Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Things never just happen.

Mom,

Baptism is something many members can take for granted. We often don't recognize the difference it makes because we've had it our whole lives. I've learned a lot from so many converts I've met out here, who can testify to literal and powerful difference that covenant makes.

Speaking of helping people get to church: we left Spanish ward after sacrament with a member to bring an investigator to church. Everything was against us: we hadn't talked to her since the night before, day light savings time, she was sixty years old, she didn't have a phone, and she had a stroke 3 weeks ago and can barely walk. Everything was riding on this moment. We hadn't brought one investigator to church this transfer. We had done everything possible to make it work and........ she wasn't ready. Well good thing church is every week.

Really though things never just happen. Every bit of progress anyone makes is because we lead them, sometimes literally, by the hand. With a whole lot of faith and plenty of works we can make things happen.

We finally got two people to read the Book of Mormon, but both of them are in the process of getting switched over to the English elders, an unfortunately difficult process. I think we'll try doing one lesson zebra style: one elder from each companionship teaching just one "transition lesson." It worked once really well last transfer (now a Mormon).  It'll be good.

I had a really big moment just a few days ago. I had been going a week feeling really down and unsuccessful. I had been praying a lot, but I didn't seem to get anything in return. I remembered what our zone leader had taught us about changing our perspectives and changing our faith. So I knelt in prayer, and with a sincerity I  had been lacking before I prayed asking God to remind me how much he had already done for me. Instead of begging for relief from present worries, I asked to be reminded of so many answers I had already received, how many times I had already been forgiven, and how many times I had felt his great love for me. And then I thanked him for it. I finally felt the Spirit again, and a burden was lifted. I realize that changes in our lives, our surroundings, and in our happiness only come when we change ourselves and our perspectives. And that's a big reason I came out here in the first place, to change. It's about time I get around to doing it.

Love,

Elder Decker 

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