Monday, March 3, 2014
I love this work!
Hello everyone! This week was such a spiritual week. I was taught by the Holy Ghost on many occasions how true this church is.
This week we had Leadership council. We are always told to prepare spiritually for these meetings and we call it the 25-25-50 learning matrix. Twenty five percent is the preparation we bring to the meeting, the next 25% is what we are taught by the Holy Ghost during the meeting, and the 50% is what we use after the meeting is over when we return to our areas, and apply the things we learned. This meeting was special. We had the opportunity to begin the meeting at the temple doing baptisms for the dead with President and Sister Gelwix there with us. There were 22 other missionaries and the spirit was so strong in the temple as we did those baptisms. President Gelwix said that in the mortal life, when we have baptismal services, we invite all our families to come and share that magic moment with us. He said it is the same for baptisms done in the temple saying those who have passed on are actually there to be able to see their baptism. The spirit confirmed to me my feelings of how much I love this work and how much I enjoy seeing the change that the gospel brings into peoples lives. I love being able to be a servant of our Heavenly Father, it is such a blessing.
The next day Elder Sanhueza and I went out to the streets motivated to find people to bring unto Christ. We prayed sincerely that the Lord would lead us to someone who has been prepared or has need of two representatives of Jesus Christ. We began to knock some doors in Mendota in this really humbling part of town. As we approached this very small apartment complex, we felt that was where we needed to knock. The first few doors we knocked there was no one home. As we came to the last door we knocked, and a little girl came to the door. She looked behind her and said, "mom, Los hermanos estan aqui", or "mom the brothers are here". The mother came to the door and she seemed to be familiar with the missionaries, as if the missionaries had visited her in the past. We ignored that part of it, and began to ask her if we could pray for her? She told us that would be fine so we prayed for her, and then asked if we could share a message with her? She said we could come back later because we needed to wait for her husband to be home anyway so that we could enter her home. We came back around 6:00 and we went in and began to teach the Restoration with her and her husband. They are both from Honduras and had been living there for a few years. There was a great spirit in their home and as the meeting came to and end, I looked at the both of them and invited them to be baptized. She looked at the both of us and said, "Oh I am already baptized in your church, my uncle is actually is branch President up in Oakland. I want to come back to church, there is something missing in my life and I know that it is the true church". She thanked us for finding her and was so happy to see that the Elders were placed back in her life. I was completely taken back in that lesson. As we walked back to the car I was smiling and I just looked at my companion and said that was too funny!!!
Marta, the lady which I talked about last week, is progressing very well! She seems to become more and more converted every time we visit her and her family. We are hoping she will be baptized at the end of this month with her son and daughter.
Yesterday was great. We had Stake Conference and it was powerful. President Gelwix gave his last talk in the Fresno West Stake. It was sad but the spirit was so strong. During the middle of his talk he had all of the missionaries in the Stake stand up and he looked at each of us and told us that he loves us like a father would love his own son or daughter. After he finished we sang The Spirit of God, and the spirit was so thick I couldn't hold back my emotions, neither could President and Sister Gelwix. After the meeting President came up to me and literally held me for about 20 seconds and told me how much he appreciated me for my service and for the man I have become. He kissed me on the cheek and told me he loved me. I will never forget that. He truly has the attributes of the Savior!
I love this work so much! It brings me to tears thinking of how much I love being a missionary. It just makes me feel good! I love seeing the change that it brings to people's lives, I want to be in the service of God the rest of my life! I don't think I can say that enough. I will miss this so much when it is all done. This gospel is true! Have a great week.
Elder Tanner Aiken