Monday, March 21, 2016

March: A Month of Trials and Miracles

Hello family!

First things first, I haven't gotten any packages, but I could get one this Wednesday because the mail comes that day. 

This last week was a blast. I'm not sick anymore!! I’ve enjoyed the mission more than ever these last few weeks, and I think that it’s something best explained by Elder Bednar. We had a meeting on Tuesday with the whole mission, where I feel like I know fewer and fewer people as more of my friends leave, and Presidente showed us a clip of a devotional with Elder Bednar. He was recently in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay, in a devotional with the youth. A future missionary asked what he could do to prepare for the mission. He said that a lot of missionaries get out to the field and say, "The mission isn't meeting my spiritual needs right now,” or, “I'm so obedient and humble why don't I have more success,” or, “What's wrong with my investigators?” It’s a hard trap not to fall into, and when we think more about me and I instead of the people we’re serving, our chances at peace or happiness go down exponentially. Elder Bednar helped remind me why I’m here and what I’m doing. It was never about me. What we do without modern day prophets!? 

My companions are some of the greatest people I know. Elder Hunter has an incredible work habit and is always trying to do things better. He is focused and determined, and surprisingly he says he was a beach bum before the mission in the sense that he surfed a lot. He’s kind of an interesting combination of super hard worker and laid back at the same time. Then there’s Elder Bradley, he is a smart, witty guy who has us laughing during the day. He studied for a year in Virginia in the small university there supported by the church. He's easy to get along with, and we three have a great time teaching and baptizing. This last week from our balcony we could hear concerts going with bands from the U.S. The stadium/arena is pretty close to our apartment building so we go to hear some of the bands we know. It was an interesting interruption to our day. 

I’m happy to say that Ivonne and her son Emiliano got baptized yesterday.We felt like they were ready and after teaching Ivonne and seeing her diligent study of the scriptures and prayers, we interviewed her. It’s miraculous to see the spirit of understanding work in the people when they open their hearts. Sister B taught us about the difference between having a knowledge about something and understanding it. Understanding comes from an open heart. A good example is Abinadi when he taught the evil king Noah and said,

32 And now, did they understand the law? I say unto you, Nay, they did not all understand the law; and this because of the hardness of their hearts; for they understood not that there could not any man be saved except it were through the redemption of God.

Our understanding depends on our ability to open up our hearts. The baptismal service was after church, and a lot of the ward attended. The service went according to plan without any problems, which is a miracle. I’m so grateful to see the miracle of conversion in the mission.

Ready for another week.

Elder Walker