This week was fantastic! WE FOUND A NEW DOMINGA! Let me fill you in on her story:
As you might recall I had to give a talk one of my first Sundays here in Westgreen. In the talk I told people to come get to know us missionaries and made it clear that we are ready to teach their friends. Well una Hermana came up to me and told me she has a neighbor who has just been recently divorced. She met with missionaries about 2 years ago but because of her husband, she had to stop meeting with them. Well with the divorce, this lady- Alisia, has been in a very dark place. When I was with Hermana Townsend we made multiple attempts with Hna Lancheros to meet her friend. ALL of them fell through. But one day, once Hermana Saenz was finally here, when we were stopping by Hna Lanchero's home, she took us over to introduce us. Alisia could not receive us and made it clear she was very catholic. Well we didn't give up. Hna Saenz and I just felt like we needed to show her some love. So we heart attacked her house with scriptures and would always pray for her. 3 weeks later, this past Friday, we stopped by and she let us in immediately. We sat down and had a powerful first lesson with her about the Restoration. She has a ton of great questions- which makes teaching really exciting. The whole lesson she was just smiling at us when we would speak. I felt like she could feel and understand how much we loved our Savior and knew that this message will change her life for the better. She offered the last prayer and it was the most tender and heart felt prayer ever. And apparently it was the first time she had ever prayed aloud. In her prayer she talked about how empty she has been feeling and how she needs to know more about God. She was literally pleading. She then proceeded to give thanks for us because she knew that God had walked in with us that evening. She totally recognizes that we are on God's errand. The best part came after her prayer when we sat there and testified that the message of the Restoration will fill the emptiness that she has in her heart. She can be freed from her cargas and her sorrows really can be swallowed up in the joy of her Savior. She flat out said she would come to church. She can’t deny anything what we said because it really came from so deep within us. I am excited to help her in her path from darkness to light. That is the best and most rewarding part of the mission. So happy that we finally have someone to teach! Nothing happens in missionary work until we have someone and now we do!
Isn’t it crazy to think about how 18-21 year olds are helping families and individuals make changes that will effect all their eternities? It really would not be possible if this were not the Lord's work. To see people's hearts on the mend because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ has blessed me so much. It has put me more firmly on the path of conversion. Seeing even one-person change makes everything worth it. I don't think I really understood that phrase as completely as I do now. I saw it with Dominga and now I am seeing it again with Alisia. I don't know if Alisia will get baptized when I am here but we are sure praying and helping her get to that point because we know that is how she can be completely free and participate in her salvation.
For me personally I have learned this week that just as important as the things that we do- aka the covenants we make- is the type of person we become. It doesn't matter how much good we do in this life if we didn't become something better because of it. We do certain things because it changes our behavior. We can’t just be members that go to church every Sunday. Rather we have to be Disciples of Christ, which is a daily decision. We don't need more members rather we need people who live the gospel. Lets be those people! The incentive is found in Matthew 18 when Christ says that only the people who become like little children will be worthy of His kingdom. Looks like I have some work to do because I know I am definitely not there yet. But I am repenting LOTS and I can see little changes. Actually, I can feel like changes. It is amazing to be able to see how repentance really does allow us to access the enabling power of the atonement. Repentance enlarges our abilities to do good and be better.
I know that the Atonement is for all of us. I know that we all have an equal opportunity to access it and find happiness. I am grateful for the light and hope that Christ offers us. I am grateful to teach people how to access it. Today I reread that talk you sent me mom and I just love the part that says:
Now I went to the mission field thinking that testifying of the restoration was my whole mission. No! That’s incidental. The divinity of Jesus Christ is our main message.
I am grateful for that. The Restoration occurred so that we could more fully have the atonement in our lives. Everything comes back to the atonement.