Monday, February 23, 2015

Interviews, Baptisms, Josè Jimenes, Listening to the Holy Ghost

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Hello Family :D

This week was a great week, full of stresses and happy faces! The ward held ward council and we were invited to come. From now on we are expected to come because the Area Presidency and the Mission Presidents talked to all the Bishops and told them what needs to happen and change to make Central America grow stronger and bigger in the church. Little by little, poco a poco. YAY! We can go to ward council now! :D And to show us their appreciation, the ward planned absolutely everything for the baptisms this week. The Bishop's counselor complimented us hugely too! He held up the weekly report page of investigators that we fill out every week and told the Ward Council, "Look in the back where there are two nice young men in white shirts and ties. Those are your most valuable persons you have in the ward. This page is completely full of great things and great progress. Do you know what that means? It means these missionaries are working really hard. Thank you missionaries, and well done."

So that made us SMILE a lot. I had the opportunity then to reflect on how much we actually have done. I thought, "Naw, we haven't done that much." But we have done a lot. We want to do more and we want to help more, but what we've done is a lot of work. This ward rocks!

The ward also has the new challenge to reactivate five families every month and so the Bishop has told us he's going to be visiting with us more... He's gone out with us one time so far... but we're hopeful. He's a really busy guy. He works as a bus driver from Danli to Teguc and makes the trip at least 2 times both ways every day, if not 3 times.

We went walking the other day, like normal missionaries in Honduras do, and a man on a motorcycle waved us over to him and we almost didn't go because many people had rejected us that day and many people had what we believe is wrong and we thought he'd be another one of those. But we went over anyway and it turns out that that guy is less active and told us, "I want to come back to church again. I've had some things happen in my life and I know from experience that the only happiness that lasts exists in the LDS church." So we are visiting him more and what's even better is his wife isn't a member but is ready to listen to the gospel and be baptized if it's true. :D After that hard day, the Lord gave us a gift. That gift was this new less-active/friend named José Jimenes. Some things that people don't understand about less-actives is that they are not broken people, just broken-hearted. Once they realize that they are missing something in their life and they find it, they become some of the strongest members in the church. José is just amazing!

This month, we've been studying the Holy Ghost and personal revelation. One of the ideas we were asked to do... and I still need to do it... is keep a daily journal of the revelation that you receive and how you acted after your received it. What was the result? The other idea was to recognize and keep count of how many times you feel and follow the impressions of the Spirit everyday. I would also add: write your experiences down on paper. As we get better at recognizing the Spirit, we will have more revelation. Some revelations we haven't received only because we haven't listened hard enough.

We still haven't heard from Angel except that he said he still wanted to be baptized but other than that... nothing. We haven't heard from him since this past Sat. and isn't answering his phone for us or for any members. I don't know what's happened to him. We don't know where he lives either... because we taught him in a member's house and he always just came to the house at night on his own.

The funeral happened last week. Here they bury dead people the next day and the night after their death, they hold mourning services. It was really confusing and really fast too. After one day, it was all over. The mom was a wreck though. She still doesn't look the same. I can't imagine how she feels still. Dinia died because of a bacteria in her blood, not from cancer. They have all the equipment here in Tegucigalpa and Dinia had an appt. to have surgery to help fix everything but she died before they had the appointment. I haven't seen Angel since her death so I honestly don't know how he feels.

Not a ton happened this week. Just good lessons and I finally learned how to ask inspired questions. I'm not even near perfect at it still but I have been able to 1) Listen; 2) Interpret the Spirit; and 3) Ask the question that the Spirit directs. The other day, Elder Saucedo looked at me after a lesson and just was dumbstruck because of the questions I had asked our investigator. Here they typically don't know why it matters what church you join and not just because you like it. This is what they normally say, "It's the same God, right?" "God won't come for a church, WE are the church." "All the religions are His church. It doesn't matter which one we join." So generally, I just ask, "Why do you think that Christ came and establish His own church with Apostles and Prophets? Why would He do that when there were already Pharisees and Sadducees and Scribes--- essentially, 'Other Churches'?" or sometimes I have asked, "Why would God teach one thing to one people and another doctrine to another people? Isn't God unchanging and constant, the same yesterday, today, and forever?" That normally makes them think hard and long about the purpose of God and church in their life. The only thing they do understand is that church helps them grow closer to God. That's always a plus. :D

But, having said all that, it's not like a formula. We don't have a specific and robotic output for every input, or in other words, we don't just respond the same way because people ask the same questions or say the same things. It's a continual process of revelation that is different for EVERY person we meet. The Spirit directs which questions and with which words and with which intonation and EVERYTHING. I have come to realize more and more, that in a very intimate way, this work is the Lord's work. That's why I think Jesus is called the Husbandman many times in the scriptures (also because of the Atonement) because he is very intimately related in every way to our salvation and freedom from death, spiritual and physical. I have felt the love that He has for all of God's children. It's hard to explain but it's real. It's very real.

Love you family and have a great week full of fun surprises. LOVES! :D

Hurrah por Isreal!
Spencer Tuft

PS I was able to baptize Miguel Antonio :D He is sooooo PILAS!

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