April 28, 2014
Another quick week has come and gone here in good old Puerto Esperanza. This week I have truly felt the Lord helping me in everyway!! With now only 1 week left in his mission, all my comp wants to do is stay in bed. I LITERALLY have to drag him out of bed every morning. It takes a lot out of me to ignore his little comments and try and keep the spirit with me. I have learned more these last 3 months with him than I did my first 2 transfers in the field. My patience and relationship with my Heavenly Father have grown and been strengthened so much even though the experiences that have helped that happen were extremely difficult! This week we have been really focusing our efforts on the people that are going to progress. We have found recently quite a few awesome families that I really see progressing!! It’s a weird experience but this week I have been trying to look past how people are, like their difficulties and short comings, and I have learned to see them for who they could be, or how our Heavenly Father sees them. It really has helped me stay focused in lessons better and listen to what they are saying. I am sad to say it took so long but I have started to realize the significance of calling everyone here Brother or Sister. They are all lost sons and daughters of Heavenly Father and I kind of feel like a shepherd. I have started to walk a little taller in the streets as I come to truly understand what the calling of "Missionary" is all about! This last Tuesday we had a Zone Conference, and President Lapierre was there doing interviews. My comp and I were the last ones to go so I had a lot of time to sit and think about what needed to be said. My comp went in to his interview first which left just Sister Lapierre and I to talk. And the first thing she does is look at me and say, "Do you want to talk about it?" She could tell that I was being put through a rough time so we sat and talked just her and I for 45 minutes before my interview! It was awesome! Minutes later I went in and talked to President Lapierre. He told me so many awesome things. He said "Elder, these next two weeks might be the hardest of your entire life, but they will probably earn you a place in the Celestial Kingdom." ha I love that guy!! We then talked about my comps recent Bible bashing spree. He told me "If he does it again, walk away. I give you my permission to leave your companion. Go back to the Pension and call me and I will send him home a week early!" He told me that at this point, we are basically doing damage control. He then thanked me for my work with my comp and told me how proud he is of me. Then he told me that I have done so good with him that he might just let me pick my next companion. haha. I am so grateful to have a President like him.
This week we worked more with Cintia and her husband (whose name we still don’t know. ha), we went on Tuesday and they told us that they had goggled "Mormons". Immediately I was like, “Oh know what did they read?”. They had a TON of questions about everything, especially Joseph Smith. We taught them the first vision and when we asked them how they felt, Cintia said, "I feel peace and happy." But her husband said something different that surprised me. He said, "I don’t." I was like, Oh KNOW! Then he said, "I feel an emotion, like something burning inside me." He got a little teary eyed and we just sat in silence. We just let the moment happen. Then after, we explained to them what the Holy Ghost is. It was an AWESOME lesson!! So much faith in them!
Also this week we passed by the old folks home to visit Carlos. Randomly people started coming up to us and talking about the church! They all had attended years and years before!! Turns out the Old Folks home is a Gold mine for baptisms. ha. Who would have thought!!
This week I heard a great quote from Elder Jeffery R. Holland, he says "When suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we’ve ever been in our entire lives. That knowledge can turn every such situation into a would-be temple. Regarding our earthly journey, the Lord has promised, “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” That is an everlasting declaration of God’s love and care for us, including—and perhaps especially—in times of trouble."
I have a personal testimony that the Lord lives and loves each and every one of us individually and personally, and sometimes it is only through our trials and pains that we can come to know this for ourselves. I love you all with all of my heart, and appreciate all the birthday wishes and support!!
Elder Easton Ryan