Monday, May 27, 2013

May 19, 2013

It’s been a pretty good week.
The best part was being able to talk to you all on Skype. You look great and it was good to see you all.

We’ve been working hard trying to talk to all of the people in the neighborhood of Bertese, and we’ve been having a lot of success as we work with the members. There are a lot of really good things happening in the group and a lot of problems are starting to be solved. The thing about the Bertese group is that almost all of the members there are from about 3 branches of the same family (sibling, cousins, etc) and there is a lot of contention between them. There are also a lot of Word of Wisdom type things happening and a lot of the other people in the neighborhood are unwilling to be taught because of what they see the members doing. Our group leader decided to have a ‘cottage meeting’ this week with all of the men in the group and it went really well. We watched the documentary about Thomas S. Monson and then discussed how to be better examples of service and selflessness in our lives. I’m really grateful for good leaders that fulfill their callings.

We had a good experience this week with a Sister who is an active member of the Jehovah’s Witness faith. We met her as we were walking and our lessons started out as friendly conversations about religion…we would share something, and then she would share something with us. (I have about 6 JW magazines in the house, haha) Last week, we decided to teach her about the Book of Mormon and bear testimony of it. It was a very simple, nice lesson and the spirit was strong as we bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon. We left her Moroni 10:3-5 to read and invited her to ask the Lord if it is true. She responded that she wasn’t sure if she would, and we asked her why. She said that she was having second thoughts about her religion and I think that she was a little bit worried that she was feeling the truth of our message. She did accept the commitment though, and we’re excited to follow up with her. I’ve learned that testifying is one of the most important things that we can do to invite the spirit into the lesson. We taught another new investigator – an 18 year old girl named Andylyne – and extended the same invitation to her.  I found myself almost in tears as I described the importance of the Book of Mormon in my life and how it could bless her life. We left her 2 Ne 2:31 and hope to extend a baptismal invitation this week.

We also were able to attend the wedding of one of our investigators and a member…it was held in the chapel here and I was the official photographer/pianist. It was a very simple ceremony, and there were a lot of non-members in attendance. It was nice to watch them feel the spirit that was present as the Stake President gave a talk about the importance of family and the responsibilities of marriage. There was also a baptism for a younger boy in the other elder’s area and it was probably the best baptism I’ve attended so far in my mission. It was really touching to see this little 9 year old boy bear his testimony and express his thanks and love for his mom and the missionaries that taught him. He is from a really poor family with a single mom and they sacrifice a lot to come to church every week. It was just a really nice experience to see his baptism.

Other than that, things are going pretty good. I’m super busy with training and paperwork and I’m a little bit stressed out about it. Like I said on Skype, my diet hasn’t been the greatest…so I’ve been getting really skinny and having some stomach problems. I just need to hold out ten more days or so and then we’ll get next month’s support…which I’ll budget out better. I didn’t really comprehend how much the transport would cost this month, haha. The members have been really great at feeding us as giving us vegetables though, which has been a blessing.

I love you guys,
Have a great week! I’ll send some pictures next week.

love,

Jared.



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