Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Change a heart, change a person.


This week, we had a lot of change! Haha... how many times have I said that in the past?  But it is the point, no?  To have change, for the better.  Without that life would be serioulsy boring.  So personally, this week was a success for me:)
First, we had Zone Class, and seriously, it was great.  The zone is great, and all the missionaries are working really hard!  We talked a lot about Doctrine and Convenants 20:37 "And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humblethemselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having adetermination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by theirworks that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto theremission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church."... which is the requirements all must meet for baptism.  The part we loved, was how we as missionaries and members should also reach these requirements every week, so that we can be worthy to partake of the Sacrament.  As missionaries, we sometimes worry too much about our invesitgators or our members, and less actives who are going to church. But really it is something special about the sacrament.  It is between YOU and the LORD, or ME and the LORD.  And it is about something we wanted to CHANGE.  That we can gain stronger testimonies of the CHANGES that the atonement and the sacrament allow within ourselves.  We can then help our investigators understand that their CHANGES are possible, and that the Lord wants them to CHANGE.  I loved it:)   I love the opprotunity I have to be clean before the Lord every Sunday, and bring my heart and spirit prepared!
We have an investigator named J.... He understands CHANGE.  This week he found us, and he said these exact words.... "Elders, I need to change."  First we were like, "Whoa bro, how do you know we are Elders?"  But of course he explained... he had taken the lessons like 3 years back but had never felt ready to be baptized.  He had never felt like that was what he needed.  But then the Lord helped him understand in His own way, that all the other churches were missing something. J... wanted a CHANGE, so he found us.  He has changed, just by seeking out the Lord, not by us.  He has had to stop drinking.  He has had to stop drugs.  He has had to put off that natural man, and he has felt the change the atonement has made within him.  And finally we shared D&C 20:37 with him this week.  A sweet spirit came into the room as it testified to him that he was ready.  That it was what the Lord wanted, and that he had finally completed all the requirements he needed to be baptized.  Seriously, it was wonderful.  The problem with Email, is that I can never explain to you guys how wonderful the Spirit is, but it was strong there, and it is something I love.
Then....we shared the same scripture with a sister named I.... She had told us she wasn't ready to be baptized and had been given some challenges the week before her baptism.  She said she wanted time to think about it.  This last week, we visited her once again.   We shared the wonderful scripture once again.  And, once again, the Spirit, not us, testified to her that she needed the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That the Lord has a way prepared for her to make those CHANGES so that she can feel ready to be baptized.  We are so happy for that opportunity the Lord has made possible through His atonement.  The power to change a heart and to forgive continually.
I think that scripture is something I have known for much more than just this year, but never understood its power.  I love it!   It is a testimony that ALL of us can be worthy before the Lord.  That we can complete His requirements, even if the world, or people, or us ourselves say we can't.  I love this Gospel.  It is for EVERYONE.  And it is about CHANGE.  I love that, and I love changing.  It gets me a little bit closer to being more like my Savior and Reedemer Jesus Christ.  I love it and I am thankful I could see it this week.
Love you tons.:)
Prayers and Love,
Elder Goodman!

 also....with the hurricane passing has rained a lot... A LOT.... A TON.  This is after the street river went down...but it was up to my knees we worked like this almost the whole day... name...if you forgot it. (GOOF!!)
 Vanilla coke... that was special. 
 uh.....we ate pizza? That was to celebrate when I completed a year....hahahahha!
 We wanted to take pics like Brigham Young....eye single to the Glory of God
 Can you find me?  We were all waiting in line for the ATM...
 This is our friend, Dr.Simy :)
 After English class....the new kids wanted to take we did. hahahaha

Zone Conference with Elder Pieper and his wife...

The basics...essential to success

Que onda.

This week has been wonderful Mother, and fam!!
Let me tell you why.

This week, it rained ALL THE DAY LONG.  Almost all the days of the week.  It was really wonderful.  After the heat and everything was really humid, it was a nice break in matters of weather, but a little bit of a downer in matters of work.  With so much rain,  people here get really sad....(it just isn't like AZ) and they seem to not want to accept us when we contact them in the pouring rain...hahaha!  And also, many people leave or don't want to answer the door.  Nonetheless, we had a wonderful week and seriously, we have seen more progress in our area!!!

First was with the V... family.  They are a less-active family that has been struggling to go to church for a while now.  They have 4 little ones and many reasons not to go to church.  But this week we finally found them home, and we taught them a little about the sacrament.  Why the sacrament is so important for them, and for us.  We felt the spirit guide us as we taught them and even though the little ones were running around and yelling or screaming, there were moments of peace, when the Spirit talked to them!  In the end, we committed them to go to church.  But the difference is, they came!  It was seriously great, and when that happened we asked them what had  change their put in the work to go to church. In the end they said it was what they wanted for the family.  They had realized that they had lost focus.   They hadn't been able to have family home evening or read scriptures or have prayers in a very long time.  They realized how fundamental those things were!  It was awesome to see them start on that road to get back on track:)
Also we visited the family of N..., if  you don't remember, the referral from C.... We had only met with her a couple times, and only in short visits by where she worked.  This time we passed  by her house with K...(a member)!  We had been talking to her and her family, but they had seemed a little bit resistant to accept the truth, or to think we were "normal" people.  For that reason we brought K... She helped them understand that we are friends, and are ok.  Really, just to let you guys know, TESTIMONY THAT WE CAN'T ALWAYS DO THE WORK WITHOUT MEMBERS.  It isn't possible.  And K... really played a huge part in helping them know why the Gospel is so important, and how it blesses them, not only us:)
Lastly, something really wierd that happened this week.  We couldn't come in contact with A... the whole week.  He is a member that likes to accompany us, and is always trying to help.  He is  super awesome, and is the only member in his family.  Well anyway, we were worried and finally found him in church, all worried and tired.  He said he had some problems with family, and that his refuge,  that day, was at the church.  It was really great to see that testimony from him.  To see how excited he was just to be there. 
Fam...this is for you....
I think this week, without many opprotunites to have crazy spiritual expeirences, the Lord wanted to teach me something special.  IT IS ALL ABOUT THE BASICS. 
He taught me, through the example of the V... family and their work, what happened when they forgot the basics.  What happens in my teaching, if I forget the basics with N..., and also how strong the basics were for A.... Really, as a missionary here in mexico, it is like being a major league soccer player.  The members depend on you knowing the scriptures, what to say, the talks, playing piano, everything.  You are the number one player.  And as such, we don't go crazy with a bunch of hard core new tricks or things they haven't heard of before. We just have to become SUPER good at the basics. the basics are these. (for me)
1. Praying
2. Reading the book of Mormon
3. Going to church.
That is it.  If I get to do those 3 things in a perfect way, or in the best way I can, I will become the best missionary I can.  To tell the truth, these last few weeks I forgot a little bit of the basics.  The Lord helped me remember them this week.

 I want you guys to know, that I still love it here.  I have never ended a day wishing I was somewhere else.  That is the best thing I can ask for.  I love you guys so much,  and I think about you guys! Don't ever think I don't.
Hope your week is wonderful.
Elder Goodman!