We are teaching a lot of people and families, but one investigator that really sticks our is Georgina. She is super amazing, and she loves the gospel. The other day she saw us contacting near her house, so she decided to come with us. She knows the whole neighborhood because she owns a small DVD store, and everyone stops to talk to her. She would just walk into their houses, we would follow her, she would introduce us, bear her testimony, we would invite them to church, ask them if we could come back to teach, and give them a pamphlet. We had so much success because of Georgina, and she literally opened the doors to many new investigators. She isn't even a member yet, and she is already doing missionary work. She just needs to go to church one more time, and then she can get baptized. She went to Church this Sunday and she loved it. She walked around to everyone and shook their hands and introduced herself. It is so amazing to see how happy the gospel makes her life. Last night we brought 3 priesthood members to meet her and help teach, and it was a very powerful and spiritual experience. Georgina is one of the many other people that we are teaching.
One thing that is really hard for our investigators is going to church. We had 15ish people say that they would go to church for sure, and only 3 showed up. We even called and texted them the night before, and visited half of them a few hours before church started. Agency can be very frustrating sometimes. But we don't give up and keep working hard to get them to come. Most of them are keeping their other commitments. but they just need to go to Church. They cant progress and grow if they don't get baptized.
the other day we had a really hard day. I am pretty sure all of our appointments fell, it was pouring rain, and we couldn't find anyone to teach. We even tried to go visit members and teach them, but nobody was home. we tried so hard, but nothing was working out. My companion was about to give up, but I offered to say a prayer. After the prayer we felt much better, and we taught one of our investigators that is usually never home, but we were able to find him. The work is really hard, but it is so worth it. Being a missionary is so much fun, and i have never been happier in my life.
Just like a mission, life is really hard. No matter how hard we try, it never turns out the way we want, and sometimes we feel like giving up. Sometimes we feel like there is so much adversity against us that we cant handle it. I promise you that God never gives us more than we can handle. This week made me think of an amazing conference talk titled "Come what may, and love it" by Josph B Wirthlin. I actually read this talk at the start of the week, and it really helped me get through the hard parts of the week. Here are some quotes from this talk that really helped me a lot, and i hope that it can help you the way that it helped me.
"The way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life."
"Trust in yourself and each other, don't blame others for your misfortunes, and give your best effort in everything you attempt."
Every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don't sing and the bells don't ring. yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result."
"Sometimes the very moments that seem to overcome us with suffering are those that will ultimately suffer us to overcome."
"He who has descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong."
"The simple secret is this: put your trust in the Lord, do your best, then leave the rest to Him."
"Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it."
"While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
"Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of out on-the-job training."
"These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others."
"Because Jesus Christ suffered greatly, He understands our suffering. He understands our grief. We experience hard things so that we too may have increased compassion and understanding for others."
I have spent a lot of time thinking about this, this talk, and these quotes. I really hope that you take them to heart the way I did. We all face trials in our lives, and we have have discouragement. But just like the Mother of Joseph B Wirthlin says... Come what may, and love it. We cant change what happens to us, but we can change how we react to the situation. Elder Wirthlin challenges us to learn to laugh, and enjoy every moment. I promise that as we do this, we will find more joy in our lives, and you will have the strength to overcome. put your faith in the Lord, and leave the rest to him. Whenever you are down, I challenge you to read the talk "Come what may, and love it". I promise that it will bless your life the way that it has blessed mine. If you change your outlook on life and think of your trials more like learning experiences, and less like a burden, the trials will be a lot lighter. Its all about the attitude.
A Mission is very hard. But I try to be positive and laugh lots, and that has helped me get through the bumps in life. Overall, I am doing fantastic, and I have never been happier in my life. I love my mission, i love the people, love the food, love the culture, and I love being a missionary. thanks for all your support and prayers.
Elder Travis Jay Ward
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Location:Seis de Mayo