This week has just been utterly exhausting. I've been finding myself going home and just DYING. Ugh.
So, you know how I said that I felt I understood Spanish better? I really do, but I don't understand it still. There are times where they talk about something, and I'm just completely lost. I'm sitting there trying to comprehend what they're saying as they wave their hands around to indicate where a road is, but the only word I pick out is "calle." Spanish is really annoying sometimes.
Also this week, we had our Zone Conference! That was great. I got to see Elder Warth! He looks like he's just had a blast here! He is fluent in Spanish, and it was so weird to hear him speak it. I was used to his English, but Spanish was just totally new. He and I talked a little bit, and it was great to catch up.
I got my package! All green! Wonderful stuff, but I can't wear bracelets! I'm sad, but I'll keep 'em anyway.
This Sunday we had the entire Stake Presidency AND a Seventy show up. The Seventy was from Mexico City, and he spoke about needing to be truly converted. He said a few things that really hit me: "We can't just stand up here and say 'I know this church is true'. We need to stand up and MEAN that." He then talked about what it meant to be converted, and then had US stand up.
"These two jovens (don't really know how that translates to English) are the greatest blessing in this ward. It is an HONOR to have them in your home, and you should do everything you can to help them. The more that you help them, the more they help you, and when you all work together, you will receive all the blessings you never thought you would have."
It was really powerful.
All in all, a decent week, but very exhausting. We had a lot to do, and very little time to do it in.
Finally, I want to tell you all right now this:
GET REFERENCES TO THE MISSIONARIES.
Do it. Not even joking. You have no clue how much references do for missionaries.
When a missionary gets a reference, that's automatically 1 new investigator (basically). That's also a lesson with a member friend, AND to top it off, that's a whole new person to ask for references! That's a whole family!
Lets look at it like this:
Mom, you refer one of your friends to the missionaries. You go with them and she accepts and is baptized. Because of that, her husband will probably be curious as to what's going on. He accepts and is baptized. The kids are all baptized because they want to follow their parents, who want to give their children this gospel. That's 6 people baptized already.
The husband has a brother who is really spiritual and lives in the area. The missionaries teach him, he and his whole family accept, and they are baptized.
In around a month, because you referred ONE person, 12 were baptized.
Do you see how crazy that is? Referrals are the best thing a missionary can have.
So, I have a committment for you. I'll leave it just like I do in Tijuana. (Spanish AND English)
Orara para encontrar alguien que puede beneficiarse de nuestro mensaje?
Will you pray to find someone that can benefit from our message?
Family, I'm holding you to this. FIND SOMEONE. FIND A REFERENCE.
I will check back in a week, just like I do with the members here, and I expect SOMEONE in the family to have given a reference to the missionaries.
I'm not joking here. You'd better do it. Pray as a family, tonight, during Family Home Evening. Dad, teach everyone how they can share the gospel, and do a roleplay. Do whatever you can to find references. President Gordon B. Hinckley said: "Many people view missionary work as simply tracting. Everyone who is familiar with this work knows there is a better way. That way is through the members of the Church. Whenever there is a member who introduces an investigator, there is an immediate support system. The member bears testimony of the truth of the work. He is anxious for the happiness of his investigator friend. He becomes excited as that friend makes progress in learning the gospel."
"The process of bringing new people into the Church is not the responsibility alone of the missionaries. They succeed best when members become the source from which new investigators are found."
Do not view missionary work as tracting. It's not tracting here. We can't do it. We literally only go from member referralls, and already, I have 4 people baptized, and a 5th on the way!
REFER SOMEONE! Don't be afraid of losing the friend because you're sharing the gospel! Most people respect beliefs, and won't leave you because you're Mormon. If they do, they just aren't worth your time.
The more you share the gospel, the easier it is to share it again, and again.
Don't worry about what to say or whatever, D&C states: "It shall be given you in the very hour what ye shall say."
So, that's my schpeil for this week.
Love you guys. Everyone. Whoever read this, I love you. I don't care if you're some dude in Europe who accidentally searched for "Elder Carter" for no reason, I love you. You're important. God loves you more than you can possibly imagine.
Do not forget who you are. Like Mufasa said, "Remember who you are. You are my son." You are a literal son or daughter of God. You cannot make him not love you.
Be good, be safe, and remember that this is true.