It was so wonderful to be able to talk to [family] yesterday. . . .
In my letters I have always talked about how "the witness comes after the trial of our faith." Well, thus far, this area has been rather difficult or "trialing." We work hard, we are creative and we are obedient but our efforts have not been very fruitful. It can get discouraging at times (but only if you let it get to you— and I don´t let it). Through all the trials, hard work, and prayers, I have thought about a few things. One of the things that I have pondered is the Lord´s promise in Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 which says, "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." I have been looking for ways to be more obedient. I have held myself accountable before the Lord to show Him that I have done, am doing and will do what He says. By doing that, I knew that the Lord would keep His promise, in His due time, and bless us with success.
I have also pondered about the phrase, "the Lord loves us enough to test us." He gave us this chance to show our true colors, to increase our faith and develop His love. Although, thus far the work has been rather slow here in Gomez Carreño, I have seen great changes and developments in myself.
This week we were able to see the Lord´s hand and His tender mercies in the work. Last week we had two investigators (Marcelo and Victoria) who were preparing themselves for baptism on set dates. They are doing well, but we have had to take the lessons slowly with them, so their new date is the 22nd. This week, we now have six investigators preparing for baptism.
One of those, you already have met—Veronica. Veronica was an investigator that Elder Lecaros and I had. She was not ready at that time and we had to drop her for a while. However, this week, we decided to visit her again. This time, she was more receiving and accepted a baptismal date for the end of June. –A tender mercy of the Lord.
Also, we were able to set a baptismal date with an investigator with a woman named Nancy. Nancy is another investigator from the transfer with Elder Lecaros. However, she has been very busy and has not had any time for us until now. This last week her work schedule changed and some family members moved out of the house, giving Nancy more time to listen to us. Her late brother was a faithful member in the church. Her love towards him has helped her develop the desire to learn more about the Gospel and accept baptism. –Another tender mercy of the Lord.
On the phone yesterday I told you about Teresa and Marionela. Their story is rather interesting… A few months ago, the Achupallas stake reorganized its boundaries, forming the current wards and areas. When this was done, part of another ward was transferred to Gomez Carreño. However, the missionaries were not told. This last week, the missionaries in the "old ward" baptized an investigator from that area. That is when the mistake was discovered, they had been working in our area for the last few months. We had a meeting and they transferred the information about that area to Elder Boyd and I. Teresa and her family live in that area. Teresa already had date and this week we were able to put a baptismal date with her daughter as well. I do feel bad for the other elders who were working in that area, but it had to be done. After all, the Lord´s house is a house of order.
I know that the Lord loves us all very much. He surrounds us with beauty and pours out His tender mercies to us. I love you all!
I love my mission!