Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Week, General Conf, Easter, etc

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone is doing fine and from what I've read, things are spectacular. My family and friends are such good examples to me and I thank each and everyone of you for being great people and role models in my life.

Quite the Gen Conf... I loved it a lot. I had a lot of questions answered. One of my questions was, "What do I tell people that tell me, 'I already go to another church?'" I thought about that for a while. My answer came twice, as if God was making the point VERY clear to everyone. I learned that we need to explain the reason for going to church better: we go to church because the church is like a hospital and everyone is sick or hurt; we go to church because it's like a repair station and everyone is in need of repair and maintenance.

That was just one of the questions I had answered. I thought a lot about the Springville tradition of buying ice cream at Reams after the Priesthood Session and I recalled all the times Dad, Kyle, and I went to the Priesthood Session together. If I recall right, we went one time with Grandpa in Monroe and then shared ice cream at the local restaurant there. It's the simple things that make life worth living. Love has been the center of each of the memories I so dearly treasure.

I loved the phrase, "A Saint is a sinner who keeps on trying." That also was another answer to my questions. Many people wonder why we call ourselves Saints. I just tell them because we are working to perfection but I like this new definition better. :D

Every new talk that was about marriage I just looked around the small room of English speaking missionaries that were there and I pointed to each of them that were leaving really soon. It's just a friendly joke that let's them know that I'm going to miss them.

I LOVE THE PHRASE: "They lift me, and I lift thee, and we ascend together."

I also have adapted the phrase: When we try to complete and not to compete, there is more love in the home. :D

I also starting laughing inside when Dallin H. Oaks said, "If you are playing, texting, or whispering during the Sacrament, you are severing your spiritual roots and moving to stony ground." There is much more I really want to study and ponder in all the talks from this conference. (In reference to last week's email about the ward there doing a lot of talking, texting... in Sacrament Meeting.)

This conference, when Micheal T. Ringwood talked about our motivation that Mom always told me, "Wow! You are really self-motivated!" I haven't always been really self-motivated but it's something that I realize that the world needs more of. I need it a lot more still!

Many of the talks just went right over my head because I was learning so much and so I'll have to go read them all again and learn even more. I LOVE GENCONF!

I really loved President Henry B. Eyring's talk about Revelation from God and that we have the right as Priesthood holders to act and speak in the name of God but that it doesn't happen casually or just because we have been ordained to a priesthood office. We need to live every moment in our lives in a way that the Spirit can give us inspiration every day, every minute, and every second, to act and speak in the name of God. The guide of the Spirit is not acquired casually.

Okay, enough with GenConf for right now. I really loved it though!

We have just three investigators that are progressing right now. Maria, Daniela, and Sonia. I'll just talk a little about each briefly today.

Maria is reading and studying a lot. She loves to read the D&C and Pearl of Great Price but she should be reading the Book of Mormon more. She was an investigator from waaaaaaay back and it's been 15 years since she's started investigating the church. This time in her life, she looks and feels the most ready that she has been in all of her life. This is the investigator that got rid of her beer business recently. Her baptism is planned for the 18th but it may be a little bit later. We are going to talk about it more this week. Maria went to the first session of Conference and LOVED IT SOOOO MUCH! She wants a copy of the Liahona now and we are going to ask her to be baptized on the 18th again.

Daniela is really new. We've just been to her house three times but she LOVES the story of Joseph Smith and she wants to be baptized, "but not yet!" she says. Her mom is a really thick evangelist and when we taught about prophets she was astonished and didn't have anything to rebutal and so she just sat and learned for a while and answered our questions (I love inspired questions!). But when we started teaching about Joseph Smith, she told us that she wanted nothing to do with him. So we showed Daniela the Restoration video (the hour long one) and Daniela was so excited and enthusiastic that she asked to borrow the movie to show to her mom. That is a total miracle! This way her mom (Ana is her name) can watch and overcome her pride and misunderstanding without having us there and without having la pena (what is pena translated in English? [Penalty]) of being completely wrong about Joseph Smith. We feel that her mom is shutting that part of the Gospel out because she doesn't want to make a big change in her life. She knows what we teach is true and is afraid for the story of Joseph Smith to be true. Great things happening with this family.

Sonia is having a rough time right now. She might be thrown out of the room she's renting in the "cuartería" and has no where to go but to the streets. She has four little boys and no other family that want or can help her. The ward has been a huge help with her. Once her house situation gets settled, we'll be able to help her even more. Today is when she finds out if she has to leave or not. She loves the gospel and comes to church every week because she feels good there.

Damaris is at a standstill right now. She doesn't want the interview yet and said she'll tell us when she is ready. For now, I don't know what more to do except teach and extend compromisitos and promises filled with the Spirit so that she can feel motivated to make a choice on her own. We each will be backed against our own wall of faith eventually and will have to say yes or no.

Vicente and his family are needing some time and continual teaching as well. Sandra (the mom) doesn't understand that she can't go to her same church still if she knows the Book of Mormon is true. We are a bit puzzled by her slowness to understand that principle but I think she'll turn around eventually. The power of the Spirit and the hand of God change the hearts of all the children of God so that they will follow him of their own free will. Eventually, all will be judged by the desire of their hearts.

Leydi is still going to school on the weekends and so she can't be baptized but the ward is aware of her. We are still teaching her weekly and now we are teaching her neighbor as well.

We hope to see even more success this week, seeing that the last week no one was home or in the streets and we had a low week in numbers but in quality of the lessons, I'd say it was a great week. I'm happy for what we've been able to accomplish. I may be leaving this area next week but we'll see. :P One thing is for certain, the stereotype that every week we have a baptism is completely false. But the people here are in extreme need of the gospel in their lives. "Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is the Christ." :D

Have a fantastic week family! I love you all!
Kristen, I didn't forget about your birthday did I? Weeeell Happy Birthday if I did! From: Your ADORABLE, BABY hermanito! :D
Dad, Easter week was great. As you probably read, this past week we didn't have very many lessons or high numbers but the quality and the amount of the Spirit we felt was great. I'm really satisfied with our work this week. We got to see all of Gen Conf and we even watched the Spanish speakers in Spanish which is sooooo much better than a translator. In the talk about the house with the light that the girl had to walk to after seeing it in the distance, the translator for Spanish started crying as he was translating. It was really powerful! :D The follow-up with Alexander's family is going great! Alexander's mom made a 180 degree change and loves the story of Joseph Smith and believes in modern revelation and the whole sha-bang! She apologized for being so hardened to listening to us but thanked us for being patient. She made the change when we weren't there in the house. We asked her to read the Joseph Smith Pamphlet and she told us she was going to fast before reading it (I don't think she fasted but she did pray!) and God changed her heart through the testimony of Josè Smith. When we arrived to do the follow-up and she was reading the pamphlet for the second time around :D. I'm stoked about helping her progress. Who knows? She might become Relief Society counselor in a few years! :D

To answer your last question, this week is looking great! I love it here in Danli. I can't describe the change that has happened in me starting with Elder Huff and now with Elder Saucedo. My patience and love has grown and I don't want to leave this area now. I want to help this people sooooo much! I don't want to leave! But I have repeatedly felt like I will leave this next change. If not... YAY for one more change! :D

As in the thing of the thing... "in that regard", I'm doing great ;D
Mom, Are you okay? I didn't get a letter from you so I was just wondering if you got a big headache and forgot to write. I love you! Have a fantastic week and a late Happy Easter! Your Schnookie!

Elder Tuft
¡Hurrah por Israel!

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