Tuesday, March 31, 2015

General Conference weekend, Easter Week, Baptism of Alexander

Hello Family and Friends,

Everything is heating up here in Honduras for La Semana Santa! We had a candle in our house that melted to the counter in a little pile because it was so hot. We've lost a bunch of investigators because they aren't progressing and others because they never are home. We're still working hard and having fun at the same time. This week should be an awesome week with General Conference and Easter just ahead. I never had loved Gen. Conf. like I do now. In October, I was inches away from the screen, soaking in every word and loving every minute, seeing people from home that I knew on the screen. The missionaries thought it was weird that I knew so many people.

This week we just had two investigators come to church. Vicente is working as a firefighter. We prayed everyday that he would find work and so he found work. But now he won't come to church. Sandra, his wife, doesn't get that her church is the wrong church she says, "The Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith was a Prophet... what's that? I need to go to your church???" But we've explained it in every way possible: with members, without members, with other missionaries. It's always the same answer, "I already go to a church."

Damaris had a melt down last night. We passed her house and I saw her sitting in the shadows and I didn't think anything of it as we passed. So I waved and kept going. I took less than five steps, I think, when I just turned around. (Everyone says, I felt that I needed to do this or that, etc. when they feel the Holy Ghost, but this was a different experience. I know it was the Holy Ghost, but I didn't hear any words or feel anything.) I just turned. It felt natural and as I was walking, I asked myself, why go back? But I just kept walking. I got close enough to see that something was wrong. It was dark outside and I couldn't see her face but I heard her crying. We sat down next to her and asked what was wrong. She told us her "boyfriend-ish" person came and accused her of being with another guy (complete lie) and then beat her. The ironic thing is that her "boyfriend-ish" person has another women that lives with him. We sang, "Nearer My God to Thee" and I turned to tell her little boy, Leonel, "take care of your mom," and he responded, "I CAN'T!" and then ran to the bed and started to cry. I went over to him and he gave me the biggest hug ever. We cried with them. I learned what is was to "mourn with those that mourn." I've never known what to do to help someone crying but I understand now. They are such a special family. God loves them a lot. I felt his love for them that night.

This week we had Alexander's baptism. He bore his short testimony after and was really happy. His mom has been going back to church and was in the investigator class (Gospel Principles) and threw a fit because, "I'm not an investigator!" I had to explain that she wouldn't understand the other classes as much if she didn't understand the basics first. I proved to be right when she started arguing later about modern revelation and prophets in these days. I ended the conversation between the teacher and her and told her we would take the time later that day to explain things to her. Well, to explain a little more, yes, Alexander's mom, was baptized about 25 years ago but didn't go back after a few months of being a member. So we went to her house and she was waiting for us. She started to argue with us again and it was difficult to invite the Spirit into the lesson. When she stopped talking, we waited for a good five seconds to let everything calm down and sink in and then we shared our testimonies about prophets and shared scriptures about prophets in the Bible. By the end she was saying, "Now I understand the need for prophets." We continued teaching the Restoration and she shared with us that she was baptized because the other missionaries told her to compare the Book of Mormon with the Bible and so she thought it was the Bible. So she didn't read much further into it and was baptized. Somehow she missed the question in her interview, "Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet?" So she told us at the end when we invited her to read the Joseph Smith Pamphlet that she wasn't just going to read it but that she would fast and pray to understand it the day before reading it. We'll see if she actually did it later today. I hope.

Me basta decir que el bautismo fue muy bueno y que yo le bautizó a Alex. Voy a enviar otra foto del bautismo.  (Suffice it to say that the baptism was very good and I was able to baptized Alex. I will send another picture of the baptism.)

Samael Navarro, our old mission leader, came back from his mission early because he wasn't sleeping and was really sick and had hair falling out. He's doing a lot better now but he sleeps for hours on end. The bishop called him to be our mission leader again :D.

So last Monday, our zone got to watch Wreck it Ralph for P-day and I loved it so much that I'm going to share what I learned this week by quoting a little from it. There's a part where Ralph dives down out of the sky at the very end and he says, "I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me." As I thought a lot about 'agency' this week, choices: good and bad, consequences, and Adam and Eve, I learned more deeply that without the bad we cannot have good. We can accept that we are not perfect. One the phrases that I learned and have remembered for a while now is: Our imperfections make us perfect. I liked this phrase before just because it was a cool cliché but I understand it more now. I hope that this Easter Season we can all learn a little more about the role of Jesus Christ in our lives. We all fall short of the glory of God but because He rose from the tomb and from Gethsemane, and because He lives, we also can live. We can be forgiven of our sins.

Love you all and I hope you have a great Easter Sunday and Conference Weekend!

Elder Tuft
¡Hurrah por Israel!

Thanks for all the pictures you sent me this week! I love seeing everyone and all the great pictures. Wish I was as photogenic as Milo! :D

I am a little confused about the happenings with Lindsay this week. I hope she's doing better now. Will she be fixed for good or will they have to clean her out frequently? What caused all this? Is she still sick from what she had before and she just got worse because she wasn't going to the bathroom?

The Lauren you met I think is Lauren Brinton. She was a friend from school last year. That's cool that you got to go to the school with Milo and see a few familiar faces.

Love you Mom! Thanks for all the updates and the support you give me!

Thank you for your insights every week. They are always a highlight on Mondays (everyone's letters are highlights but I like hearing your thoughts that you learn every week).

When I was reading about Grandpa, I felt like a warm wave was washing over me. I felt the words in my mind, "You do everything you know how to do and I will be there with you." It was reassuring to know that God is always there for me in the good and the bad. I'll make sure to study the scriptures you sent me.

Ward Councils are very productive but then the members flake during the week. But the ward is getting better. We've had a recent problem with cell phones and wifi and people talking or playing during a lesson or a talk. Many of the investigators have told us that it shouldn't be that way. The members should be examples in all the things. We aren't perfect but we are different. People should see the difference that we make and that we are.

Love you Dad!

Get better Lindsay! And keep up the good, hard work Giavanna!
Love you family! :D

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