Well this week was good. And the way it ended made it even better. I'll tell you about that later in this email. Anyway, to answer some questions. Elder Hermosilla has 1 year and a couple weeks in the mission. He is a really great missionary and I'm sure He'll go up to senior comp next change. Also something interesting for the next 3 changes 30 new missionaries are coming in to the mission. and the 4th change 60! I'll be leaving when the 60 come in, but wow! I don't know where there going to put 150 extra missionaries in this little País (country)! Also as a side note thingy, I'll most likely be leaving Rivera this change, changes are the 23rd of April, and I wanted to buy a few recuerdos (souvenirs) to bring back home to you guys. Would it be possible to shoot me a little $, like 25 no more to buy them. I would just buy them, but I'm trying to save my money in case I am transfered and I'll need it for some reason.
Well, to tell you about why the week was even better at the end. Pablo, the guy we've been working with to reactivate came to church again, but this time it was something a little more special. It was testimony meeting and to my surprise he got up to give his. It almost brought tears to my eyes as he shared his experience of coming back to church. He talked about how sometimes we feel alone, but it's not because God abandoned us, but becauses we abandon him. He said that he's learned that God was always there lovingly and patiently waiting for him to return with arms open. He also thanked us (Elder Hermosilla and I) for not giving up on him and sticking with him. It was one of the testimonies that has impacted me the most in the mission.
Interesting story. We were walking down the street and a man, easily recognized as Jehovah's Witness by the way he was dressed and by his briefcase of church material, stopped us and without hesistating told us, "You guys teach doctrine from the devil." We asked him how he knew and he started to tell us about polygamy and baptisms for the dead, etc. I asked him why he thought that it was of the devil and he said that neither polygamy nor baptisms of the dead were in the Bible. Not trying to be rude I asked if he had actually read the Bible and then procided to show him in Corinthians where the apostle Paul talks about baptism for the dead, and the story of Jacob, who later became Isreal, who had 4 wifes. He, of course, didn't have anything to respond and we explained that we don't practice polygamy and that it was a law that was used before, but later had been abolished by leaders of the church. He was astonished to realize that 2 jovens (young people) knew more about the Bible than he thought and we asked him simply if he'd like to listen to our message. He said no, because it was still "of the devil" what we taught. I was happy that I could nicely put my hand on his shoulder look him in the eye and say, "No, what we teach is of God, and I know that's true, I know that the messsage we have to share can bless your life and the life of your family, if you choose to accept it." After I bore my testimony to him he simply said, "Ok, but I still don't want to hear you message." We said that was fine and we wished him luck in his day. It was a very interesting experience, but it helped me realize the confidence that I've adquired here in the mission and I was proud to defend the faith.
Emily, I'm so proud of you! You may not have won, but you definitely did amazing if they chose you for the directors award. And for the rest of the bunch I love you and always have you in my prayers.
I love you guys and I want you to know that I know this church is true. I love my Savior and I know He loves me. Hope you all have a good week!
Elder Jordan Duke