Wow this was really stressful but super rewarding! I had the opportunity to go to a lot of different houses not just the house I live in. Hmmmmm, I have had a lot of experiences with the spirit that I am not willing to share but will share one with you this week! It happened on wednesday. we went to a house and there arouse the question of why won’t the church pay for my medical if I pay tithing….? I had a wonderful opportunity to testify in the name of our Savior that the tithing is not for medical and that if we to have the church pay that we would need to have insurance with the church..ha so this lesson was quite interesting. I was guided to say that his son would be healed if he would pay his tithing for only two weeks…. not that much time right? As i was giving this promise, I felt as if my Spirit was coming out of my body it had so much energy…
I look back on the times that we sent out missionaries two years go from our high-school. It seems like that was yesterday! I am just having a blast here in Bolivia! I have had so many opportunities to learn how to become a better person and missionary! I want to share a lil story with you guys this week about a multi-zone conference we had!
We had a conference about how to be a consecrated missionary. There was a talk given by Bishop Càusse and in this talk he shared a story about a family that was getting ready for church and they were missing their son. As they looked through the house they ended up finding him playing with his toys in his room. The dad then said “Lets go! We have to go to church” The boy looks at the dad and then at his toys. He then turned and got up from his toys and leaves them behind.
I share this story because people can do this with anything! They don’t need to have a plaque to be a consecrated missionary! They just need to leave behind their toys. This can be drugs, alcohol, parties, people that hold you back, cell phones, and much MUCH more!
As I was studying today, I looked under what it means to WORSHIP because I have seen that as members we have in the years, lost this ability. It says in True to the Faith “to worship God is to give Him your love, reverence, and devotion…if you place any person or thing above the love of God, you are practicing false worship or idolatry” This has absolutely blown me way because I was one of these people! That is why I say that we can do better in this because I have seen when we put the love of God first it really changes not only our lives but the lives of those around us!
I have seen miracles I can not deny. Like Joseph smith “I knew and I knew God knew and I can not deny!”
This week has been really difficult. I have had my recent converts not attending church and it has been really hard with my comp but what I have learned is that in every moment the Lord will guide you and help you to make good decisions! I also learned to just try…try to have a good outlook on things and try to be a better person and try to have happiness. If you try, at some point in time you will realize that you are a better person. You will have a better outlook on things. You will have more happiness than you can imagine! I have learned that life isn’t perfect. We live in a very imperfect world. Forgiveness is very much needed to be happy and to have the desire to have a mighty change of heart. I want to testify that I am having this mighty change of heart. I was not doing a lot of things correct when I was back at home. I am learning a lot more about who I was, who I am and who I want to be. I am happy to say that I am changing a lot and for the better!
The mission has been amazing so far! I really do love each and every moment I get to spend here in lovely Bolivia !!! We had a conference with Elder Wadell and he wiped us right into shape! In south america we have 1.3 million members and 1.2 are inactive and so he talked that we need to baptize converts not just people which is absolutely true!
Then I had the opportunity to take Oscar Soto to a stake meeting which was beautiful for him! He is such a wonderful investigator and he will be baptized in time. I just don’t know when…hopefully within the next two weeks!!!!
Yesterday was 5 months! Can you believe it because I cant!!! I just want to end with my testimony that I know without a doubt the church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints is TRUE!!!! I know that we are guided by God and Jesus Christ through a living prophet AMEN.
Saturday we had another baptism of the other missionaries which was super cool! It was two little girls that were able to be baptized by their grandpa and he did an amazing job. I felt the spirit so strong and then afterward we went and taught a lesson to a family. The spirit legit spoke through me. I could tell that I was not speaking. I found in my study of the Liahona the other day, that there is a part about 6 pages in, that has a little column. In the column has a scripture from the Doctricne and Covenants. I can’t remember exactly but it says “Be still and know that I am God” and this was such a big eye opener because I have been trying to do every thing on my own. This has been soooooooo hard. I finally started realizing that I need to let go of my pride a little bit more and just accept the things that come my way. Boy has this worked!!!!! I have been thinking a lot about home… but not about coming home….. just about…. for example: staying up late and having cookies and milk so I could go to bed of the dunes, or just being around the family in general. I just miss it but I am loving the mission and I am not coming home till I have served 2 years or the Lord has another need of me! I love and miss each and every person that reads this letter!
I have freaking amazing news for this week! I got to participate in my first baptism which was so nerve racking but so amazing at the same time!! I finally feel like I’m changing lives here in Bolivia! I will give you every detail that i can think of! So the baptism font is like every other baptism font. I got all dressed up in white and put on my white temple shoes. I was like, man, I feel like an angel! So as the family walked in, I walked out to greet them, The first thing that Hermano Choque said to me is “Wow Mell, you look like you’re an angel!” This made me smile like I just won the lottery!! So I know the words to the baptism in English but I was a little nervous in Spanish. But I did it! “Habiendo sido comisionado por jJesucristo, yo te bautizo en el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo, y del Espritu Santo” I got to do this for both of the younger girl which was amazing!! So Ii have TWO baptisms!!!! then also Elder Salas baptized their older brother Codi!!