All is well and wonderful out here in Peru! I have learned SO much this week. First of all, it’s not about the numbers.
All throughout this week I was feeling GREAT! Statistically, this was my best week in the mission so far. We have been working hard to OPEN this area, and all has been just swell. The members have been willing to come with us, the investigators are there for appointments, everything has just been working out really well. Also this week, we committed Erika and Michael (his name is pronounced “Mich-ah-el” but spelled like Michael) to a marriage date for next week. Also, they would get baptized the same day. In other words, we were CELEBRATING because they were awesome and because we were gonna be planning a wedding, three baptisms, and a rescate!
Well we learned very quickly as the week went on that they were not exactly ready for all of these steps. So as my hopes went up for their eternal life together, as well as my success, they quickly came right back down over me. Of course, I remembered that it isn't about the number of lessons we teach, baptisms that are performed, or even sacred temple covenants that are made. Missionary work is about the needs of the people, and I really understood what that meant this week.
I am still confident Erika and Michael will one day be married, baptized, and have an eternal family, but maybe not in the time frame I had planned with the lessons I wanted to teach to fill their teaching record. Because of family, relationships, and other problems, the Lord may have a plan for them a little later rather than sooner. Don’t get me wrong, they’re WONDERFUL people. They’ll get there.
The last couple of nights we have met with them and have really been able to address their personal needs. It has been amazing! I’m just beginning to learn the art of compassion. I’m learning what it REALLY means to mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort (Mosiah 18:9). As I sat there last night and cried right alongside them, I learned just a little bit more about the Savior and His feelings for us. Missionary work is hard because it was never easy for the Savior. As His representatives, we must walk where He did and go on the roller coast right alongside our investigators.
I know God lives. I know He loves me. I know He loves our investigators. Jesus Christ was willing to bear ALL of our burdens, and we, too, must learn to be willing to help lift others’ burdens, that they may be light (Alma 7:11-13). Our Savior suffered pains and afflictions of every kind so He would know how to succor us. He gets it. He’s felt it. To Him, it was always about the individuals and their needs. It was never about the numbers.
Thanks for all your loving kindness and examples to me, guys! I have been crazy blessed by my family and friends who have really been incredible examples of the first and great two commandments. Until next week!
LOVE YOU ALL.
BONUS! Some photos from her first days as a missionary...
And two from her new area!