This week was quite eventful because I had to go to La Ceiba for a District Leader training meeting. Which meant spending the day with Elder Hansgen as my companion! His hairstyle gets weirder every time that I see him, right now it is in a Sylvester Stallone slicked back style that I don't really even think Sylvester Stallone ever used but just looking at Elder Hansgen's hair the name Sylvester comes to my mind.
Speaking of Stallone, I made beef stroganoff today. :)
Shout out to Jessica in the Ukraine. Speaking of Jessica in the Ukraine, my companion and I have our plans made for the next world cup, which will be in Russia. My companion, Elder Navas, is actually the cousin of Kaylor Navas, the goalie for the Costa Rica national team that was just bought by Real Madrid. He is super famous here, the goalie that is, because he is a Central American that is now on like the best private team ever. So my companion is going to get us tickets to the next world cup in Russia, and Jessica, you are going to protect us from all of the civil wars and communism by speaking perfect Ukrainian and guiding us around. I am pretty sure there is a difference between Ukrainian and Russian but they both use the same transformers cyber-tron letters so I assume they are pretty similar. At the very least they are both very cold.
But anyways, La Ceiba. So I loaded up my backpack with pamphlets and Books of Mormon and headed out at 4 am in the morning to make it to the meeting. I had planned to contact people in all of the buses we took and give out a ton of pamphlets (!) but the bus we took to La Ceiba was super small and cramped and I was in the back and so there was no way I could preach on the way up. It was crampin' my style if you know what I mean. So i just taught the police officer sitting at my side everything about the Book of Mormon and read with him about Captain Moroni and how I want to be like Captain Moroni and how he should want to be like that too as he is in the service of his country defending freedom and peace just like captain Moroni did. Gave out B.O.M. number 1.
The training meeting was good. And then we headed to Pizza Hut, where our souls were tormented by American music for 45 minutes (not homesick -- don't worry -- but I had totally forgotten about all the music I love) and then got back on a bus home. Waiting for the bus, I started talking to a guy who apparently had read some of the Book of Mormon and didn't really like it. I asked him why, and he responded, literally "because it doesn't really talk about the suffering and death of Jesus Christ."
I was like "Hooookey buddy, totally understand you."So I literally opened the Book of Mormon to a random page, and had him read the first verses we saw:
7 And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatique, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.
8 And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called. mary.
9 And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even throught faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.
10 And he sall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, hee standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men.
11 For behold, and also his blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the will of Gof concerning them, or sho have ignorantly sinned.
He read that as was like, "Oh ...." And I told him with all respect that he hadn't really read the book. The Book of Mormon is a testament of Jesus Christ. It only talks of him. The ENTIRE purpose of the book is to testify of the atonement of Jesus Christ and his redeeming sacrifice for us. So, please, if you are going to have a problem with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, don't let it be that the Book of Mormon doesn't talk about Christ.
On the bus back home, there were just missionaries and about five other people. So I just sat by a lonely looking guy and talked to him about the restoration of the gospel and also left him with a Book of Mormon and my testimony. I love that type of missionary work! You never really get to see the fruits of your labors, but you get to plant some spiritual seeds and leave people knowing that you did your part; the seed of truth has been planted for them to investigate and come to know the truth for themselves.
To find my companion again, after arriving in my area, I had to walk about 100 meters alone through the night to the rendezvous point. It was the first time in 14 months that I have been without someone literally by my side. Even though it was only about 5 minutes, I couldn't stop myself from feeling terribly lonely and offering silent prayers for protection until I found my companion.
Last week, four of our investigators were baptized and I can't even list all of the miracles that went into those four baptisms coming to pass. They were not at all "our" baptisms; they were the Lord's. He did all the work to bring them to the font; we just filled it up and performed the ordinance. Sometimes we as missionaries become prideful and think that is is because of our great teaching skills that people decide to be baptized. If that is the reason for their baptism, the people will lose interest and become inactive as soon as we leave the area. But if their conversion is by the Spirit of God, if the feel and recognize the voice and hand of the Lord in their lives and really come to know by divine means that our message is true, they will stay active, and that is what happened with these four youth.
Another miracle: we prayed that we would be able to know how to help the wife of awesome Jose Harpoon get excited about the gospel and come to know that our message was true because he was just way too awesome but she was kinda just following him and not taking her own iniciative. We then walk into the church that afternoon and totally double-taked when we saw here there with some Relief Society sisters talking and making quilts together. We literally didn't believe that it was her because they live far from the church and we hadn't even invited her or brought her to this activity. I honestly don't even know how she got there! It was totally a miracle. Jose Harpoon, but the way, has been without work, so we taught him about the economic law of God, called tithing, through which we show our faith and receive blessings that we can't even contain. These past two Sundays he has, on his own and with no more than probably 25 cents, paid his tithing.
I LOVE SEEING FAITH LIKE THAT!!!!!! It is honestly the entire focus of missionary work -- find people and help people develop faith and obedience to God's laws. This Tuesday he found work.
Hurrah for Israel!