Sunday, February 12, 2017

Our First Normal Week in a Long Time! January 14, 2017

Hello Everyone! Well yes this was our first "normal" week in a really long time. At the start of the week it was really hard not to be stressing about how we were going to get the work in our area progressing again. Elder Caballero my companion struggled with it the most and it was hard to see him go through that. But something that I have learned here in my mission, especially in my first area that stress is a lack of faith. This week was a chance for us to increase our faith more than anything in going back to work and trying to find people to get progressing again. That first day in the area was really hard. We walked all over trying to find new investigators to teach and the ones that we had been teaching while we were gone werent home. That night we went over to our ward mission leaders house, and we found him so excited for us. He asked us why we hadnt been at church that Sunday and we told him that we had been in Huatulco with President Madsen. He told us "Elders you wont believe who all came to church, Belen and her husband came on their own and they were so excited to be there, and then Jose and Lulu were there too" It was a tender mercy because we hadnt been in our area for so long, and the Sundays that we had been there we hadnt had investigators come to church. And now we had complete families coming?? It was a testimony that this is the Lords work, he does the work and we are simply his instruments. It was also a testimony that he is aware what we are doing, what our circumstances are, and what our capabilities are. He realized that we couldnt do anything about the work this past week, so he did it for us. When we are there he allows us to do our part and he does the rest. It is just a huge testimony of his love for us. So after we got this great news from our Mission Leader we put plans the next day to go see these families. With Belen and her husband Angel, we found them yesterday at their store in the market. When we got there we just found her husband and we started talking to him and found that he had a huge need and desire to repent of everything. He had a lot of guilt for things that he had done in the past and told us that he was willing to do anything that was possible to be able to get rid of the guilt that he has. So we told him about the blessings and covenants of baptism, the promises that were involved in baptism and he asked us "what do I have to do to prepare myself for this it is exactly what I need" so we told him that he had to work to be able to live the commandments of God and learn the basics of the gospel. We also had to explain to him that in order for him and his wife to be baptized they needed to get married. He told us that he had wanted for a long time to get married but there were always things that got in their way. We told them that God would provide the way for them to not only get married but have a happy relationship that would last eternally. He told us that these were two things that he needed, to be married and to be rid of all the guilt that he has. He told us to keep a secret from his wife because it was something that she wanted too but he wanted to make it a surprise for her. Hermano Gil (Our Ward Mission leader) is going to help us in this process to get them married and they have a goal to be baptized on the 11th of February. Speaking of weddings and marriages and stuff, Jose and Lulu finally figured out what is going on with their process. The judge that is passing all of the paperwork lost the paperwork but was too afraid to tell them. This past week they found the paperwork again and when Jose went to the office to see what is going on she told him and Jose said that she has 10 days to pass the papers or he will file complaints against all the office there. So we are holding out hope and praying that the judge will remember to do all the paperwork and get Jose passed so that we can get them married in the next few weeks. Jose is super excited because we know it is so close, Lulu is feeling a little down because of all the time that was wasted thinking that it was close. But we know that it will all work out. We know that the Lord is working in our area. It is a test of patience and faith. Everyone is so close, they each have one little thing that is keeping them from making these sacred promises with the Lord. But we made it through the trial of our faith, and we are beginning to see the fruit develop in the work in our area. This week we have been preparing to do the Missionary program here in the city. There are 4 different stakes where we are going to be doing it and 4 different sets of missionaries that will be putting the program on. But after these last transfers I became the only one here in the city that could play the music on the piano and so it has been a busy week helping Sister Madsen prepare all of the musical numbers. Many missionaries here have never seen music before and have never learned to listen to music and learn by it. So it has been a process of not only teaching them a song, but how to learn to sing the song. In the church where we have been practicing there are 2 pianos. Sister Madsen works with the big group of missionaries, the choir, and then I work with the separate groups helping them to learn their parts. It is something that I have never done before but I watched my mom do it for years. It is not easy but it has also been fun to be able to teach them. I will be playing the piano for 3 of these programs and it has really stretched me because it is music that I have never been able to play before and with the assignment there is no time to practice. So the practice comes when everyone is singing to it. I feel like I am learning during this time what my capacities are and how to depend on the Lord to take me past what my capacities really can be. I am so thankful to him for helping us as missionaries to be more than what we expect of ourselves and what others expect of us. It is the beauty of this work, people and missionaries become more and they become what God sees of them. I am so thankful to be a part of this work here in Oaxaca. I hope that each of you have a great week this week! Elder Peterson

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