Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17th, 2011

This week was a very wonderful week. We have felt the hand of the Lord in guiding us to much success. A family that was a reference from a member is now preparing for baptism, a twelve year old kid that is so sharp and already has a testimony strong. We have been meeting with the family of a menos active member...he has began to accept us and go to church, while his wife is praying and reading. They are going to be a strong family in the church I know it! Leiver now has his wedding scheduled for this Saturday in a community nearby, and his Baptism the following Sunday. Really, we are way excited for the wonderful people we are teaching right now, and more than anything, the eternal families that are going to be created. I am grateful to see--as I think I always say--how much the gospel blesses families.
Also, yesterday we had a very special opportunity to listen to Elder Cook! We traveled in total about fourteen hours to travel to Tuxtla and then return from Tuxtla. Ya, they don´t have highways here really. Just really long windy roads with a variety of trucks, taxis, and vans that we take. There was such a sweet spirit there, and I felt like his message was prepared for me (as i am sure all of the Elders did). More than anything, I was touched with how he shared about the influence that we can have. That it is not an accident that we are where we are. I know that that is true...even though it is hard to see sometimes, I have felt the reassuring touch of the Spirit letting me know that I am where the Lord wants me to be. I know that all of us are put in situations, with people, and challenges, for a reason that our Father in Heaven knows.
My companion is great! He is quiet, but a very special missionary. We are becoming great friends.
We learned how important it is to do service this week. We have a family that we are teaching that we didnt know what to do in order to help them progress. My companion suggested that we serve them in some way or another. When we arrived, we asked that we wanted to help do some service for them. The mom was saying all sorts of stuff sarcastically...like "oh but you will get stains..." etc. But nevertheless, with persistence, they gave us something to do. We went out back of their humble house and they gave us a machete (more like a big sword thing that you see pirates with) and told us to clear a section of the weeds, trash, plants, and stuff. Machetes for people here play the role of everything...weedwhacker, lawnmower, harvester, and who knows what else. All the time, people are just walking around with these big machetes. I didn´t find much success with the machete, and so we went at it with hands. Then we helped them fix up a little house. We shared a message, and went on. However, the mother--always skeptical and a little standoff from us--was very content. She looked like she had much more trust in us. I know that they will be able to progress.
We are stoked to be teaching families and wonderful people. I am not going to lie, missionary work is harder than I thought it would be. Really, I had no idea. Every day, my testimony is challenged by people; sometimes it is hard to stay animated; it is sometimes devastating to see the obstacles that are put in our Investigators paths; and much more. But, I am learning a lot from these challenges. Every day, I learn a little more how little I am and how big God is. How real the fact that we have a Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that we have a Savior because I can feel it inside me. When I turn to the Lord, I feel the warm hug of our Savior.
Sorry if this was long. But I am sure grateful for one of the most special weeks I have had in my mission.
Elder Palmer

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