It is difficult to put into words the feelings of a mission.
It´s hard to explain how I felt this past week.
Happy, yet humbled, I think.
I am definitely being humbled every day as I remember that this is not my work. "And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man somtimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy, and he that findeth mercy and endureth to the end the same shall be saved."
Sometimes it is difficult to work your very hardest, with exact obedience - "Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them." -and not see all of your investigators choose to accept the gospel.
It is even more difficult when you know your investigators have been progressing or receiving answers to their prayers. "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man...". I would say the thing I am learning most in the mission is patience. I know I have said that many times before, but it is so true. I am trying to be patient with myself, with my investigators, with the plan of our Heavenly Father..."Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their partience and their faith".
But, I am learning that if I do my part, am diligent with this work, my investigators will progress according to what the Lord sees best. "But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage (or help your investigators progress.)"
I am gaining a strong testimony of this gospel and the plan of salvation. It is an honor to say I am a representative of Jesus Christ and to help love and serve the people here in Chile. This week we saw great progression with Daniel and Mauricio (both papa and hijo).
Daniel has been looking for work the last two months and finally found a job this weekend. His schedule is every Saturday and Sunday, 10-9. He asked us if he could change his baptism date from this Saturday to Friday but obviously, we had to explain el día de reposo and that if he wasn't able to come to church after his baptism, he wouldn't be able to be confirmed nor tompoco partake of the sacrament every week. He was very aware and of the situation and said that he would talk to his job and see if they could change the dates. He was able to change his schedule so that for the first month, he would work Sundays 1-9 so that he could come to Sacrament meeting, and after the first month, he would change to a Friday/Saturday schedule. WAHOO. Because of some family drama, he is going to be baptized next Friday.
Mauricio papa and Mauricio hijo are progressing very well! Both came to church yesterday and had a positive experience. Mauricio hijo told us he prayed about the Book of Mormon and said that immediately after, he had no doubt that it was true. He accepted to be baptized this Saturday with Daniel, but yesterday in church, he explained that he wanted to wait a bit longer. Tomorrow we are going to see if he wants to be baptized with Daniel for the following week. I don't want to rush him and think that it is best for him to spend more time with the lessons and getting to know the members in the ward. He has a blast with the youth and loves coming to church. He is a great example to his dad and other family members. His mom is VERY catholic and I think may be playing a part in why he is holding back a bit, but luckily the papa is very supportive!
Yesterday, in between Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society, I saw Hermano Roman outside, standing in the street, in front of the church. I grabbed Hermana Martinez and ran out to invite him inside. He refused to come in and simply wanted to wait for his wife to walk home with her. We sat there and stared at each other for a good while, I smiled and said, "Hermano, Priesthood is about to start, and I think it's your time." I then took him by the arm and escorted him to Priesthood! After church, he found me, smiled and said "Thank you. I better see you at my house this Wednesday for pizza." :)))) Let's hope we can see a miracle with this guy.
We had an amazing Family Home Evening with Familia Navarro! They accepted to come to church....and of course, didn't show up. It is so frustrating!!!! Aaahhh. It is the same every week. We have an amazing lesson, the spirit is so strong and they are all about "We want to be family forever and make the temple our goal, blah blah blah...." and then they never show up to church. Please say 10 prayers for them this week. Thank you.
The mission is freaking hard. I'll just say that. Every night I am extremely exhausted; physically, emotionally, mentally....but it is all worth it when you can see the miracles of your investigators changing, progressing and gaining a testimony of this gospel. "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."
Love you all! I am so happy to hear you had a nice, easy, laid back week. Tay Tay, keep up the good work! Becca, I hope you enjoy your last week and dance camp! Mom and Cam, enjoy the sun for me and Dad, keep being the boss! Jer, Tina and Scotty Boy, love you 3! :)
Thanks for everything you do!
Love, Hermana Pendleton