'"I can't say that I have been a perfect, or even a great missionary, but I can say that I tried, and that we saw success, just not in the ways that I was expecting. It reminds me of a story that a district president told to the missionaries. There was this old wise man. He was successful and had many experiences. He was happy and content with his life. A young boy, wanting to be stronger and better, came to him one day and asked him "how can I be stronger like you? I'm small in stature and weak, and I want to be stronger, what should I do? " The guy told him " come with me tomorrow morning, and Ill show you how." The boy met up with the old man early that next morning, and they went out to a field, that was almost barren and flat, except for a giant boulder in the middle of it. The old man said "You want to be strong? Push that rock. Push it with all your might. And then you will be strong." The boy was eager, but after a few weeks, he got a little discouraged. The rock never budged. Months passed, and nothing. A year later, with no visible progress in moving the rock, the boy went back with the wise man and complained "You lied to me, you said I would be stronger if I moved the rock. I've been trying and breaking myself to move that thing, and it hasn't moved one inch!" The man replied " I told you to push it, I never said move it. You certainly look stronger, and I promise you that you feel stronger. You gave it your all. You tried and pushed yourself. You grew, you became stronger." Do you understand now? "
"I've also gained a little bit better perspective of unconditional love, and a better understanding of how and why the Savior sacrificed Himself, being the perfect servant, perfect teacher, being the perfect lover. And I still pray to improve that Christlike attribute also."
Elder Woods reports, "We saw a woman in front of her house sweeping the dirt off her "patio" and even though it probably scared her, two white kids offered her to help. She said not to worry because she was about to finish. But we managed to make her laugh, and we took the broom and started finishing what she started. Then we started talking about the gospel. She turned out to be super, super Catholic. It really never gets old when you start talking to someone that seems really friendly but then doesn't want anything to do with the restored gospel and would rather follow their ... beliefs. But she was nice, and even though she doesn't want anything, at least she likes the missionaries now. Maybe some other elders will save her."
But, service... There's this family in the area of the zone leaders. It's the parents and 4 little kids. The Dad got baptized a couple weeks ago. He's a real convert. He gave his testimony after his baptism and the Lord really changed his heart. His whole character changed since the first time I met him. But the wife is still not a member. She almost got baptized the same day as her husband, but she ended up saying no. So, last Friday we tried giving service. We got to their house at about 7:30 in the morning, and basically what we had to do was move this GIANT pile of dirt about 10 ft. away, on the other side of their house, a little further down the hill that they live on. I wasn't really sure what the point was, but I think they wanted to put it where they have their corn growing. I wasn't really sure how efficient it was, but we started doing it. They only had one shovel, and one wheel barrel, so it went a little slow, but we went at it. Does that count as a service story? I just really want her to make the same decision as her husband. I really can see a change in him. The gospel is meant for families; families that can be eternal, and they can't really be eternal if only half the family is a member. But she'll do it. She's been to church several times now and she really likes it.
Elder Woods beams "but things are better,. The Lord has blessed us with even more positive people who are looking for the truth. I depends on us to do our part."
In Elder Woods own words: We helped our investigator dig a latrine, which was super great. Actually, ..., we had to dig a hole about a meter wide, and 5 meters deep. The worst part was digging into almost pure rock, so, ... a super effective service opportunity to serve.
We went to go contact this lady yesterday. She was an old investigator from months back. We walked to her house, and we asked how she was. She said she was cleaning her house and all that. So we basically obligated her to accept our help. We said we would help her, and she said," Come in and help me, pues". So, we went inside, found two brooms, and started sweeping for like 30 seconds until the lady said, "No don't worry about it! I want to listen to you! You shouldn't have to come here and clean my house" We just said "Hermana, you said clean my house, so we gonna clean your house, pues" But she insisted that we sit down and talk, so we weren't going to pass-up the free oppurtunity to teach. She ended up being a devout Catholic, but she said she was willing to read a little and ask Heavenly Father if she should change churches. So well see how she goes!!!!!!!!
We found a guy chopping wood on the side of the road.
So, we offered to help him, and he miraculously accepted. So, we helped him cut wood with machetes for about half an hour, and he thanked us, gave us something to drink, and we managed to teach him a little about the restoration. It is important to remember that we are here not only to baptize, but to just be nice people, be of service, like the Savior. As far as an investigator, the guy isn't going to progress, ..., but we need to help everyone, whether they accept the message or not.
'"But this week has been better. I was pretty worried about the ward because the attendance is really down. But, we've been trying to teach the members to visit the less actives. This week the attendance jumped from 48 to 60. It's a little, but it's progress. The members started just telling people that we could visit. We got references, and ... we didn't even ask. The Lord is going to change this Ward, because only He can. We just have to be His humble servants. We are His hands, it is He who really does all the work."
There's this less active sister, Paulina, who hasn't come for nine years. but we happened to find her anyway!! She still believes the church is true and everything. She's just really old now, and hasn't really had visits from anyone apart from us in years, so it was nice to see her start going again; but her grandkids aren't baptized, so were working on that right now. But, the day after Christmas, we decided to do something special. The family is ridiculously poor, like many other families I've had the privilege of meeting. So, we used some of the money we receive each month, and we bought a small bag of gifts and little toys for all the kids there; we wrapped them and everything. We went and just handed them out. It was nice because the kids behave themselves better than most. They waited patiently in a line so they could each get their own toy. And soon, they'll be baptized. It will be really special when the whole family gets reactivated and everyone becomes a member. I'm getting better at not looking at people as numbers, but as really children of our real Heavenly Father. The ultimate goal is that they can be sealed in His house. So, I guess that was our Christmas act of service
We took a zone trip to a local nursing home. We just spent a couple hours visiting those that sadly don't have to many visitors anymore. I honestly enjoyed it. I met Victoria, with 93 years. I got to know her a little better, and I took a picture with her.
My name is Suzy and this blog is dedicated to our son Lee.