Sunday, January 12, 2014

No Effort is Ever Wasted

Let's see.  This week was pretty good.  Our MLC was rescheduled from two weeks ago to this last Thursday.  That was an experience.  I was scared out of my mind.  Everyone always spoke of MLC as hours of being chastised and humiliated in front of the rest of the zone leaders and STLs. I was terrified.  Especially since Elder Carlson and I were placed in an area with no progression. However, upon arriving, we were greeted by hot pancakes, fruit and maple syrup.  Not too shabby, I could get used to the life as a Zone Leader. What made it even better is seeing all my buddies. Plus, my boys that I was with in the MTC are also zone leaders now so we had a wonderful reunion. My terror was rekindled when we took our seats and waited. Too my sweet surprise, there was no chastising or humiliation.  It was actually quite an amazing spiritual experience. We discussed the doctrines of the kingdom, determined how to improve our mission, and then ate lunch.  It was a great day.  

I have to tell you about one of my favorite families ever. They are a less active family that have gone through some really tough times over the past few years including separation (there's no divorce in the Philippines so they just separate) and serious health problems.  The mother has moved away and the kids usually stay with her, but were vacationing here for the holidays with their dad. They are the freakin cutest kids ever.  Nicole, Simon and Kelvin.  They span from ages 1-10.  Over the past few weeks we have visited them multiple times and every lesson is extremely spiritual.  Someone usually ends in tears.  They expressed to Elder Carlson and I that they look forward to our arrival whenever we come and we always "save the day". The kids always come running to the door when they see us coming. We have grown extremely close to this family.  Elder Carlson and I are always giddy with excitement when the time finally comes that we can visit their family.  They have not yet made it back to church, but we know that as the spirit continues to influence their lives, we will see them back into the fold of God. 

My boy Hector (The LA (less active) that I talked about last week) made it to church again this last week.  In this last week we talked with him about going to the temple.  He has made that his next quest.  We told him that we both want him to be to our weddings, and in order to do that he has to be a temple recommend holder. He gladly accepted the challenge.  

I just want to testify that the Lord is preparing people for every missionary.  There are those out there that need specific missionaries to bring them into or back to the church.  They need specific personalities, specific talents, everything.  We had an experience yesterday with a part member family that further strengthened my testimony of this. Rosita is an active, faithful member of the church.  Her husband, Marlon, is not... yet.  We visited Marlon yesterday and quickly became good friends.  We talked about sports, lifting, and all that fun stuff.  (My enormous biceps probably spurred the conversation.  "Someone call a doctor because there's some serious swelling in that area") He had been visited by missionaries countless times.  He named off numerous missionaries that had visited their house. He had never taken interest.  We began sharing the message of the restoration.  For some reason, it just clicked with him this time. It just began to make sense.  It seemed like he was just having an epiphany the entire lesson.  He was answering all our questions and expressed to us that the knowledge of eternal families (which he had never learned before we came) was what really stuck out to him. He committed himself to read the Book of Mormon.  We didn't even have to say anything.  I'm so excited for this brother and his family.  He has been prepared by the Lord for this time in his life.  Missionaries have been planting seeds for years and it's finally time to harvest. No effort is ever wasted.  

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