“Entonces hermanos; ¿teneís fe? ¿Estaís dispuestos a mostrar al Señor evidencias de vuestra fe?” -Preacher from “The Restoration”
¿Cómo estaís? The above line has been stuck in my head for the past three months nonstop. Translation is: “And so brothers, have ye faith? Are you willing to show to The Lord proof (evidence) of your faith?
Things are growing and piecing together here in Tierra Bella. We have ourselves now a healthy pool of investigators; we just need to get them all to Church. Delia is great, we finally were able to find her and share lesson 1 (the restoration) with her to explain where the Book of Mormon comes from (we had aforehand only explained what it was). She understood well the concept of dispensations, and when we finished with the Joseph Smith story she told us “This is very similar to me. I was going around to other churches and asking people about them all because I wanted to start taking religion seriously, and then two days later you showed up and I found the Book of Mormon in my house.” Very very neat.
We also were able to talk with Gavier, a friend of Paulina Mansilla (Family that was converted with Hna. Law, Elder Law's sister, has gone inactive since September, recently starting to come back) and share lessons 1&3 (The Gospel of Jesus Christ) and he understood well the need to have prophets in the world, and that there was the apostasy. Everything is so much easier for people to accept when they understand those two concepts.
We're getting things ready for our English Class! We're teaching all who wish to learn the tongue of the Brits every Friday night at the Church, that we may serve the people and find more of those who are ready for the restored gospel. We're also planning to do a weekly FHE in the Church for those who don't have families that are all members, all active, or live alone. Of course, in this way we can bring investigators as well, as there are few better ways to interest people in the Church than with activities.
In talking with Delia we've learned that she doesn't have much of a Christian foundation other than good morals, God exists. Sometimes it's easier that way because they don't have false doctrines clouding their minds. It does mean we have to go back to extreme basics in regards to how Christianity and works. (Prophets, revelation, sin, atonement, agency, covenants, scriptures, etc.) She does however know the Book of Mormon to be true, she loves it too, she was telling us how much she loves that it says things how they really are, it's very clear and plain, not confusing. (She hasn't gotten to Isaiah chapters yet). Her son wanted to come to church too, but alas, we know not what happened.
Cecelia is a bit on the other side. She too, feels great about the doctrine of the Church and believes Joseph Smith to be a prophet, but she's not as gung ho about the Book of Mormon as Delia. Still great though, we just need to share with all her family. Apparently there's a nursery in the neighboring ward that her kids go to, so she's familiar with things of the Church. Her parents came in from Santiago for one day though, so she didn't come to church.
Jean Pierre (makes much more sense than Jenper, it just sounds that way when pronounced Spanish) is still good for everything, but turns out his dad wants to be here for the baptism, but can only come in by the 15th. (Ugh, one day after Sunday) So we might be postponing their baptism to that day.
Miracle Reports: I forgot to talk about this one. We were talking with one of the teachers in the ward and he was saying how he wanted to go visit Abraham with some of the other teachers and us to see how he is and invite him back to church and all. We went with him and we found him! It turns out he had been out in “the campo” -field, country, a ranch, etc.- for the past three months, and would be returning there in three days. So we were able to find him at almost the only time possible in many months. His mom had plasterwashed him about not getting baptized until he's “mature” but he still believes the Church is true, and had actually gone a few times while in the campo. He came to church with us the next Sunday and is going to try while he returns to the campo.
We hadn't talked with Delia for a long time (she has a very difficult tricky work schedule, usually arrives around 9 or 11) and we stopped by her house at about 9:05. She wasn't there, so we were going to continue with our other back-up plans but I felt that we should go up to a bench and wait for 5 minutes. At the end of that five minutes she showed up!
In one of our lessons with Cecelia we planned to check up on her reading, invite her to church, and the Word of Wisdom. While in the prayer however, I kept seeing the cover of Lesson 2 (Plan of Salvation) and felt like that's what we should do, but Elder Law was leading out the lesson. Of course, he was in tune with the Spirit as well and started off teaching the pre-mortal life. I love revelation.
We were hunting down the stray address of someone that had asked for pictures of Jesus and were having not so much luck. The address was 780 of a certain street, so we found the duplex of 782 and 778. We asked at the house anyway if they knew where the address was (if it existed) and found Karen, a woman who told us she had been thinking and worrying about baptism and religion and everything lately because she knew she was baptized as a baby but knows that wasn't fully right because she made no decision. She also, works all the week and we caught her at one of the rare times of the week when she's home. She asked us if we had anything she could read to learn more about the Church.
My, what a beautiful thing the Gospel is. I know that Christ lives and is the only hope we have of true happiness in this and the next life. And as clearly as I know that, I know that Joseph Smith is His chosen prophet to restore and establish His Church for the last time on the Earth. Do not be ashamed or even quiet about these things. I don't care what the world says is “taboo” or “offensive” to talk about beliefs because these aren't just beliefs. These are facts, clearer than science. As C.S. Lewis said, I believe in The Gospel the same way I believe in the Sun. Not because I see it, but because by it, I can see everything else.
I love you,
Elder Kent Schwarzenegger Pimentel
P.S. It's hard to believe I'm almost done with the first transfer with Elder Law, things are flying by ridiculously fast now that we're kicking it into overdrive, which makes us want to work all the harder that we don't lose any of this precious time that is “passes us as if it were a dream.”