Monday, April 13, 2015

The Atonement :)

So. Let me just start off by saying that here in Belmopan, we work HARD. We bike fast, sweat a lot, and I just......get home exhausted. This past week, I literally passed out on the floor after planning TWICE. And you know what? I love it! Because all of this hard work is bringing miracles. usual, because of lack of time, I'm going to copy and paste from President's email! Yay! :D But just know that I really do wish that I could write more..... Buut....when I'm home, ask me about anything on the mission, and if I have the time to do it, I will most definitely spill the beans!

Just some background info. We had interviews with President and Sister Hintze this past week. A short while back, we had a multi-zone and in it, Elder Moore, one of the Assistants, said something that really struck me. He said, "Our purpose as missionaries is to 'Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored gospel......etc.' Our purpose is to invite. Yes, we want to baptize everyone. Is it likely? Not really. So we may not baptize the world, but we sure as heck better invite it!" And it stuck with me. Sometimes here on the mission, we get so nervous to do so. We get so worried about them saying no, or maybe it's an awkward situation or maybe we just........are flat out scared. BUT. It's our duty to invite. And I realized that and decided that I needed to do it. And Sister Richins is in complete agreeance. So she and I have been trying to invite EVERYONE we have a lesson with, to baptism, with a specific date. And President Hintze wanted to know how we were inviting so many people. I guess the missionaries in El Salvador haven't quite hopped on that boat yet.... And well? We just told him we were trying to be Fearless, like Elder Mapusua (our Zone Leader) tells us to be. So I told him about some of our fearless invitations..... My favorite is the one on Saturday..... :D

So here we go....

"This week was SO awesome. Sometimes I just wish that I could take everyone everywhere I go, because I want you to love my mission like I do! We are just....seeing so many miracles and I want to tell you about all of them, but there just isn't enough time to write you about it. And I obviously can't call you up every night and give you an update on my day. However, I did want to give you update on Sister Richin's and mine fearlessness on invites after our interviews. I figured that you would be interested in a few of these experiences.

So. The next day, Sister Richins and I were riding in our new area, trying to show "Because He Lives" to everyone who want to see it (and those who don't want to....) and we ended up showing it to an atheist man at the park. He liked it, we assume, and then we (without fear, well....yes, with the fear, but not caring that it was there.....) invited him for the9th of May. He obviously protested and said he just didn't believe in that stuff, and we continued to talk with him, found out where he lived, said we would come back and then had the audacity to pray with him. 

Forward on to Friday night. We chased down what we thought was a young family, which ended up being a Kriol brother and sister. turns out that this young 17 yr-old gyal was THE CATHOLIC PASTOR'S DAUGHTER!!!!!!! They go every week to church, multiple times during the week! Well....we showed her the video and then Sister Richins talked, but skipped over the invite. So she handed it over to me and.....I knew I had to do it. There is no room for fear in a lesson that is going to go somewhere. So I invited her and she didn't tell me no nor yes. She only said that she'd have to talk to her dad because he got mad about their oldest son getting baptized into the Mennonite church. So anyway, we gave her a pass-along card and told her to share the video with her family.

Saturday. We ate lunch at an ice cream parlor super quick that was run by a Chinese family. So as we're eating lunch, Sister Richins and I wanted to invited him to baptism, but he barely speaks English (he has been here for three weeks only), so Sister Richins called up Elder Fowler and asked how to say it in Mandarin. So she practiced it and then said it to him. FIVE times. And he didn't understand her. We kept trying, but finally he gave us his phone and then we typed it in for Google Translate. He said, "NOOO! No, no, no. I no believe in dat." But then we had this really cool 20-25 minute lesson over Google Translate about how God exists and how he can pray to receive an answer about it and it was cool! The Spirit was so strong and the love for my mission was growing ever stronger!! Being a missionary is seriously the best thing ever.

And then comes Sunday. The last lesson of the night was with a recent convert, Iznarda and her two daughters and her nonmember husband, Rudy. He is....not very open to the Church--he doesn't believe in any church because "religion is the cause of a lot of the worldly contention right now...." and all of that other kind of stuff. Well....we came over and his door to his study was shut. He was watching something, and so I was with the girls out on the couch, Sister Richins was with Iznarda in the kitchen and then finally she went in and asked Rudy if he would come out for a lee bit and watch the "Because He Lives" with us. He consented and well, we hurried and started testifying as soon as it ended, because he started heading for the door. Well....Sister Richins started, got scared, and then passed it on to me. Well I got scared and then passed it on to her again (because he had said he didn't need church because "the video said that Christ is with us. Always. So why did he need to go to church? He didn't.") and you know what, President? She did it. My companion invited him for the 16th of May. Of course he said no, but we talked a little bit about eternal families as well and then.....he opened up! He shared some of his history, we talked a little more and then.....a miracle happened. He talked about his mom who is waiting on a serious surgery and he has heard about the elders and their "prayers," (which we later explained were more than just a special prayer) and asked if we could say a special prayer for his mom right then. I did and he was VERY happy and said he was going to ask his mom if the elders could actually come and give her a blessing and asked if we could keep praying. It was.....incredible. Sister Richins said that that has NEVER happened. And we still maintained his friendship. He wasn't completely angry and against the Church (like Iznarda had previously told the former sisters would happen if they tried to push it with him....). He respected us. And I know he is now thinking about it!!!

It was amazing. It was a FEARLESS, full of testifying of Christ's Atonement, HAPPY week! It was chalk-full of miracles. I am SO grateful that the Lord is blessing us by giving us the strength we need to work hard all day every day, guiding us to the people we need to meet, and converting our fear to faith. We are truly having the greatest happiness while being here in Belmopan.

I just have to say one more thing. This week at zone meeting, they asked us for our personal purpose as a missionary. I have thought long and hard about this one ever since my good friend, Jenifer Nuttall, asked me a few months back. Something I have come to realize is how important the Atonement has become. I am here, to learn about, live, LOVE, and share the Atonement so it can not only empower the lives of others, but also mine own! My favorite part every day of being a missionary is the chance that I have to share the blessings and my testimony of the Atonement. I know that Christ lives and loves us. Because He lives, we can experience every blessing that He has ever had. God wants us to be happy, not just in the next life, but also in this one. Get down on your knees to find that happiness. Because you can. You can have it all the time.

That is why I'm here. To share that knowledge with others. And I love doing it every day!

I pray for you all. Thanks for your prayers and your support! Keep smiling and sharing Christ's love with others!

Love Always,

Sistah M.

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