22 July 2009

MTC Experience

I had a couple of cool experiences with helping out some missionaries in the MTC. Don´t get me wrong, being zone leader in the MTC is nothing like it is in the field, but there are a couple of responsibilities :). There was one night when one of my roommates wasn't in the room after the hour and I went looking for him cause that was me and my companion´s job. I found him in the hallway sitting on the floor with his head in his hands and could tell that something was wrong just by the situation. I sat down next to him and started to talk to him. He told me about how he was feeling and how he felt like he as a missionary couldn't do anything, that he wasn't strong enough.

At that time he had just had his pacemaker removed and I had spent a couple days in the hospital with him. He said that following the accident which resulted in him having a pacemaker, he didn't understand why the Lord spared his life. He didn't know what his purpose in life was supposed to be, he said he just felt lost. At that point his companion found us sitting outside and sat down with us. Now I don´t profess to be some super wise all knowing person, but I tried to offer him some sort of encouragement, a helping hand. I bore my testimony to him of how I knew what he was doing was right and that the cause we stand for as missionaries is a true one. Along with his companion, I talked with him for about an hour and helped him to gain a little bit of hope, at least enough to stay. "If I can do that" I said to myself "I can at least have more time to help him." So we did that and then for the next couple of weeks his companion and I helped him constantly to realize why he was there and how much he really can do in the work of the Lord.

Sometimes I think that we as humans think in the same way as that Elder was thinking that night, that is, that we can´t do much, we don´t know what the Lord expects of us or what he wants from us is too much. And that is probably right, what the Lord asks of us is too much, for us alone that is. But with the help that He gives us each and every day of our lives he strengthens us and makes us able to stand up and rise to the task. I have seen that so much in my mission and in my life in general. When we think we can’t, we´re usually right, because those thoughts of inability come from a lack of faith, a lack of vision. What the Lord requires of me I will do, and I will hold him accountable to fulfill with his promise to fill in the gap after, and only after, I have done all that I can do. The lord has told us time upon time that nothing is beyond his power to accomplish and that if something seems to be beyond ours, if we call upon Him for the help we need, never doubting, rather trusting in Him, we will receive. As sure as I stand here as a missionary of the Lord Jesus Christ, I promise you all that when you need the Lord´s help, he WILL be there for you IF we are there when he asks us to be. It is a two way relationship, we cannot expect to always be able to ask and never give, just as we have to serve the Lord in order to merit his love. We can never repay the Lord for what he has done, and he doesn’t ask us to. He only asks for everything we have and nothing more. Are we willing to give Him that? If the answer is yes, we have the promise of the scriptures that we will be blessed and he will never suffer that we perish or suffer that which is beyond our ability to bear. This is my testimony to all of you that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior and He loves us and we sure better by doing the things He asks of us if we want to receive the blessing He has prepared for us.

Things here are going good. We have a couple of good fechas that seem pretty solid and a couple more that are up there floating in the air that we are trying to peg down so they don´t float away.

A little more information about Salta. There are about a half million people that live in the city alone and in the roundabout areas there are about a million more. There are buses and such but we rarely use them because the schedules hardly ever work for us. When we have to go out of capital, like to teach our investigator who lives in rosario de lerma (wikipedia that) then we usually do take a bus, but that’s just cause a taxi would cost like 80 pesos. There are two stakes in the city; about 15 wards that I can count. My area, not counting the little pueblos that are a couple hours away, can be walked in about an hour. Then we also have a few places you have to take a 30 minute bus ride to get to. In our ward, there are about 500 members, around 60 to 70 of which are active. Most of the member help we get comes from the same 3 or 4 families. In Salta capital there is somewhere around 36 to 40 missionaries including the offices where there are 4 plus the assistants. It is one of the more concentrated areas in the mission. The 4 centro areas (Salta capital, Tucuman Centro, Jujuy Centro and Santiago Centro) are the most populated areas and thus have more missionaries.

Everything is going well here. Always improving in little ways you know... I have undertaken the task of teaching my comp English per the mission president´s wife, so that is fun and interesting. The weather here is super weird, the sicknesses are going strong but so am I so I have been lucky so far.

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