How did your Zone meeting go on Wednesday?
It went well, it was kinda funny, we told the sisters that were going to give a training as well that each one only had 10 minutes. One started talking and what not. 10 minutes passed, 20 passed "oh, they probably decided to put their time together and just let her talk" 30, I think like 35 or 40 minutes passed with just one talking. But it was well said, and the good news is that I was going to talk about a lot of the same things. Then the second sister got up, newer in the mission, 5 minutes, 10, 15, her companion (looking to me) "How much time left?" (And me, thinking, negative 30 minutes) "About 5 minutes" haha thus is life sometimes. But they were good things that were said. My companion was going to talk as well but he didn't because of the time, I got up for about 15 or 20 minutes and talked, reiterating important points that the sister had mentioned, talking about important things, techniques, what was needed and what not. One thing I did that I liked, I told them that every time that I did thumbs up that they were supposed to yell BAPTISM!!! So that's what they did! They were a bit dead at first but they got more awake every time. Some missionaries got really into it. I focused a bit on baptism and testified that every missionary has the potential to baptize thousands of people. It was good, necessary, they were losing their focus on baptism and their excitement to baptize. A year ago, I would've never given this training but a lot of things have changed in a year. A year ago, we had that whole GH problem, today, that's more of a myth and so basically any baptism is a good baptism. I like baptism :) Speaking of baptism! This Sunday we're gonna baptize 2 men and maybe some other people! I'm excited :)
What did you share from your mission leadership counsel?
I talked about the power of the Book of Mormon, BAPTISM!!, the testimonies of the missionaries and the personal conversion of each missionary and the power that they have when they're personally converted like Alma and Amon and Nephi.
How did your 10 nonmembers respond to your teaching? Was it more difficult to teach a larger group?
It was more difficult, each one had their own questions and doubts and I wanted to respond All of them!! Buttt...we just responded a few and left them wanting answers which is actually a good thing because it'll make them want to visit with us again. Something funny I'll tell you guys. One of them said that they wanted to understand more about the book of Micah in the Bible and that had asked their pastors and what not and that they didn't know and was asking us right? I told her "I know with a certainty one thing...That I know nothing about the book of Micah, but I know that I can study it later and get back to you on that" They all laughed. I like making people laugh. I worry sometimes that my being a jokester sometimes scares the spirit away, I don't know. I'm trying to be aware of this.
But yeah it was good, we're following up with them and passing them on to other missionaries (because they don't live in our ward)
I learned something about faith recently. So generally, for us to have faith to do something, we have to see it be done first right? Like when Jesus was walking on the water and Peter was like "hey, tell me to come to you" And then he walked on water. They would've never thought "Hey let's try walking on water!" Other examples could be the cures of Jesus Christ and expulsing demons. Christ gave the example. This is something that I've learned recently, that's why we have the scriptures, to give us the example, show us what is possible through prayer, faith, obedience to commandments, church attendance, listening to the prophet and what not. But something else that I noticed even more recently that I learned that I think is cool is the following: When someone never saw something be done before but has enough faith to believe and ask the Lord for it to be done. Like the brother of Jared and the stones. He had never seen that done before. The Lord could've just given him some answer or light source but He asked what he wanted Him to do, wanting to see his faith. And then when he showed his faith, the Lord said something like "Your faith is so great, that the veil cannot hide myself, or doesn't have effect" or something like that. Cool huh? Applying it in our day-to-day. A theory/opinion of mine. We should look for new ways to show our faith in the Lord to fulfill His purposes (magnifying our callings, helping others, teaching the gospel and what not) and if we have enough Faith and really believe and if it's for the benefit of His children, then it will be done and our faith will be great like the brother of Jared.
I was talking with one of the assistants to the president, he was giving me some advice, some words of counsel. One of the things he said to me that I liked that I wanted to share with you guys. He told me "Just be you" He said something like "You were called by the Lord to serve as Zone Leader in this zone, in this moment in this mission. I don't know why, I don't know if the president knows why, maybe you don't even know why, but the Lord knows why and there's a reason for you to be Zone Leader here, now. Just be you" I really liked that comment and it helped me because I was really worried about the zone meeting the next day and it helped me to be more calm and to just relax a bit and be myself. And the meeting went well, the sister, that in the beginning really didn't like me, complemented me at the end saying that it was really well done.
There's an elder that I'm living with that I'd known him before in the mission. He has a tendency to get irritated really fast with the smallest things and it's hard for him to forgive. I'd done something that he didn't like in Guará and after like 2 weeks of him being "bitten" with me (as we would say in Portuguese) I asked forgiveness for what I had done and he was better. Well I continue being imperfect, so here, I've done some things as well that he didn't like very much without wanting to of course, and he got "bitten" or annoyed with me again and I'm just like "What did I do?!" haha well after a couple days of this, I tried talking with him and like I said, it's hard for him to forgive and he didn't even talk with me when I tried to apologize and invite him to talk about what was wrong. Well thanks to my companion he ended up talking with me right and it was a good talk, he said some things that I need to do better, I said some things that he needs to do better and then we were fine. Then I did something else that he didn't like, the same thing. He was reluctant to talk with me, but ended up talking and we were fine afterwards. It's funny too, after that talk session, I was telling him that maybe he needed to change and get better in some things too and he said "If you talk about humbleness, I'm gonna hit you with this guitar" And I said "Well at least you already know, I don't need to say it" Haha I thought that was funny, that he was showing the greatest form of pride and need of humility just with that phrase.
And yesterday, I did yet another thing that he didn't like and he got bitten with me again and I perceived and he told me what I did minutes before that he didn't like (which was really important, because before, he didn't tell me what I had done wrong, he just got angry with me and then when I asked what I did, he couldn't remember the exact case, what had really happened) I apologized and told him I'd do better and after like 1 or 2 hours, he was normal again! It's progress! Something interesting. In this whole process, I've prayed a lot so that the Lord would soften his heart, and mine, so that he would forgive me and talk with me and get better and so that we could really be friends and bit by bit the Lord is answering my prayers. Progress!
Well I've already written a lot. I'm happy as a missionary. Happiness comes from the Holy Ghost, that still small voice, and the certainty that we're on a path that will lead us to Eternal life in God's Kingdom. "I have about a year on the mission" is my response to how much time I have. The gospel really is perfect. God is merciful. The Book of Mormon is the word of God.