Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hope, Even While Facing Little Success

Hey All!

So, this week was pretty crazy.

We had ALL of our baptismal fechas (dates) fall through. We had started out with four and all of them had, for one reason or another, canceled on us. Needless to say, we were super bummed out.

But, we pressed forward in the work and we trusted that the Lord would help us to find SOMEBODY who wanted to hear our message.

Within two days (Thursday and Friday), we were able to find both a less-active family in one part of our area and an old investigator in another part. The less-active family hadn't come to church in three years and now had two kids who were of baptismal age. Not only that, but the family agreed to have them baptized this past Sunday. We baptized the old investigator, J_____, too.
Me, J_____, and Elder Lawrence.

Elder Lawrence, our two newest members (and little sister), and me.

One thing I've come to learn this past week is that there are two powers in this world, but they both actually extend before this world was as well. One is of God, and the other isn't. Both work insanely hard to further their goals, but as prophesied, only God will ultimately win.

We've seen the hand of both powers this past week. I'm so glad we're on the winning side.

So, on Sunday we rode the church bus to the chapel. I gotta say, the bus ride to church is one of my favorite things all week. This past Sunday, we rode on the roof since there wasn't any room inside. Yep. I sent some pictures. It was pretty fun.

Our favorite amusement ride on the mission so far!


It's lacking a little in seat belts----and seats.

Our ride to church.


On top of a bus.



What still gets me down here is that people go out of their way to criticize our church. Like in Sacrament Meeting, two teens from a different Christian church visited the service, and warned everybody sitting near them to refuse to take the sacrament because "the Mormons are a devil-worshipping cult." Some of the people actually believed them. We had to throw the two kids out because, dude, that ain't cool. That's like not just uncourteous, it's also kinda ironic since the two teens were technically Christian too.

Just goes to show some of the lengths Satan will go to to destroy the work of God. All we can do is continue the work.

I watched a movie called "Ephraim's Rescue" a few days ago. It's made by the same guys who made "17 Miracles." It's really awesome. You guys should look it up. It's the story of a man named Ephraim Hanks, who joined the LDS church in 1844 just before Joseph Smith's martyrdom. There's a point in the movie where Ephraim receives a blessing from Brigham Young. Here's part of what Brigham says:

"The Lord prepares each of us for the purposes which He has placed us on this earth to accomplish. Moments are set before each one of us, that if we give all that is within us, will bring us to an ability and power we have not before known."

This really strikes me deep, and I've been trying to follow this "advice" since I first heard it. Let me know what you think of the quote.

I love you all. I love you Mom, Dad, Alex, and Bree.

-Zach


QUESTIONS
1)  What is your companion’s parents’ names? Can we get in touch with them? Ask Elder Lawrence and lemme know. Did he graduate the same time as you?
*Lawrence's parents' names are A___ and B____. They're from Ridgeview Ward in East Stake. And Lawrence graduated a year before I did.

2)  Did you get the Miskito dictionary PDF last email? Do you want me to print it or do you just want to buy one there?
*If you could print it and send it, that would be fantastic.

3)  So, is that pretty much how birthdays are celebrated? A cake? Pretty simple and sweet. Any “big” birthdays? Like Sweet 16?
*In Managua, birthdays are always celebrated with a huge party and lots of alcohol (except for member parties). Since people are even poorer here than Managua, cakes usually do the trick. And it's not "sweet 16" here. Its "sweet 15."

4)  Do you need us to send you anything? We are getting ready a package to mail this week, so let me know. I think that last package you described was sent BEFORE we sent the Halloween package. I just cross my fingers and pray every time we send something to you that it will actually reach you.
*Chocolate would be awesome, if you can. I know it'll melt a little in the journey, but we have a tiny little fridge that i can stick it in when it arrives. This is also because chocolate is SUPER expensive here.

5) What do you guys DO on your p-days? How do you spend your time? Where do you go? What do you do for fun?
*We usually do some activity together at the chapel as a zone. We all try to do stuff together especially since we don't have communication with anyone else. We're kinda isolated out here. We also try to go somewhere together for lunch (they got a pretty good pizza place here). Somewhere in there we go shopping for food (breakfast and dinner for the rest of the week), and then we head to a Ciber to email our families.


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