This week has been full of preparations for the Tour of Elder Uceda. He is going to come on Wednesday. We start with conferences here in Santa Cruz then we have ward council training. The next day he'll be in Puerto Suarez and my companion Elder Allasia and I will be in our area working like normal. Then on Friday there are a few other meetings and then on Saturday we are traveling to Tarija to be in the Zone Conference there with him and President. We'll come home that same night in time to go to church on Sunday. I'm nervous to say the least. President I think is a bit nervous too. I don't blame him though. I would be too if a 70 was coming to MY mission to see how its going.
Our area is doing well. Elder Allasia and I have had a few differences a week ago. This week I fasted for us. We were struggling to come to common ground but this week was much much better. We started talking more openly, and really we get along much better. I think President knew that I was going to learn a lot about my pride in this companionship. I was so focused on me and not our companionship and it ruined us. As I fasted I realized that I really am nothing without Christ. I needed Him this week and because of Him our companionship is better and getting better aún.
The area is doing well. This week on Monday and Tuesday we were in Tarija with President for the Zone Conference. It all went really well. We forgot the mics in the office (In SC) and were so scared that we were going to need them in the Conference but it turned out we didn't even use them. President had us direct the practices but luckily without mics! We were very grateful. We did intercambios with the Zone Leaders there in Tarija and I learned a lot from them. They really are good leaders who love the people they serve.
Also we talked to a family in the street on Tuesday night with Elder Murillo (my old comp). It was cool to be with him again. Just like old times. The mom was holding a baby in her arms and the dad was holding the hand of a small boy with down syndrome. They were the cutest family in the whole world. I asked how old her kids were and she said her son was 3 and her daughter (the baby in her arms) was 12. I asked again just to make sure I heard right and she said smiling, "yes, shes 12" We talked a little more with the parents and it turns out she was an "eternal baby" the mom said. She grew until the size of a 1.5 or 2 year old and stopped growing. She never developed the ability to talk but was a full functioning baby! It was the coolest thing Id ever heard. I was touched by the pure love this mother had for her daughter and the loving protection that her dad offered. I want to be like those parents one day. Even though they are not members of the Church, they had the light of Christ and have been blessed with the sacred responsibility of caring for 2 of Gods beloved children.
Then we came home on Wed morning to be able to work all day in our area. Abundancia (Bountiful) is progressing and we have seen a lot of miracles this week. Our goal was to teach everyone, everywhere. We talked to everyone like normal but we put an extra effort to teach them in that moment. In the very second of meeting someone we taught principles of the gospel. We saw a difference in the interest of people. Some, yes rejected our message, but the people that accepted us had a better understanding of our purpose. We not only are there to share a message about Christ. Lots of churches "share messages about Christ". We teach the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and have the authority to do so. As a companionship, our vision changed. Our purpose is Invite to others to come unto Christ through the restored Gospel. Now in every moment we find, we teach. And in every moment that we teach, we find.
On the 29th of August, the Leon Family was baptized and confirmed members of the Church. Like all other converts, we have the responsibility to teach them the 5 lessons again, and help them progress to the temple. This week we went to the Leon Family to teach them the first lesson again (The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ). We left being taught by them, not the other way around. We read the account of Jose Smith in JSH which the invited the Spirit. Joseph himself taught, "El Espíritu Santo es un revelador, y ningún hombre puede recibir el Espíritu Santo sin recibir revelaciones". The Leon Family felt the Spirit and received revelation. Rosa (the madre) told us she had recently read a scripture in Alma 40 about the resurrection of our bodies. We read it in Alma 40:23 and she taught me something about the nature of God.
God creates things, lets them learn (maybe gives them weaknesses or lets them die) and then restores they in their own given time.
Just as our bodies were created by God, the Gospel was formed by Christ. Just as our bodies are subject to pain and death, the Gospel too was beaten, rejected, and was taken from the earth (died). Just as the Gospel of Christ now has been restored to never again be taken, we too as children of God will be resurrected and glorified to never again taste the pain of death. Even the earth we live on will one day receive a higher glory after being killed and reborn. Gods pattern is to create, teach, and glorify.
I was taught by a convert of the church who was baptized 1 week ago. They understand the doctrine of Christ and I was touched by their pure understanding. I learned that a pure heart and clean mind are necessary for the Spirit to teach and inspire. I look up to this family a lot. They are wonderful people who have Spiritual Gifts I will never understand. They then gave us the referral for several family members who they want to share the Gospel with.
Hurrah for Israel!