Monday, April 21, 2014

This message is for you too!

A couple of weeks ago, none of our investigators came to church and we were like, okay how are we gonna get someone, so we went to the street and started inviting people. We found a drunk, who is a member. He refused our invitation but said he wanted us to teach his daughters Sofia and Maria Jose. We have been teaching them and they are really sweet and have come to church the past two weeks. We we able to talk to the dad when he was sober and the girls weren't there and talked about repentance and the experience of Alma the Younger, but he just stayed quiet and refused our invitations. The next day we went, he was super drunk and was saying things like, can't you see, this is just who I am and that he can't change. But we told him how it is, that he can change and if he really loves his daughters like he says he does, he'd dump out his wine carton. The next day he came home, drunk, at the end of our lesson and he said he wanted to pray. (Which was so different from before because he always said “teach my daughters, but me, NO.”) And his prayer was so sincere. He said “my body is too weak to change, but my spirit needs to change. I need to go back to church.” He told us as we were leaving that he was on the border of not leaving to drink but he did anyway. It all made me so sad but I have a lot of hope for the changes he'll be able to make. He just needs to realize this gospel is for EVERYONE!

This week was Holy Week, it really wasn't celebrated much more than selling ramos branches on Palm Sunday and chocolate eggs too. It made me sad that people didn't know why we said that this Sunday would be special. People saw the Mel Gibson movie about Christ because I guess they played it a lot on TV and so many people mentioned it pained them to see but it just doesn't sink much deeper than that with many people. They just don't understand. On Good Friday, the Catholic church across the street was doing some service and we could hear it from our pension. I heard something like “During this day we remember the pain that crucifixion of Jesus Christ caused to His virgin mother.” But that was about the extent of the celebrations here. The people were too preoccupied celebrating the win of Bella Vista's soccer team. They were setting off fireworks and there was a parade of cars and a bus honking their horns.

We had interviews with Presidente Levrino and the things he said definitely helped me. I told him how I can feel the Spirit guide me daily but when it comes to teaching with the Spirit I don't know if I'm teaching with sufficient power. He said something along the lines of “We can never stop being amazed by the presence of the Spirit.” He talked about how as we teach and pray day in and day out, sometimes we are so used to the Spirit that we don't recognize it like we should. After that, I was thinking more about teaching these people and not so much about teaching these lessons and I really felt the Spirit in every lesson. It's so true, we can let ourselves stop being amazed by the Spirit. What a great gift we have as confirmed members of Christ's Church, that we really have such a unique and constant guide. Let's not forget the power it has!

Much love!

Celebrating with Sister Vargas

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