(Letter from September 22, 2014)
This week we invited a LOT of people to come unto Christ. However, (un)fortunately they have their agency to choose. But really that's a wonderful blessing that we have! It's just occasionally frustrating as a missionary. But hey, we succeed when we invite, no??
The people here are absulutley wonderful. Just about everyone is open to listen to us and loves to talk about God! The hard part is finding the people who are ready and willing to ACT on our message and keep their commitments. With a handful of our investigators we have been doing EVERYTHING possible to get them to church, get them reading their scriptures, or even just get them to be at their appointments when they say they will be!! This week, however, was tough. We had to have "the talk" and "break up´" with a couple of them because they just were NOT progressing. Visiting each of them wasn't the best use of our tme if they weren't willing to put the gospel into practice.
It just breaks your heart, though, because you love them SOO MUCH! They KNOW IT. They're SO CLOSE. I have really started to understand Alma's heartache in Alma 13:27. It's tough to go on the rollercoaster with them. It's a very real feeling that the sons of Mosiah had in Mosiah 27:3. EVERYONE NEEDS THIS MESSAGE! It is eternal salvation on the line. I would not be here if I didn't know that with all of my heart. I would not give up my familiy, my home, my studies, my whole life just to go somewhere new to read some scriptures with people. I am here "with the intent that perhaps I might save some few of their souls," (Alma 26:26). Sometimes it's hard and sometimes it's disapointing, but just as Ammon counsels, "we can look forth and see the fruits of our labor, and are they few? I say unto you nay, they are many," (Alma 26:31). And let's be real, I'm not getting mocked, spit upon, stoned, bound, and cast into prison as he was, either. I've really got it good! I even get a hot-ish shower some days!! The lows are low as a missionary but the highs are higher! "Has there been so great love in all the land? I say unto you, nay," (Alma 26.33). "There never were men who had such great reason to rejoice" (Alma 26.35).
This week was slightly disappointing, but I'm still keeping my head up´and charging forward! Oh yeah, I also went to Lima this week for 24 hours and now I'm officially legal in this country! We were supposed to go to the temple, but there wasn't enough time. Another heartbreaking moment. but I guess in 16 months time I can go again! Being legal to live here and serve here is a blessing in and of itself.
This work is hard sometimes, but it is oh so joyful! I learn SO much from the missionaries in The Book of Mormon. I want to be just like them someday. I know this is the work of salvation with every fiber of my being and this is a GIANT privilege The Lord has given me, to serve Him and the Peruvian people. Alma 30:9-- I'm gonna give it everything I've got! i love Him. I love the Peruvians. How great is my calling!!! Ciao familia, love you forever and always!