I cannot believe how fast time is going by! One more week and it will be DECEMBER. That is madness. Que miedo! AH CHICHIN! (lingo cajamarquina). But really, it’s craziness.
This week started off with intercambios! (don’t remember what the word is in English). But for the day, my companion was one of the Hermana leaders and Hermana Molina went to their area! La verdad, I never really look forward to intercambios but it always ends up being such a great experience to learn and grow! We get in such a routine with the same companions, it’s such a humbling learning experience to work with another Hermana. This week I learned more than anything, teaching skills! So SCORE.
Also this week, we had a wedding!!! Jose y Vanessa were married Saturday night, so we got to help decorate the cake, tables, and room (we worked with what we had, alright?). Jose is the sweetest little hipster Peruvian who just LOVES his wife and their little boy. He gave the sweetest speech at the ceremony about how he can’t wait to be baptized, confirmed, and in a year, be sealed with his family forever! His goal is to be baptized this Saturday, so we’re gonna be working with them every day this week to try and make that happen. He’s been reading in the Book of Mormon and seems to have a testimony already! He and Vanessa have now been asking for callings in the church! Que en el mundo? Love them.
So as easy and wonderful as the conversion of Jose (Pepe/Pepito) has seemed to be, I somehow feel like it would mean a little more to me if we had been working with him for more time, had seen his progress, and had really felt all the ups and downs right along with him… speaking of which…
ERIKA Y MICHAEL! I don’t think I could love them anymore than I do if I tried, but WOW it can be frustrating and heartbreaking with them sometimes. We have felt ALL the ups and downs of the rollercoaster with them. All of their spiritual experiences, prayers, and revelations, as well as their trials, doubts, and stumbling blocks. This week we decided to go back to the basics with them. LESSON #1! We soon realized as we started to go over it that they did not yet have a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Yesterday, we had an AWESOME lesson with them on their topic in a member’s home where we watched The Joseph Smith movie. Que bonito salio!
I bear testimony as a missionary and representative of The Lord Jesus Christ that the boy Joseph Smith was called by God to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ in these last days. He was a prophet of the living God and thanks to him, we have the fullness of the doctrine of Christ once again. As a missionary, I share the words of young Joseph Smith over and over again regarding his first vision. I know with every fiber of my being that he did indeed see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the grove that day. The words we memorize and share regularly never lose their power to me. Satan knows the power in those words. And because he knows, he does everything possible to distract in that precious moment. It’s amazing to me how often in that very moment during lessons a phone rings, the movie skips, a baby cries, ANYTHING! The adversary will do anything to distract from this message. And why? Because it’s TRUE, of course.
See D&C 122:1-2. As Elder Andersen shared in this last conference: “Why does the Lord allow the evil speaking to chase after the good? One reason is that opposition against the things of God sends seekers of truth to their knees for answers.” It is so true. The only way in the world to learn absolute truth is from God in prayer.
Elder Andersen later says in this talk, “A testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith can come differently to each of us. It may come as you kneel in prayer, asking God to confirm that he was a true prophet. It may come as you read the Prophet’s account of the First Vision. A testimony may distill upon your soul as you read the Book of Mormon again and again. It may come as you bear your own testimony of the Prophet or as you stand in the temple and realize that through Joseph Smith the holy sealing power was restored to the earth. With faith and real intent, your testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith will strengthen. The constant water balloon volleys from the sidelines may occasionally get you wet, but they need never, never extinguish your burning fire of faith.”
WE CAN KNOW! We can know he was a prophet of God. We have been given all we need to have a personal witness of this eternal truth and all we have to do is act and find out. I invite all of you to continually gain a greater witness of the crazy important role of Joseph Smith in these last days. Without this knowledge, we can’t progress in the gospel. That was made clear to me this week. Can’t wait to see what the next week brings in this wonderful little corner of the world called Cajamarca! Ciao for now!
P.S. I don’t know about you, but I will know Brother Joseph again.