Missionary life is amazing as always!! It’s kind of hard not to stay happy when you have the abundance of the Spirit with you at all times! Having the companionship of the Holy Ghost at all times also allows others, who are around the missionaries, to feel happy; which hopefully gives them the desire to have the Spirit as their companion as well.
We had our appointment with Karen’s mom last Tuesday. We prepared a lesson, thinking that we would likely have to persuade her to stop procrastinating the blessings that our Heavenly Father has been anxious to provide her through her baptism. But, to our amazement, the first thing she told us when we entered her home on Tuesday was that, after praying, she had decided that the 25th of April would be the day that God wanted her to be baptized. So, that was very exciting news for us! My companion and I are so very excited for her.
My companion and I actually just taught a District lesson this week about “golden investigators” who answer the missionaries’ questions in just the way you were hoping they would answer…kind of like the way investigators respond to questions in all those District training videos. Our lesson was then followed by a real-life “golden investigator” experience. We recently received a referral to teach Alberto. Alberto walks with a cane, so it’s a blessing that he lives right next door to the chapel. Anyway, we decided to re-teach Alberto about the Restoration, just to make sure he understood everything that we had taught him last week. We then followed up on the commitment he made a few days prior to pray to know whether Joseph was a true prophet. We were totally expecting him to either say that he forgot to pray, and figured that we would need to teach him about the Book of Mormon again, to help him receive confirmation from the Spirit that Joseph was a true prophet. But instead, he told us that he had already received an answer that everything we taught him was true. We were blown away! This is so different than the typical responses we receive here in Guatemala. Most people here are non-committal, or they commit, but then we have to follow up with them multiple times. I feel bad to say this, but we actually began to doubt that we heard him right; I mean, there is no way this guy could be that “golden” right? We then invited him to get baptized. Again, being doubters, we thought that he would probably hesitate to set a baptismal date. But, to our astonishment, he gave us another “golden” response. He told us that if we teach him everything he needs to know by the last week of April, he will be baptized. And to shock us even further, Alberto actually showing up to Sacrament Meeting yesterday by himself; and wearing a suit to boot! Dad can attest to how rare and amazing this truly was. How often did something like that happen when you were a missionary here in Guatemala, Dad?
Well, my companion and I learned a valuable lesson that day. Because we know that Guatemalans are typically flaky people, who don’t follow through on their commitments, we have become cynical and pessimistic. Consequently we were shocked that Alberto was fully prepared to accept the gospel immediately. We told ourselves a story, and we were all ready to have to handle some objections about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. By so doing, we lacked faith in God. We learned that day to never doubt the Lord. We learned that there are people out there, like Alberto and Karen’s mom, who the Lord has prepared to receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in these latter days. We need to have faith and trust in the Lord by expecting that every person we meet is that potential “golden investigator.” Because if we are doubting ourselves, and if we are doubting those whom we teach, then we are doubting the Lord. We are laying perceived obstacles in our path, and in the path of our investigators, by creating objections that don’t even exist. We are pre-judging those who the Lord has already qualified. And who are we to pre-judge anyone? We have repented, and vow to change our outlook, by remaining positive and optimistic with every person the Lord puts in our path, as if everyone has been prepared by the Spirit before we even meet them. We need to remember that the Lord is in charge.
Now, as a follow-up on the gentleman we found last week when were were out tracting with the Primary children… He actually does not live in our area, so we had to refer him to the missionaries in Los Arcos. But it was so inspiring to see the big of smiles on the face of the Primary children when the man said that he had always wanted to attend the LDS Church. We should all feel that same joy when someone has a desire to find out God’s will for them.
I gotta go now. I’m all out of time. Next week I’ll tell you about my experience being “sexually assaulted” by the son of the Suchi Family again this week. That will leave you with a cliffhanger to want to hear from me next week. 🙂
Te amo siempre, tu hijo, Elder Cudney