Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Anyone can be healed through the power of Christ."

Hey Fam! How is everyone? I'm doing well. This week has been great. Our investigators have done well with keeping their commitments, and they're starting to really see some results.

There's a family in our ward named the Contreras family. I don't remember if I'd mentioned them before. The mom, and six of the seven kids are members. The father and one son are not members. The son (Fernando) is friendly, but doesn't seem to have any interest in the gospel. We've been teaching the father (Carlos) for a while now though. He's always had a desire to truly follow the Savior, but he's suffering from a strong addiction, and he doesn't know how to read, so he feels like he's hopeless. He came to church for the first time on Sunday. He enjoyed it alot. It's great to see his progress, and the way that his family is helping him and supporting him in his struggle to prepare for baptism despite his challenges. I've learned alot about the enslaving power of Satan's methods as I've gotten to know Carlos better, but as we watch him do his best, I've also been learning alot about the incredible strength of the Atonement. Anyone can be healed through the power of Christ.

We've also been teaching Alejandro. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned some things about him in the past, but just to review his story. A month and a half ago we were knocking doors, and we found a lady named Maricruz. She's a single mother of like six young young children, and she looked pretty interested in the message. We came and taught her once, but she didn't end up seeming very interested after that. A couple days later we were walking down the street, and a man with a lit cuban cigar in one hand, and a bottle of strong liquor in the other hand stopped us on our way. He was in the more advanced stages of drunkenness. He introduced himself as Alejandro, and explained that he's Maricruz's brother. He talked about how the time we came to share the gospel with Maricruz, he could hear us from the kitchen, and just felt something special while he was listening. He said he wanted us to come talk with him, and teach him a little more about what we represent. We set an appointment, and later arrived with three of the ward missionaries. We found him drunk once again, but well aware of the appointment, and ready for the message. We talked first about the word of wisdom, then about prayer. He refused to pray or allow any of us to pray. He said he just doesn't like those things. We ended up focusing the remainder of the visit on the word of wisdom, and he committed to quit drinking that day. The next time we visited him, he was sober. He explained to us that he had continued to drink until midnight that night, but that since that day, he hadn't consumed even a drop of alcohol. We talked about the Plan of Salvation a little, according to some questions that he had. He still refused to allow any prayers to happen, but he enjoyed the lesson. The next visit we went with him to the chapel. He talked about how he had joined an Alcoholics Anonymous group to help him stay away from his addictions, and that it was helping him so much. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ in front of the baptismal font, and invited him to be baptized. He didn't accept the invitation, explaining that he felt he just wasn't prepared enough to be able to be faithful to the covenant, and that he wanted more time. We shifted our focus to prayer, and finally found out that he does pray, the way that he should pray. The prayers he was against were the prayers he had heard in other settings that were mostly memorized vain repetitions. Once he realized what we meant by prayer, he allowed us to close with a prayer. Later he faced a major trial, when his friend was beaten nearly to death on a Sunday morning. He decided not to go to church, and ended up getting drunk again. Later we were talking with him, and he talked about all the peace and comfort he had felt once he had left the alcohol behind, and begun to pray and read the scriptures, and how bad he felt for having fallen back into his addiction. Anyway, last Sunday he came to church, we finally got the opportunity to share the message of the Restoration with him, and he's looking stronger every day. This week he had a special personal experience with answers to his prayers. It's been awesome to see his progress. Out of all the investigators I've ever had, he's probably had the most difficulties, but he's working hard and facing all his trials like a champion, with the Savior's Atoning Power supporting him every step of the way. Sometimes I think that guys like him would be the only ones strong enough to make it out of those tough life situations, and maybe that's why they're there. It's a good example to me. But anyway, he's still got some work to do, some good enduring to his baptism, then of course enduring to the end. So I'm sure your prayers will help him.

Daneisys has been giong to seminary and everything, she's growing in testimony daily. She's become really good friends with everyone in the ward really quickly.

We found another family last saturday named the Salas Rios family. They're living in humble circumstances. The mom was baptized a long time ago, but has been innactive for sixteen years! They have four kids, three young teenagers and a baby boy. The three older ones are preparing for baptism as well. The dad is a great guy and works super hard to provide for his family, but he seems to have a tough time. I hope we can help him out. It'll take some sincere intentions and charitable attitudes.

Anyway that's about all for this week.

