This week has been a bunch of hard work and a lot of tough decisions: filter out those who´ve decided against changing their lives for the better, and find those who are prepared. Thankfully, David, Luz and Maria continue to be super excited and committed for their baptism on the 23rd of March! But sadly we´ve had to leave behind others who just don´t want to commit. That´s probably the hardest part of being a missionary, watching people use their agency to make wrong choices. But it´s all part of what we do: INVITE people to come unto Christ and not FORCE them. Unfortunately, Peru has a lot of confusing, wicked, and worldy influences that make it so hard for so many to see their path clearly when it comes to religion, family, or happiness. Everyday I thank the Lord for always being so clear with me and for continually lighting my path, even when the vast majority of His children do not choose to have that privilege.
We´ve been able to find several new investigators: Violeta, the Andrade family, the Merino family, Jose, and several others. Violeta is really great because she´s super intelligent and loves to read what we leave behind for her to study. Her husband has been inactive for nine years and recently came in contact with some missionaries of another area who gave us his address and number. Violeta has previously studied with the Jehova´s Witnesses (there are actually a surprising number of that faith down here, and it´s not uncommon to find many of their ¨investigators¨ as well.) Violeta always has great questions and insights. Yesterday we had a great lesson with her about how it´s up to her to discover whether or not the Book of Mormon is true through reading and prayer. The member who came with us to the lesson said afterwards, ¨if she gets baptized, she´ll be an incredibly committed convert.¨
The Andrade family was a member reference. The parents, Olga and Jhon, have two daughters, Jimena and Alexandra. We´re still trying to visit with the father, but Olga and her daughters seemed interested to find out more. More news will follow the coming Monday.....the Merino couple, Audina and Merardo, are also super interested in what we have to share, and after leaving them with a lesson on ¨praying as a family¨ we set an appointment for this coming Tuesday. Their only drawback is getting married, but who knows, I´ve done it before! Jose is a long-time friend and investigator of the missionaries. His wife and kids are all members, but he just won´t make the commitment. His main fear is that he might dissappoint God after getting baptized, like his son, and so bit by bit, with lots of prayer, we have the hope that maybe this will be his time to commit.
Wellp, it´s been a great week and I´m so happy to be here in Villa El Salvador, Lima, Peru. I´m learning and growing closer to the Savior every day. I feel like he´s shaping and molding me for his wise purpose, and know that I am becoming more converted to his plan each and every moment as a missionary. The scripture I would like to share this week is in Alma 46:14-15. Like it says, let us all be faithful and true Christians in this great cause, because after all that has been said, felt, seen, and done, how can this not be the work of the Lord?
I love, pray and think of you every day!