of the Law of Chastity.  The way he was talking and what he was saying, it seemed so obvious.  So we got ready for the Law of Chastity lesson and to be bold and say it's a choice between her or Heavenly Father.  So he answers his door and he was wearing a t-shirt and a towel.  Which was the funniest thing ever.  I was trying so hard not to laugh the first few minutes cause he was just sitting there in a towel as were talking about Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21.  Then we got to talking about the 10 commandments and then the Law of Chastity and we're explaining in detail what it is and we feel good about this when all of the sudden he stopped us and said, "So I can't hug or kiss my girlfriend?"  and we were like no that's fine!!  and he's like,  "Oh, I don't know why you're teaching me this,  I live the Law of Chastity already." hahaha.  It was pretty funny.  Kinda like that moment on The District we watched.  Finding that out was a relief and we now have a tentative baptismal date with Christian for the 20th of February.  Sunday we taught Brauddy about the Priesthood because we ordained him after church (we also ordained Eddie, a new convert, to the priesthood, so that's 3 in 2 weeks!)  Then we went contacting.  No one would talk to us and it was bad until finally right before our next lesson we taught a lesson to a man from Cuba.   We had a meeting with Luis and Leslie but their parents weren't home so we read a conference talk and talked with Luis about serving a mission.  He's thinking about going!!  That would be awesome:).  We had a dinner appointment with Ivan and Julianna who are from Peru. They have been sealed in the temple but Ivan is less active and the food was great!!  I've had more South American food than Spanish food.  In fact, the only Spanish food I have had has been the groceries from the store.  haha.  All the people who feed us are South Americans and so I've had lots of South American food.  We ended up teaching Julianna's cousin the first lesson and we´ll be meeting with him this week so that will be awesome!!!!   

Great week.  I got lost in the work and the homesickness wasn't there.  I love this work and the Lord is working miracles!!!  It all starts with obedience and if we are doing what we are supposed to the Lord will take care of the rest!

 For the spiritual thought this week - something I found that I loved from 2 Nephi 10:23. Cheer up your hearts because we are free to act!  The battle in the premortal life was over agency and that's still what the fight is over.  The battleground has just changed.  We need to rejoice because we have agency and the beauty of the agency we have is that all He asks of us is that we keep His commandments (Mosiah 2:22).  So remember your covenants and just choose to follow and keep the commandments and the rest is history.  I love this work!!!  I am so happy and as soon as I ¨forgot myself and went to work¨ and strengthened my relationship with the Lord I've been so happy!!!!  I love it here and this city is beautiful!!!  Thanks for the prayers and the emails this week.  It's been so great to hear of the support and prayers from my earthly home and to see the effects of the support from my Heavenly home.  I love you all!!!!  The church is true. The book is blue!!  (which doesn't sound as cool in Spanish: la iglesia es verdadera, el libro es azul)   hahaha.  The Spanish is coming along and I can understand and say more every day.  I'm learning poco a poco. Love you all!!!!

((hugs)) and kisses,

Elder Anderson

El reino de dios o nada