Monday, July 22, 2013

The Iron Rod is the Word of God

First, a miracle experience. The woman in the despensa (those are little gas-station-like shops everywhere...have I already explained that?) in front of us is a less-active member. I have always wanted to teach her husband but she says he is not open to other religions. Yesterday as our plans fell near the end of the day (as usual) we were close to the house wondering what to do. I felt like passing by, and sure enough, her husband was there. I asked him if he would listen to us, and he said, as expected, that he already has his religion. But I said we just wanted to watch a movie about families, and he, with encouragement from his wife, let us in. I don´t know if you know the movie "What is Real?" It is about a young family with a baby girl and the dad really wants to be able to answer the questions about the plan of salvation that she will have when she grows up. This family also has a 2-year-old, so I picked that one. The shot in the dark turned out to be a bull´s-eye. After the video, she said, "Those are the exact questions my husband has been asking me! What kind of friends will she have, will she lie to us or trust us, will she move to another city, etc." He didn´t want to talk to much, but he accepted an appointment for next Wednesday!

So that is Arturo and Griselda Fleitas. Then there was Carlos Molina, who is an evangelical. He has heard our message, and has a lot of doubts about Joseph Smith. We read Mormon 7 and invited him to pray. He said, "Okay, I will pray TONIGHT, and if I don´t get an answer this book is false." At least he understands more than most people that just because the book talks about God doesn´t make it true--it is the indicator of whether or not our religion is true. He also understood more than most people that if it is true "We´ll take it to all the world!!" he said. Haha, so we tried to use Isaiah 55:8-9 to explain that the answer will come in God´s time. Haven´t been able to find him again, but I am excited to see what happens.

Two more people who live out in Toro Blanco close to him are Crecencio, a large young guy who is trying to quit drugs and wants to get baptized to change his life. Then there is Adilio, who is 13 but understands really well. He is the reason we were running to church last week. His grandpa doesn´t want him to come to church, but we met his grandma and she does! Vamos a ver lo que va a pasar.* :) We also have a young man named Cesar who would have come to church if he didn´t go visit his family out in the "campo."** That is the biggest challenge in the district right now... no one is coming to church. But I am trying to help all the missionaries feel like they are important and they need to be obedient and diligent to see results. 

It is a lot of responsibility, but I am learning a lot. For example, I learned that you need to boil the water and then add the pasta, or certain types of noodles become a green-spaghetti-slime. With enough sauce, it is edible. 

I am also grateful to be learning that imperfection is alright. Anytime God shows me something I need to be doing better as a leader, trainer, or teacher, I try to improve it as soon as I can, and I think he´s happy with that. I love teaching, and I love that the 12-week training program is based on focusing on the person and their needs, not just the lessons. It's always something I can improve, especially by asking questions. The people out here in rural areas take longer to open up, especially when we ask questions that make them think a lot, but it is a process I am improving.

One thing we did this week was have weekly planning in the chapel so everyone could stay focused and so we could see how the area books are. That helped me a lot, because honestly the 3 hours of weekly planning are sometimes hard to concentrate. It is tough making plans when you know most of them are going to change, but it is something else to keep working on. 

Thankfully, I have a great companion. Sometimes I do look at him the way I used to look at you mom, that "You are sooo weird" face. But he is a funny guy. Like Jed, he loves Star Wars and has read many of the books. And of course, he is studying mechanical engineering. He and his family fix up classic cars, and he wants to go into the auto industry. He learns everything fast--Spanish, teaching, and even cooking. Today, he made most of the pancakes for lunch. We usually make pancakes for lunch on P-Days. Actually, I am learning to eat more at midday. One night a less active member who is very mad at the church surprisingly invited us to come in and eat. I ate too much, and realized that my eating habits have changed a lot. But it was a great lesson, we read 1 Nephi 8. I mentioned a bit more about this in my letter to Tony. The Book of Mormon really is so important. I love it, and gaining or strenghtening a testimony of it is one of the most essential things for a preparing, current, or returned missionary.

And, I am doing great. Glad to hear preparations are great for Daniel. When you mentioned his farewell...I couldn´t remember if he was supposed to leave this week or last. So since Wednesday I have been praying for him "wherever he is in the world." Glad to have that confusion cleared up***. I do like lentils and ate them a lot with the Spanish Grau family in Amambay. I don´t see many posters for movies. People here just watch Ice Age, soap operas, and soccer games all the time. I have never blessed the sacrament and only passed it twice, because the wards that are lacking priesthood are also lacking pianists. So I am always playing the piano, which I love. The mission is full of wonderful opportunities, and I am thankful for your encouragement. Keep reading the Book of Mormon (and Preach My Gospel--awesome that Brittany is reading it).

Love you all!
-Elder Wesley Morgan

*Vamos a ver lo que va a pasar: We will see what will happen.
**Campo: field
***Wesley's brother Daniel left for his mission in Madrid, Spain the day after this letter, July 23rd! 

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