Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mis queridos,

    It's the start of Semana Segrada- Holy Week. We've already seen
so many hearts softened this time of year- so many we meet honestly
have no idea what Easter is really about, and why we celebrate it, and
want to know. Almost everyone we meet is willing to watch a video
about Easter- the new church initiative "Aleluya."
    Stake conference was amazing. Elder Randall Bennet from the
quorum of the seventy came and spoke. The adult session was
particularly cool, we basically had an open discussion/ question and
answer. He spoke about the importance of missionary work and temple
work. He warned that we as saints will only continue to be persecuted
more and more for what we believe as time goes on, and how we can
remain 'in the world but not of the world.' My favorite though was
hearing from quite a few very recent converts in the stake. At one
point Elder Bennet asked all adult converts to raise their hands, and
3/4 the room raised their hand. Not in Utah, haha.
    Random grateful moment this week. So Saturday morning we we had a
lesson downtown pretty early so we decided to take the bus. Right as
we were getting on the bus we saw a woman throw an entire cup of hot
coffee everywhere. It flew everywhere, including all over a woman who
was sitting close. Everyone started trying to talk to her but she
didn't speak English. So we were able to sit with her and talk to her
because we were the only ones who spoke Spanish. She was pretty upset
and kept asking 'why did she do that to me?' We were able to calm her
down and explain that it was intended not for her, but the man in
front of her who had also gotten off, and then get her home. We were
so grateful we were there so she had someone to talk to.
    Unfortunately this week we decided to turn over Josephina and her
husband to the elders. We both felt to truly progress Loli needed to
be taught by elders. It was hard, we had just broken solid ground with
him. Josephina was so sad when we told her we would not be coming
anymore, she started crying and asking us not to stop coming. But she
thanked us for all we had done and told us she know all we have done
is only because we love her family and want them to be happy. It was
harder than turning over Lisandra and Erick- two families I love so,
so much. But it's what's best for them. The elders are pretty happy
though.. She told us that one day her family will be sealed, and hopes
that her boys will serve missions, and marry in the temple.
    Victor is doing incredibly well. He continues to read the Book of
Mormon every day. He came to stake conference, where he got to meet
more members of the York side branch, (half of the branch meets in
York, our side is a satellite branch) the branch president- Presidente
Gogna, President Johnson, and Elder Randall Bennet of the quorum of
the seventy. Pretty good day for him I'd say. I've never met an
investigator more prepared to change. He has already begun the steps
of repentance in his life- evident through the changes he's already
making. We taught the plan of salvation with Francisa, member of four
days, as our member present. In the beginning of the lesson, she asked
an inspired question that set the tone for the rest of the lesson. As
we taught about how God is the Father of our spirits and He has a plan
for us, she asked "What would you do to save your son?" The rest of
the lesson he kept referring to the example he wanted to become for
his son. Francisca is the best team up I've ever had, we learned so
much from teaching with her. We have so much to learn from recent
converts of the church and their pure testimonies. Anyway, Victor kept
saying "Voy a cambiar. Voy a cambiar." I'm going to change. I'm going
to change. He asked us if we really thought that someone 'like him'
could be forgiven of everything he's done, this is the first time in
his life he has learned of repentance. We testified that no one is
exempt from the atonement, I shared one of my favorite Book of Mormon
stories with him from Alma 36 about the conversion of one of the Sons
of Mosiah- one described as one of the "vilest of sinners," who's "joy
was as exceeding as was his pain" as he applied the power of the
atonement of Jesus Christ, and went on to spend the rest of his life
'laboring without ceasing.. To bring souls into repentance.' And
building up the church. Victor wants nothing more than to be "free" of
his past. He even joked that he would "walk all over Lancaster with us
sharing the gospel" when he is baptized. This week we he prayed with
us for the first time in his life. He expressed his gratitude for us
coming again and again and again, and how he wanted to know God.

The message we got from Victor after stake conference:
    "Truly, thank you for inviting me today. I learned a lot, things
I've never had in my life. Everyday that passes I feel different than
I was before. I will continue studying the Book of Mormon, I know it
has the answers to all my questions, I want to learn more. I know that
what you are teaching me is good. You are both good people. I need to
prepare for my baptism day, but I know that with your help, and with
God's help I will reach it and be ready."

    The miraculous conversions we read about in the scriptures still
happen today- every day. Miracles are still happening today because
the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite, without limits
or expiration. Truly no one is exempt from the healing that comes only
through the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ. It is real, and the most
personal principle of the gospel because Christ suffered personally
for each of us. As we live His teachings, we can become examples and
"saviors of men," and through our words and the lives they see us
live, men will repent, and change. Nothing bad in this life needs to
be permanent, and everything that is good can be.
    It's Easter week, a week to celebrate the Atonement of Jesus
Christ, so here's my favorite example and story from the Book of
Mormon. Alma 36.

Lots of love!
Hermana Sears

No comments:

Post a Comment