Mom- I just got a dear elder from you. It was an awesome letter, the one that talked about the Meier's homecoming and Alex's talk as well. About the weather, it's super hot here again, I think it was just while the hurricane was going on in the south that things cooled down. So I hope you didn't send me a coat. haha. But if you did I can just throw it in my suitcase and bring it back home I guess. To answer your question about the lamanita, I send a new one out to the mission every week. It's pretty fun. The hardest part lately has been getting pictures from baptisms, nobody seems to send them anymore. Oh well. haha. I attached pictures of Elder Olson and I in our halloween costumes that Bam sent us (Elder Olson looks just like Charlie Chaplin I think), and new pictures we took for the Christmas Card. I guess Sister Jesperson didn't like the other one. We got a little goofy taking the pictures. The Elder using the camera was shaking or something because they kept coming out blury so it took forever, that's why we started goofing around. It's nice to get out of the regular office setting and have fun every once and a while in the mornings. I'm writing letters today finally, so I'm going to write one to Bam and tell her thanks for the Birthday present. Love ya mom. Have a great week!

Dig- Your bowling game sounds just like every time I've ever gone bowling in my life. haha. It's always that way, do well on the first couple of frames, then all I can seem to hit is the gutter. So the NBA players are all on strike? Do they think that millions of dollars is just too little for them to play a fun game every day or something? haha. Interesting. Thanks for the dear elder by the way. I enjoyed your comments about the mission. That's good that you're getting stoked about it early on. Seriously Dig, participating well in your quorum right now is going to make a huge difference on how your mission goes. I learned alot from my time in young men's. Anyway, Love ya Dig. Have a great week!

Shash- You got hot chocolate from the gas station? Sweetness! Yes I remember that time when you and I went to get hot chocolate. Those were the good old days huh. Sounds like your halloween was a blast. That was a good costume idea you and your friends had. I bet you all looked awesome. Love ya Shash. Have a great week!

Den- Well you've got a point den, I guess I can't say anything about your aggies hat if I'm not even going to the U. But the U is still the best! haha. So wrestling is getting all started up huh? What do they have in the basement? I remember wrestlers used to go down there alot, but I never went down there, I don't know why. So you're in Ms. Mcbeths huh? Ya I know who she is. I can't believe she's still there. haha. She seems like she was a really cool teacher. Love ya Den. Have a great week!

Dad- I know you were just joking about that comment that I'd maybe be a fan of some other college team once I get home and start school and stuff, but just to make sure everyone knows, I'd like to recall the countless times I stood on the third row at the U games and sung proudly the line "who am I sir, a Utah man am I, a Utah man, sir, I will be 'till I die." haha. Just kidding. But for reals. So that book about President Monson sounds pretty great. I can only imagine the things to be learned by his life example. Thanks for that little part about filling in the gaps with faith. That's awesome. I'm going to focus on that. Love ya Dad. Have a great week!

Nay- Don't worry about not writing last week. No biggie. I understand. haha. So about your questions and stuff and your situation. Sounds tough. I know how you feel when you talk about those feelings. There's been alot of times when I feel just like that. Especially in the mornings. I remember one time Elder Moberg told me something that changed my mission. He said "Some days, you'll wake up, and just feel bad. You'll just feel like you can't do it. You'll feel like you don't have what it takes, or you don't quite amount or whatever. You'll feel tired, and you won't want to go out to work. On those days, you need to get up, say a prayer, and tell Heavenly Father exactly how you feel, then tell Him that even though you feel that way, you're going to go do what you're supposed to do. Ask Him for help, and if you do your part, He'll help you every time." That's not an exact quote, I'm paraphrasing. But the idea is the same. I'm not joking Nay, there hasn't been a single day when I've tried putting that in to practice, and things didn't turn out ok in the end. My problems weren't all solved in an instant, I didn't suddenly no longer have trials or weaknesses, but I felt peace and love, and things just turned out ok. I don't know why I talk about that like it's a thing of the past, because it's actually something I have to do like every day. But it works. I'd say about two out of every three days, I get up feeling just like you talked about in your e mail. I read a quote on a bus the other day. The driver had stuck a sticker quote on the window between him and the passengers. It said "Don't tell God you have a great problem, tell your problem you have a great God." I really liked that. Just stay awesome Nay, I hope I can be like you someday when I grow up and go to college. haha. Anyway. That's awesome news about Jesus Navarro! You should see if you can get his family's address so I can figure out where they live. That's so awesome. I remember he use to ask me and my friends why on earth we would ever want to go on missions, haha. He's a good guy he'll be a strong member I bet. Anyway, Love ya Nay. Have a great week!

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar

No comments:

Post a Comment