¡Buen día mi querida familia!
So this Sunday was Branch Conference. It went really well. We had double the attendance that we normally do and 4 investigators in sacrament meeting. Good day I´d say. There was no time for the special musical number, but whatever, President Callan´s talk was better haha. He did such a good job, man, the guy is a stud. Pure inspiration. He called Sister Callan to the pulpit first thing and introduced her and gave her a chance to share her testimony before he gave his message. It was great, she did a good job. She just loves visiting the people. Then President gave his talk. It was really well. He talked about the goal of getting the big church built across the street in the empty terrain that we have. He gave them a list of ways to accomplish it. Then he was like "I want to ask the full-time missionaries to stand up for just a second". So Hermana Callan, Elder Martinez, and I stood up. And he was like "Ok thank you, sit back down". And then he was like "That question was really kind of a trap. I should have seen every one of you in this room on their feet, because yenno what? These 2 elders and my wife and I will come and go, but you members will stay here in your home ward building up the kingdom. Everybody here is a full-time missionary. So let me ask you again and see if the result changes. I´d like to ask that the full-time missionaries stand up" and everybody stood up that time. It was really helpful, that should motivate the members a lot. He gave a good talk, and everybody wanted to take pictures with him afterwards. All the young women were talking to Hermana Callan after the meeting and their families were bugging them that they wanted to go home and to leave the mission president´s wife alone hahah. But Hermana Callan loves talking to them, she´s just great. It went well.
One experience I want to share with everyone before I start on the Article of Faith for this week. I almost wasn´t going to share it, but I´ve decided that it´s alright and you all will benefit from it. I´m adapting it from my Saturday August 28th journal entry.
"From Whence Thou Comest, There Thou Goest"
|Us with the Galleano family on Yohana´s 13th birthday|
Saturday morning I arose after an unusually peaceful sleep (helping me to realize that really every little thing is a gift given to us from God because I normally don´t sleep very well) with a renewed vigor to serve Him. I arose, said my morning prayer (no better way to start the day than consulting with God), and did a little exercise. Emphasis on "a little" lol. I began reading a supplement to the Ensign - a special piece in memorium of the life of the beloved prophet Gordon B. Hinckley. As I was reading, I felt an incredible sense of peace and tranquility all around me, almost tangible in the air. As I read, I felt 2 specific desires: service, and to seek to know the will of God - for me personally. I arose from my chair to go get some breakfast; however, feeling spiritually inclined to prayand not wanting to lose that prompting, I left the bowl and cereal box on the counter top. Kneeling at the foot of my bed, I offered my heart to God. I promised to keep and live the 6 Be Attitudes I had just read over, asking for a divine hand in bettering the things I realize I lack. I wanted to know where I stood with God. Instead of asking for things I wanted, I asked Him to help me to accept and carry out His will. I began petitioning of the Lord His will for me in my life. Asking specific questions about my present and about my future, I closed the prayer feeling that the Lord would make His desires known to me. Then, strange but clear words entered my mind. In fact, they sounded so strange that I didn´t hear it all the first time (I don´t normally hear voices as answers to prayers or spiritual promptings; it is extremely rare for me). "From whence thou comest - " and I quickly interrupted the words with my own thoughts: "bah, your mnid is wandering. That´s not it. Focus!" An answer to a prayer - especially in a clear audible voice - saying something so strange and peculiar as those words was something I thought my own mind was inventing. I refocused myself, and told myself to listen. But yet again, knowing God could and would answer me, I paid close attention. This time, the thought came clear as day into my head: "From whence thou comest, there thou goest".
|Me and Sammy, Yohana's little brother|
At first, this frightened me. Anyone who knows me more intimately knows I do not have such a spotless past. I thought the prompting meant that I would again fall into old habits and succumb to temptation or that I would end up failing as a missionary. I felt very negatively and worried about that answer. But that thought was quickly washed away. I don´t know how, it was just thrown out of my mind. I knew it wasn´t the correct explanation. It was like I wrote a math problem on a piece of paper and it started busily solving itself - things just made sense on their own. The answer was made clear to me that whatever the desires of my heart truly are, that is what I will become. Wherever I come from on the inside, that´s where I´ll go. That´s Heavenly Father´s will for me. If in my heart, I really purely desire to serve people, I will. God will make it happen. If I have an honest and sincere desire to be a leader in the mission or in the world for holy and service-related motives, knowing that I really can and will help a lot of people, I will. Heavenly Father´s will for me is that I become on the outside what I am on the inside. I realized this as an answer to my prayer from the night before as well. I had been expressing doubt and inadequecy about myself to the Lord. I felt that my desires are so great on the inside and I have such a vision of what kinds of things I can do and what everybody tells me I can be and who I myself know I can be, but when I go to carry out the action, I falter. I "chicken out" or something, I don´t know, and for whatever reason, my vision of myself is not fulfilled and I don´t reach my potential that I know I have. What started as an "odd prompting" turned out to be so perfectly an answer to 2 seemingly unrelated prayers that God had a hand in forming. Whatever the strongest desires of my heart are, that is what Heavenly Father wants me to become. "From whence thou comest, there thou goest."
Think about yourself in your own life. What do you really desire? REALLY. Do you desire certain things at your core, or do you just tell people those things because they sound nice? Where do you want to be in your life? How do you want people to remember you? The Lord wants you to be the best you. But He´ll never force you. Become on the outside what you are on the inside. What is on the inside is where you really come from. So I ask you all this question: where do you really come from? Because that´s where you´re going.
Unfortunately I´m out of time this week to adequately explain things, so the Article of Faith 10 will have to wait until next week. Sorry.
|The old guy that punched my companion. haha|
|Me and the old guy|
|Part of Sanchez family, Kiara, Hermana Maria and Dina|
|My District the last day of changes|
|Lais, Hermana Callan, Yohana, President Callan|
Enjoy the pictures! Love and miss you all.