March 21, 2016 – Week 76

THE GREAT TRAILMAKER

Hola familia, quiero escribir parte de mi reporte semanal en español. Si está bien con ustedes. Este semana fue bien suave y un poco triste con la perdida de MICHIGAN STATE. Los tenía en el campeonato. Pero ni modo.

That honestly sucks that Mich. St. lost. I had them going to the finals against Kansas! But oh well, I always get jipped on my brackets. I’ll send you the brackets that I did here later on. Me and Elder Whitt sat down last Monday night and we filled out brackets – it was really fun. We each did 3 and analyzed all the teams.  I was going to send it in to y’all so you could put it on ESPN, but I didn’t have time to do so.
This week has been pretty decent, I’ll give you guys a quick update on V*****, he’s not homeless, the homeless guy was someone else, he disappeared actually and we have no idea were he went, i honestly think he passed away but i have no idea! Hopefully he just went back to his family in Jalisco. Anyways we taught V***** this week and he started working again. He sells towels in the street to taxi drivers and to taco stands. We saw him one day this week and he said he sold about 2 packs of towels. He buys those yellow microfiber towels from Costco, his wife that recently left him only left him with a Costco card. He used that costco card to buy these 36 pack towel packages and he sells them in the street. He’s been doing pretty good.  Hopefully this week we can take him to the self reliance center to help him get a better job. He went to church with us yesterday and he even wore a suit to church!!!! I never in my mission had an investigator that put a white shirt and tie on to go to church, nevertheless he wore a full suit! It was great he even participated in the Elders Quorum and the Gospel Principles class; it was great to see his testimony grow. This week we are going to go with him to write to the First Presidency about allowing him to get baptized.  Hopefully we can have a response from them.
Seeing the testimony of the investigators grow and seeing their faith grow reminds me a lot of how I came to be. I’m sure I was talked about in Ward Council meetings right before i headed out on the mission. I was glad that I was just able to say call it ¨go with the flow¨ until I headed out. From when I first started and until this point I can see that my faith has grown a lot and im hoping that one day I can have the SURE KNOWLEDGE that Alma talks about when he talks concerning faith and how our faith will grow fruits and even sprout up into a tree of everlasting life! I was reading my Patriarchal Blessing about a week ago and I was promised to have that very same Exaltation. Hopefully my works can be good enough for the Lord. I don’t ever feel like they are, but I really try.
This week we found a single mother with 5 children. She crossed the border every day with her 5 kids ages 3 to 13. Her kids have been asking her about God, but she doesn’t know how to respond. We gave her a Book of Mormon and we invited her to read it with her children so that they can all learn in a better way about God. This week we are going to try to get the primary president to go with us to teach her kids and to teach her. I hope that they can be able to make it to church and I hope that they can get baptized. We are going to try to baptize them in the month of April so hopefully all goes well this time. It seems like every baptismal date that I have had it usually falls through which really sucks. But I got some good advice the other day from the assistants. They said we have an important job to do in the offices, but also we have our regular missionary life as well. We just need to put all the effort in just a few of the people we have and help them to progress and then they will get baptized. So we are going to put that in practice and hopefully it will all work out just fine and we can finally baptize. Baptizing for us is really hard and it has been really hard for me my whole mission.  I just want to baptize converts, but I guess it isn’t about what I want. I was also reading another part of my blessing and it said I will have a great effect in planting the gospel in my life. I really feel like I have done that. I have given out hundreds of Book of Mormons, thousands of pamphlets, tens of thousands of pass along cards, and have spoke about Jesus to someone hundreds of thousand of times. I really feel that God’s purpose of me on my mission is to prepare the path for other people so that in the future they can take their steps.
I think of myself as a trailmaker. Trailmakers are like the hikers that prepare the path for other hikers. They have to physically take branches out, cut trees, roots, and bushes. I physically have helped people battle their addictions, get closer to God, pray, get people to go to church, and read the Book of Mormon. Just because the trail is made, doesn’t mean that people are going to hike it right away. Maybe some will now, and maybe some later on, and maybe some people might do so in a week, month, or maybe 10 years! But the most important part is to have the trail made. When I think of this analogy (which I hope it makes sense) I think of one of the most powerful trailmakers of all time, Jesus Christ.  There is no scriptural documentation of Jesus Christ baptizing, but he taught, he was an example, he was perfect. Maybe people did not listen at first, but there were many people who did. Some people rejected him and ultimately they killed him, but he cleared the trail to eternal life. The trail was made, and through Joseph Smith the trail was restored.  More than 2,000 years later people are just now taking the trail and starting to walk. I will continue to try my hardest to clear this trail up a little bit so that other people can take it in their lives. Sometimes I get a little discouraged about thinking of how many people I have baptized. I have not had many when compared to other misisonaries, but I try not to think about it because it really doesn’t matter. The mission is really hard – it is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I have 6 months left to help others. I’m sure I will have success. I love the work, I love what I do, I love helping people getting close to Jesus Christ. I feel like I am successful, V**** quit drinking, he’s trying to stop smoking, many others have given up bad habits and found Christ so I feel like I do have success. My job is to invite others to come to Christ, nothing else. So I will continue to invite others to repent and to Come unto Him. Anyways I hope you all have a great week! Love you ((((:
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