Dearest family and friends,
We’ve enjoyed a few beautiful sunny days this week in Arauco, and it’s been wonderful. It’s still freezing every day, but the sun brings a kind of hope and light (haha) to Arauco. Everything looks different and happier, and people are more willing to talk to us in the street. It’s beautiful. 😀
I am so grateful for inspired leaders. On Wednesday Elder Ramos, my district leader, gave a class about the difference between sadness and discouragement in the mission, and it was just what I needed. I wanted to share some of the thoughts that I got out of it: Discouragement looks inward–“They’ll never progress because I can’t teach well enough for them to understand.” “Nobody’s let us in, it’s raining, and I’m cold. We’ll never find anyone.” Sadness looks outward–“I know that if they would fulfill their commitments, they could receive their answer.” “They’re missing so many blessings.” Discouragement impedes progress because it thinks “What’s the point?”, but sadness recognizes that even if it can’t see the results right now, hard work and faith can only bring blessings. Discouragement blames the circumstances for failure, but sadness seeks for other ways to help others and itself progress. Discouragement comes because of its own failings, but sadness comes because it feels pain for others. As I thought about this, I made the determination to be sad because someone is not progressing instead of being discouraged and thinking that things will never improve. Discouragement is a tool of Satan because he knows that if we’re discouraged, we’ll stop working and can’t progress. But God provides encouragement in every situation, through scriptures, prophets, prayer, and other people. I loved the quote in this weeks Cosecha, and I’ll seek to apply it in every day.
On Wednesday we also had a cool miracle. During daily planning I wrote down a few less-active families as back-up plans for the next day. However, as we left the house, I felt prompted to visit them that same day. It didn’t make sense to me because I figured that we needed to look for news this week, not spend more time with the members. But the thought wouldn’t leave, so we headed for where I thought was the street. It wasn’t there, and, even with the map, it took us a little more than an hour of contacting and asking for directions before we found it. I almost gave up and decided to move on, but I felt the need to find those families. When we finally found the street and contacted the third family, we discovered that the children aren’t baptized and that one of the daughters–along with her boyfriend–want to be baptized! It’ll be a process because the dad has a bad view of the church, but I know that with a lot of prayer and faith, they can progress and find the joy of the gospel. I’m so grateful for another day in which God showed me that He knows where His children are and what they need. I pray every day that He’ll continue to mold me to be a tool in His expert hands.
Time feels even shorter today, so that’s all for this week. Know that I love you all and that your Heavenly Father is watching over you. He knows your potential and your efforts, and He’s always there to help you if you’ll let him. Take the time to look for the miracles in every day; I promise you they’re there.
Be safe, be kind, be smart. And remember who you are!!