Monday, January 26, 2015

In a Mission, the Only Constant is Change

Hey all!

This week was definitely more uplifting than last week. I went on double divisions with my District Leader (Elder Castellanos) on Thursday and one of the Zone Leaders (Elder Compton) on Friday. Both days we ended up encountering lots of potential investigators and a couple solid (re)starts in our area. I'm glad we're finally starting to see success again.

Not only that, we baptized one of our investigators this past Saturday! Her name is C______, and even though she's only 11 years old, she felt a strong desire to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized in His church. We'd been having doubts about continuing to teach her family, but it appears her aunt (and guardian) N______ is opening her mind to the Restored Gospel. We might baptize her this next Saturday.


Friday divisions with Elder Comton was a little bit crazy. While we were on our way to visit C______'s family with our branch president to invite her to get baptized, this lady stops us in the middle of the path we're on and says something panickedly in Miskito. Our branch president (Eduardo Super) quickly translated that the lady wanted us to bless her son, who was "sick." We'd never seen her before, but apparently she lived in a neighborhood that we often tracted in and was too afraid to talk to us before.

Anyway, we make our way over to their house to find her son on the floor with several full-grown men sitting on his limbs to keep him down. A relative quickly explained that he was "afflicted" by something, and that he often hurt other family members or ran around outside crazily.

I turned to Elder Compton and asked, "Have you ever had to cast out devils before?"

He says, "Yeah. A couple times. I learned it from older missionaries that I've had as companions. I'll show you how to do it."

So we anoint this boy with oil, and have Elder Compton, Brother Super, and me take part in the blessing. While it was being enacted, we could hear the boy's teeth grinding inside his head. His whole entire body would tense up now and then.

When it was over, the boy relaxed, going completely limp. It felt as if a great pressure had been removed from the house. Elder Comton stared at the kid awhile, then turned to me and said, "That should do it." Then we continued on to C______'s house.

Then later that night while we were searching for an old investigator, we end up finding out that she had moved from her old house to a new one across town that same day. I turn to Elder Compton and I'm like, "Can we go find her?"

He's like, "Well, I am ZL, so let's go."

We end up taking a taxi across town to another neighborhood called Lamlaya. After finding certain reference points relating to her house (they don't have addresses here), we end up saying a prayer for Heavenly Father to grant us a miracle to help find her. Immediately after we closed, I felt impressed to talk to the lady managing a nearby pulpería (shop) to see if she'd seen anybody moving in recently. She hadn't, but after talking with her a bit more we found out that she was the niece of Compton's old stake president in Managua. She was actually a member too (and her whole family), but they'd fallen inactive the past year. Compton and I were able to convince her to begin attending church once more.

In an odd, roundabout way, God had put us in the exact right spot at the exact right time to encounter this less-active family and bring them back into the fold.

Not five minutes later we also found the old investigator that we'd been looking for. So that prayer was also answered.

Never forget the power of prayer, especially specific prayer. It has been promised many, many times that if we ask of God in faith, He will give unto us.

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

-Zach

P.S. Bree, I hope you feel better soon. I'm really sorry that you feel ooky right now.

P.P.S. I got bit by a dog on Saturday morning, but it didn't get through my pants. My leg's a bit scratched up, but otherwise I'm fine. I let the mission office know that it happened, and there appeared to be nothing wrong with the dog (although it was angry with us), so they said I should be fine. I'll let you guys know if anything bad happens.


QUESTIONS

1. How was the fireside? It sounds really fun! Was it just for missionaries or did any members attend? Do you have any pictures?
* It was super fun! It was just with other missionaries from the zone, so it made it a bit more personal I guess. I myself forgot to bring my camera, but I'm pretty sure I can get photos from some of the other missionaries.

2. How’s the toe? All better?
* Improving. Not infected anymore, but the nail still needs to grow out some more before it stops cutting into my toe.

 3.  And the food situation? Are you eating more than just beans and rice now? Getting more protein?
* We get meat from our lunch appointment almost every day, and they sell eggs and peanut butter at the supermarket. So, I should be good.

4. How’s the language coming along? Miskito?
* I haven't actually been studying Miskito that much. Just some simple phrases. I've been mainly focusing on finding new investigators who speak Spanish first.

5. Would you like us to send you other church magazines in English-- not just the Liahona in Spanish?
* They actually hand out Spanish Liahonas here, so if you could send some in English, that would be fantastic.
   
6.  Are you keeping  a regular journal?
* I am. It's like every other day, but there are tons of spiritual experiences I've been recording. Especially a few that happened this past Friday. I'll say more in the big email.   




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