Monday, June 4, 2012

Trip to Hawaii 6-4-12

 We had a really great week. The biggest event was the "Viaje a Hawaii" activity that we put on. It's a presentation of the post-life part of the Plan of Salvation. It goes a little something like this: Everyone arrives and sits in the "waiting room" where we have church movies going. A stewardess comes out and tells them that they're plane is ready for boarding, and a group goes into the "plane," where simulate take-off and even have in-flight refreshments. Then the plane crashes,
and everyone dies. The stewardess comes in and tells them that they've all kicked the bucket and she'll now be their guide through post-mortality. They go to the spirit world, final judgment, and the three kingdoms of glory and learn about each one. It really turned out successful, and a lot of investigators were able to have a cool, spiritual experience. It was pretty stressful putting everything together, but turned out really fun and we found some new people as a result.

At the end of the event, everyone comes out and Elder Soto and I had a table with a bunch of materials there so we could teach everyone who came out. Araceli, whose sister is a recent convert came to the table and I started teaching her, and we talked about what she thought about baptism and why she hadn't been baptized yet. On the table, I had originally had seven or eight copies of the Liahona, but there was only one left, which I told her to take. She opened it up, and inside,
it had her name written down! The missionary who originally started teaching her had intended to give it to her and her husband, but it never made it for some reason. We both just started laughing by the surprising, seemingly coincidental occurrence. She told me that in the morning, she had been praying to know what path she should take in terms of the Gospel. Receiving that Liahona originally intended for her was a cool little confirmation.

We also had a baptism in branch this week, this crazy kid named Alan. I played guitar at his baptismal service, and we watched the John Tanner movie while he and Elder Soto were changing after the ordinance.

Work hard, work smart. I've been thinking about something lately. I've often felt like there's an unfortunate phenomenon in the mission: Sometimes when I feel like I'm working my absolute hardest and just exhausting myself, I seem to have no success. And then, when I slacken up a bit, success seems to come out of nowhere. I know that diligence is completely necessary, but I've learned that diligence alone isn't enough. Going out and knocking on every door in your area shows that
you're tiring yourself out, but it's probably not the what the Spirit would tell you to do. If I want to have true success, I have to work really hard, and I have to work smart. I have to be in tune with the Spirit and be valorous enough to follow His impressions. 

I've also learned that I'm not going to become perfect anytime soon. Maybe eventually, but for now I have to get used to making mistakes and being humble. Often, after I learn a lesson from a trial, I expect to never run into the same problem again, but that's just not how it goes. Line upon line, precept on precept.

Another really cool investigator we're teaching is named Minerva, who is a friend of the recent convert who is Araceli's sister. Or something. We haven't even gone to her house because she lives out in some place called Manguito, where I imagine they eat nothing but tiny mango pies and drink tiny mango water. We had a family home evening
and watched the "Prophet of the Restoration" movie with her and a member family last night. She's progressing really well. In the first lesson, she just said, "This is great! I feel like a niña, learning new things."

Side note, I am currently in COSTA RICA! It's awesome! I'm here with Elder Larkin and Elder Aylesworth for a few hours on our way to Culiacán, where I will be all week for seminary. (That's far, far too long to be out of my area, but seminary is really great). This is the first time I've been in Costa Rica for a year, and I've already run into tons of people I know. Costa Rica is among my favorite areas in the mission.

I also have gained a very strong testimony of fasting this week. Commandments are so cool. I'm starting to feel like they're just a vending  machine for blessings. God really blesses us when we obey his laws and are aware of the promised blessings.

So, Zion is extending gradually here in Sinaloa. Here a little, there a little. Cuídense mucho!

Photos of the "Viaje a Hawii"Activity:

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