Tuesday, March 4, 2014

AND IT CAME TO PASS

1 And it came to pass, that after two thousand and thirteen years had passed away, that there arose a man who was mighty in the ways of speaking and writing, and in that same year, he journied to the land of of Tijuana.

2 And there he served the Lord for a period of two years, or until the two thousand and fifteenth year, and the Lord was pleased with him, and blessed him and all of his household.

Holy cow it´s hard to write scriptures.

How´s it going everyone? I´m sure you´re all fine and dandy.

This week was really tough on me. Not just because we didn´t have a lot of success, but more than anything because I just kept running into problems in the offices.

So, I´ll start with our investigators first.

1- Brother M. He´s a really cool guy. He was deported around 5 months ago, but found a job and is now living here with his wife who speaks more English than Spanish. He´s progressing really well, and despite working 6 PM to 4 AM he still goes to church. Really cool guy. He didn´t come to church last week because he didn´t get back home until around 6 AM that Saturday. It was hard on him and he couldn´t get up to go to church at 8:30.

2- Sister G. She´s a relatively new investigator. We haven´t taught her anything but L1, but she's actually basically a member already. She goes to church on her own, pays her tithing, and feeds us whenever we visit. It´s really awesome. She came to church this Sunday, which was awesome! (The only investigator in church however. Kind of depressing)

3- Sister P. I like to call her "Milagrosa Mujer" (Miraculous Woman). We were visiting a family that has been investigating the church since Adam and Eve, and we wanted to see what happened to make them stop going to church. We contacted this lady and found out that she actually had a ton of questions. We answered them quite easily, and in fact, she gave us a couple questions we didn´t actually know how to answer.

For instance, where in the Bible does it say that the Sabbath Day is on Sunday? All evidence in the Bible is actually pointed to Saturday. I studied hard the following morning, and found Acts 20:17. It was the best I could manage.

She got on the Internet and looked up Mormons. We all know how great of a source the Internet is to get information about religion. So she found out about Poligamy, the gold plates, and basically just all the stuff that we really don´t like talking about because it doesn´t matter. (PMG Chap. 5 "Use the Book of Mormon to Respond to Objections")

So basically, we answered everything and she began to listen to us. We taught all of lesson 1 and she accepted a Book of Mormon. She told us she was just reading out of curiosity, but I can almost guarantee that if we add a little more of the Spirit into the mix I think we´ll get a nice strong convert.

That´s the grand total of investigators that we have right now! Pretty grim looking, but we´re dedicating this week to find.

Alright, so that´s the investigator part, but I´m sure no one cares about that and all they want to hear about is whether or not I survived the 3 knife fights and 4 shoot outs that I´ve had in the past week.

Well, sorry to say, I didn´t actually kill the last one. Just got him in the leg and he got away.

hahahahahahahahaha

Okay, cool stuff:

1.) Have you ever had Carrot-Apple-Pear-Pineapple-Celery juice? It´s the weirdest tasting thing I´ve ever tasted! David, the old Ward Mission Leader in Postal, made us some on my last week, and I realized I forgot to write about it! It tasted pretty good actually. Like Apple juice, but that tasted like vegetables. It was awesome. Dunno exactly how to describe it.

2.) WE DIDN´T HAVE ANY GAS FOR AROUND A WEEK.

That was just beyond frustrating. I paid for the gas, and then later, I found out that I had to PAY AGAIN to make sure that the service got reconnected. After getting it reconnected, we didn´t have it for like, 2 more days after because we had to wait for the service to be normal again. I was so desperate for hot water in the mornings that I took a pitcher of water, stuck it in the microwave for 3 minutes and bathed with that. It was actually really awesome after taking a cold shower for a week.

3.) I´ve been thinking a lot about Homestarrunner. Mostly just because Elder L says "freakin" a lot and it reminds me of "I FREAKIN HATE SIBBY!"

Dunno. It was just super funny to me when I thought about it.

4.) I passed 6 months here in Tijuana. I´m about to hit 8 months in the mission. Just crazy how fast time is moving. I´m only 3 months away from having 52 weeks left in the mission. What are the blocks at home at? It´s just super crazy for me.

5.) I´ve been really discouraged for the past few days. Mostly just because many of the members here are very very VERY closed to missionaries. Especially because the missionaries that were here before began to planch everyone. (Basically just tell them they were going to go to hell if they didn´t give references.) So we´re starting from the ground up with the member trust. In fact, we´re even starting at square one with our leaders. Basically, it´s like we´re opening a new area. Exactly like that. It´s hard, and beyond any way to say it other than that.

So, in light of that, I´ve thought a lot about something that I heard one day: "You'll come to find that missions depend entirely on faith. The missionaries that have the most faith have the most success."

After thinking about that, I began to realize that I have really no faith at all. I mean, I have a little, but I honestly cannot say that I ask for a reference believing that I will receive one. Heck, I cannot even say that I contact someone honestly believing they will accept. It´s really bad to think that way, but that´s just where we´re at right now.

So, I began to study in Chapter 6 again. That´s where I go whenever I have problems in the mission. If I have problems with my companion, I study in Chapter 6. If the members aren´t giving me references, I study in Chapter 6. If I just really feel discouraged and like nothing is going right, I study Chapter 6. It´s honestly my favorite chapter right now.

I specifically studied in Faith and Hope, because I really could use a double dose of that. And I found something very interesting. According to Preach My Gospel:

"Faith leads to action, including repentance, obedience, and dedicated service."
"Your faith will be manifest through diligence and work."
"God works by power, but His power is usually exercised in response to faith"

After reading this, I began to think, and I wrote in my Study Journal a really cool idea.

Faith leads to Action. Which means, if we have faith, we will perform actions according to our faith. Or in other words, little faith, little actions. Lots of faith, lots of actions.

Faith, because it is a principle of action, will be manifest through diligence. Now, that means that Faith and Diligence are interrelated.

Finally, God works by power, which is a response to Faith. Which means that God responds according to our diligence, seeing as Faith is manifest by diligence.

All of this piles into one big conclusion:

Diligence is the only way to see miracles.

We can fast, pray, and read the scriptures all we want. But unless we are diligent, absolutely nothing happens.

The consistent act of doing what you supposed to do without murmuring automatically qualifies the person doing the act for a miracle; but that doesn't mean that it will happen right then and there, because, as Preach My Gospel says as well:

"You are able to do miracles according to the Lord’s will."

So that was a huge eye opener for me this week. I really need to be more diligent.

6.) It rained HARD a couple of days ago. It was so bad that President said that the missionaries had to stay inside! It was crazy! There was water that ran like rivers in the streets. Just absolutely insane. Of course, we were lucky and we stayed inside the offices to watch it. It was super cool to see it all. I got to see what rain looks like from far away. It´s like a cloud. Really cool.

Alright, that´s about it for this week. Nothing really super awesome happened. I mean, we have experiences here and there but none that are really WOW I GOTTA SHARE THIS WITH MY FAMILY type deal.

I hope all is well at home. I´m still trucking along here and I know you guys are too.

Keep on keepin on!

I love you all.

I would love you in a box, I would love you with a fox. I would love you in the rain, and I would love you on a train.

But I will not eat Green Eggs and Ham.

Elder Carter

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