Another wonderful week here in beautiful Cajamarca! The oldest daughter in the Infante Family is Hermana Doris, and she has the sweetest 12 year old son, Carlitos, and this week we set a baptismal date with them!!! So that was way exciting. Doris has seen AWESOME changes in her parents and brother (who have joined the church) and has decided she wants to see those changes in her life, too. Carlitos has been going to church with his grandparents since they joined in September and he knows EVERYTHING. He’s read a good chunk of the Book of Mormon, and he has The First Vision memorized. He’s definitely ready for his own mission. We had a “noche de noyar” (family home evening) with him the other day, and he gave the lesson. He’s such a doll! We’re working closely with them and praying that they can progress enough to be baptized on the 28th of February! I think they can.
So other than them, I must admit, we’re having a rough time with a lot of our investigators. We have a LOT of investigators and have had a LOT of lessons, but very few are progressing in the way that they should be. This week we have been really trying to find the balance between not giving up on people, and losing time for progressing investigators with those that don’t progress. I know for a fact that ANYONE can change and be blessed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But what if they don’t want to? For example, we have one investigator who is wonderful. She has had all the lessons (including lesson one about three times), she prays, she reads, she understands… but she refuses to come to church. Focusing on lesson one with her, we have now read the first 10 chapters of the Book of Mormon. We’ve taught about the Sabbath day, and the importance of church attendance, but she doesn’t want to be “pressured.”
Another example is our Seventh Day Adventist investigator, who also understands all the lessons and knows the Book of Mormon is true, but thinks that the BOM is the only difference between our church and hers! Oh, and she doesn’t believe the Sabbath day is Sunday. We’ve taught her using scriptures, testifying of the principle, and we KNOW she has felt the spirit, but she just doesn’t want to admit it.
In these situations, my companion and I have been really trying to study this out. In Preach My Gospel, we learn that we should, “find them that will receive you,” (D&C 42:8). It states that, “such people will recognize that you are the Lord’s servants and will be willing to act on your message.” So if they receive us but don’t act, how long should we be patient? Or have we not done our part well enough as missionaries to find their needs?
One of my favorite missionaries in the scriptures that I’m going to mention once again is Abinadi. He was in a situation similar to this one, only a LOT worse. He was called of God to prophesy among a very wicked people, and no one listened to him, let alone acted on his prophecies! King Noah and his priests ultimately put him to death! (P.S. the comparison between King Noah and Pilate is way cool!) But anyways, I have often wondered why he kept preaching when he thought no one was listening. In Mosiah 13:3 & 5, it says:
Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver; neither have I told you that which ye requested that I should tell; therefore, God will not suffer that I shall be destroyed at this time.
...Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord.
The bottom line is, he was filled with the spirit. It was upon him, and it shone through his face! And thanks to that spirit, he knew whether he had finished the message that the Lord had sent him to deliver, or not. We read again and again this promise of the spirit guiding us in the scriptures (D&C 31:11, D&C 75:27, D&C 79:1-2). This really must be my favorite part of being a missionary. Having the guidance and help of the Holy Ghost ALWAYS! Having the promise that I will know where the Lord wants me to go, what the Lord wants me to do, and what the Lord wants me to say. I’m really learning what it’s like to walk with a member of the Godhead. It’s the best!
I love my investigators. Each one is different. But for that, we have the spirit! Until next week, let the Holy Spirit guide.