Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

Querida Família,
It sounds like you guys are doing great work and living the dream on your mission!  I love your pictures. Sorry I don´t take that many pictures, I don´t walk around with my camera and I also don´t look that cute when I´m working haha... just sweaty
So we´re still going through a little bit of a trial of patience and faith... but the miracles are going to happen.  Arriving in the area was a whole lot of excitement, and the pool of ´´eternigators´´ in the ward made it look like we had a lot more progressing investigators than we really did, just because everything´s new to us.  But that doesn´t mean the miracles aren´t going to happen.
I gave a training on setting goals on Tuesday for the Sisters in our zone.  It was really fun to do and preparing helped me think a lot about faith and our expectations.  I asked them why we lower our expectations and goals on the mission.  In PMG in the part in Chapter 1 ´´A successful missionary´´ it says that when we lower our expectations, our faith will weaken and our effectiveness will diminish.

The reasons we lower our expectation usually come from dissapointment, pessimism, discouragement.  I know I´ve done this before: you don´t succeed in your goals for the month and so you just lower the goal for the next month so that maybe you´ll reach it.  But is that the kind of missionary and person we want to be?  Change the plan, pray for direction, try again and be patient, but keep hoping for the best results.
I was feeling pretty cool with our 3 baptisms that were super solid this week and our other possible baptisms.  But, what I gave my training on was unfortunately tested.  V is progressing really well, reads everything, is super excited about the baptism, but suddenly her family had to travel on Sunday.  L´s grandma yelled at us and told her her grandson didn´t know anything and wasn´t going to get baptized when we went to take him to the interview.  When he didn´t go, we thought C was going to give up too, but he told us he´d go on his bike and meet us at the chapel.
Sitting in front of the chapel, we were sure he wasn´t coming.  But we just decided to read Hebrews 11 while we waiting, you know, to keep our faith strong.  The second we finished, he arrived on his bike like he said and passed the interview.  That was a miracle.  Sunday, he arrived at church with a towel in hand and everything ready to be baptized, but then told us he was hungry and left to buy food.  Never came back.  Someone assaulted him and took his bike, and he ran home scared.  So.. not exactly a cool ending, and who knows if he was just running from the baptism.  But we marked his baptism for next week and we´ll have more time to see if he´s really ready.
People like this are stressful to work with but I also love it.  He is like a little kid, life has never really given him the chance to succeed, but he is so humble and even though he can´t read, he´s learned how to pray.  In his own way, he understands the things we teach him.  The coolest thing is how L was helping him.  These guys are over 20 years old, but people have only told them their whole lives that they can´t do anything.  We´re going to keep working with them and let them show that they can make a promise with God, but we´ll see if they can endure to the end of this week.
Sunday night we went to a farewell party of a missionary leaving from the ward and a bunch of returned missionaries bore their testimonies and shared experiences.  I felt a little bit lacking in experiences of finding and baptizing families like they had, and I left a little sad.  But this morning I was reflecting on my mission and I wouldn´t regret it if I had to leave today.  But like Alma said to Amuleque, they can´t kill us because we still have work to do.  I need to build my faith and trust a lot still, but I know my mission has been so far exactly what I need it to be.
I´ve found that you can´t decide how people will use their free will, but God put them in your path for a reason.  We also have the agency the choose if our missions and our lives will be successful.  If we´ll work hard or be lazy, if we´ll be happy or discouraged, if we´ll be agents to act or objects to be acted upon.  Don´t ever give up!
I always pray for all of you and for your missions.  Enjoy every second.  I love you all so much! 
Santa Rita is still the best area.  The church is still true.  The Book of Mormon will help you draw close and stay close to Christ more than any other book.  Have an awesome week!
Com muito amor,
Sister Moore

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