I have probably said it in my last email but ill say it again because it is worth repeating. Gulfbank is about to explode!! The Lord is working so closely with the people here that by the end of this year, we are going to have a ward. D&C 31:7- Yea, I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand; This is what is happening down here, right now. Hermana Burnham and I have a goal that a new ward is going to be made by the end of this year. I know that it will happen.
This week was amazing. Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. came down to Houston for a tour of our mission and we had a specialized training with him this past Thursday. He told us to leave this training with Divine Discontentment. He is not happy with the numbers here. He knows that they can be so much better! He was saying how he knows that President Pingree had revelation (and it was a promise) that there are tens of thousands of people ready and waiting to receive the gospel and that he wanted to tell us that there is even more than that. We need to get to work. He couldn’t understand how people were saying that it was a hard mission. From the words of him himself, "We must raise our expectations to baptize. This is the Lord's work, not ours. He wants to bless us more than He has. If we are obedient, virtuous, and work hard, the Lord will perform mighty miracles."
I will probably just send you a copy of my notes because I have so many I cant even look over them right now. Bottom line is that for missionaries, obedience is the minimum. We cannot settle for mediocrity.
There was a part that I especially liked though. He was talking about how you cannot switch yourself on and off in this work. 100% of the time- you are a missionary. You have to take control of your life because you are a servant of the Lord. Making adjustments shows the Lord our faith. He then said something to the effect of how we truly have little understanding who we are. He needs to understand that we are capable, that we are to be fully engaged in this work. As a servant of the Lord, you cannot say that there is nothing happening from 1 - 5 in the day. There are 2.4 million people in this mission and the Lord is working right now. Get in your soul that you are in the finding and teaching mode always. Sister Pingree then added later on in the conference that you only have 18 months to serve a mission and the rest of your life to think about it. It is up to us to make things happen.
Alright, enough of that because in all honesty, I am dying to update you on the work down here. After that conference Hermana Burnham and I had the best planning session ever. We have really high expectations. But Elder Golden told us that we need to make goals that we cannot reach- that is when the Lord comes in and pushes us to reach those goals. Can I just say that it hasn’t even been a week since we met with this Elder and things have already changed since we have been applying his teachings. All I know is that the gospel is extremely real and that he truly is inspired. Anyways, we have goals set to have baptisms every Saturday. We knew that it would be hard. Most of you probably don’t remember that little girl named Angie who cried when she told us that her dad wouldn’t let her get baptized. Well Saturday the Lord softened his hard and gave her permission when we met with him. Angie will be getting baptized this Saturday, the 22nd. Florencio and Maria are amazing. We met with them both this week and brought Pablo Ramierez Jr (old alcoholic who is now the ward secretary). We explained Word of Wisdom and Florencio said that he hasn’t had the inclination to drink since he went to church last Sunday! He prays all the time for that temptation to be gone and the Lord is strengthening him. Maria also responded telling us that she is giving up Coke! They are so excited for their baptism on the 29th. Bishop already has a calling in mind for Maria. My guess- Relief Society President. I wish you could see how good they look when they are sitting in the chapel. Wow. It is something else. Maria also loves that we have a modern day profeta. She tells us every time that we see her that everything about our church makes sense. Uh ya it does! The church is truer than we can even imagine. Also another miracle was that Marta Sosa attended church. She said that the service "me da sueno" but she said that she is for sure coming back next week. She even figured out the bus routes from her house to the capilla. She also told us when and what time our return appointment would be this week and told us to make sure to be there on time. She is getting more excited - even if she wont admit it- and I think that things are finally starting to sink in for her. The best part of church is that during Relief Society we were talking about the law of the tithe and Marta and Maria were the ones bearing their testimonies and saying all these deep, profound comments about commandments and blessings from God.
This is the life. This is happiness. I love these people with all my heart and I keep praying that I can stay in this area for longer because the growth here is amazing. But then again if I’m not the person they need then President Pingree can go ahead and transfer me because I don’t want to be the one halting their growth. But as long as I am here you can count on me to knock on every single door until everyone knows who the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are.
The church is true. Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior.
I love you all!!