Sunday, March 10, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013 - "Almost March?!?! Good Heavens....2013 is moving right along!"

Hola Mi Familia! My, my, my, what a busy people you all are! There is always something going with school or other stuff that just keeps you all going all the time! It looks like your Valentine's Day dinner was quite nice! I dressed up for the Single's Awareness Day with my favorite Pink Tie. I did miss receiving Valentines from my mom....oh well some day. As, a zone, we did decided to do gift exchanges and so today we will get together and celebrate a little! Haha! This week, not too much to report on. It has been quite a frustrating and stressful week for many reasons. There were some really good days when we had up to 7 or 8 lessons a day and some really sad days with only 1 or 2. There were a few times of pure overwhelming happiness and other times of why doesn't this person understand the importance of what we are teaching. As for investigators.... The mom and boy have basically fallen. They missed church again this past week and it is really difficult to have a non-distracted lesson. The mom has to take care of her 2 kids and then also babysit 3 other kids of her sisters' while they work. So it can be quite a battle getting an effective focused lesson in. We aren't quite sure what her desires are. She doesn't seem too committed. We think she just wanted to talk to us and get baptized because she saw a big change in her sister, and she thinks she can do it too. What she doesn't realize is that she needs to put forth effort and do the things we ask her to do to be able to receive a conversion and change her life. We have put 2 baptismal dates, but both have fallen because she isn't going to church. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this and find out what she really wants. Another lady is progressing quite nicely. We have really great lessons with her and she is learning a lot. It seems like she enjoys reading The Book Of Mormon even though sometimes she doesn't understand it too well. We had a baptismal date for her for the 2nd of March, but she didn't go to church yesterday either and so that has also fallen. As I said before, her husband, is an alcoholic and when we have tried talking to him before, he hasn't really wanted to, but yesterday something really neat happened. We went to go visit the lady because she hadn't gone to church, but when we got there, we didn't find her, but her husband was there. He invited us in and actually allowed us to talk to him. He said how much he has wanted to change and move forward with his life, but he gives in to temptations that come along and later feels hopeless. We had this really great lesson about the Atonement and how Christ helps us overcome these challenges. We taught him about the Gospel that is if we have Faith, Repent, and Get baptized, our lives can change completely for good! He seemed to really like what we were telling him and really wants to follow our advice. He says he isn't too much for religions, but knows that what we are teaching him can help. So hopefully we can help turn him around and baptize the both of them. I kept feeling like there was something missing with the lady. We had taught her everything, but she was still not ready to be baptized. Hopefully this was it: Her Husband. She needed him to accept this to so that they both can move forward and work together to make things work. Remember the other lady? Well, we had left her and decided not to visit for a few weeks to see if that would help make a difference. We just felt like she wasn't progressing. She had progressed so much that she had some to a stand still. Well, this past week, we decided to start visiting her again. We planned a really neat lesson of The Gospel and baptism and hope to invite her, once again, to baptism. She always said she wanted to be baptized, but always put up pretexts about why she didn't want to accept a date. First it was this and then that and then she wanted to read the whole Book of Mormon first. Well, this week went visited her and she was quite happy to see us. We had a member who was her neighbor in the lesson with us who helped us out a ton. We talked about baptism and everything and how it could help her out in her situation with her family and then the sister who came with us gave a really neat and powerful testimony on how the blessings she had received since being baptized. She also talked about how long it took for her to be baptized and how she was the only one and how her family, not even her husband, wanted her to get baptized, but she did. This just hit the spot! This is exactly what the lady needed to hear. After that, we asked her what her thoughts were about baptism and if she thought she was ready and she said possibly. We talked a little more and gave a few more promises of blessings and then asked the big question. Well....she accepted! She finally accepted! She finally decided to get baptized. So we have now put her for the 2nd of March and this will be almost a sure baptism. She is really worried now about what her family will think and what her husband will say, but she is excited and we were overjoyed! The Spirit was really strong in that lesson and definitely our guide! I have been pondering this week about the importance of scripture study! Scripture study is so important in our lives! It is a commandment that God has given us that we study the scriptures every single day; even for just 15 minutes, but every day. I have truly seen how daily scripture study has changed my life, both before the mish and currently right now. I have received some answers to difficult life questions and have felt the spirit so strongly through the scriptures. They have truly changed my life and I am seeing how they too change the life of others. I would like to extend an invitation: that we study our scriptures personally each and every day. Even if you only have 15 minutes or time for 1 page, it will totally be worth it and will change your life. I promise. It is great to read as a family, but it is even more fantastic if we also ready personally on our own. Just the spiritual thought for the week.... Well, that's about what I got for now! I hope your week is filled with wonderful missionary experiences and that you all can be "examples of the believers" in all that you do, say, and how you act! I love and miss you all tons! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner

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