Monday, May 5, 2014

Espera al Señor.

Thanks to an unexpected twist of events it turns out that I am writing you guys today like normal!  It´s a normal day of work afterwards but on Friday morning we go to the temple with President Ardila and then afterwards the mission has planned a big lunch and a p-day with another zone as well. We don´t know much more than that but I´m SUPER excited!  Especially for the temple. We also have a wedding later that night (the husband is getting baptized next week!) so it will be a really happy day!  

We had a really great week and weekend this week working with our progressing investigators and the less actives here.  What topped it off for me was when I got the news that an investigator that I had taught for several months in Chaclacayo was getting baptized and I got permission to go to her baptism!!  On Saturday Hermana Lagos and I went to Chaclacayo for that and it was awesome.  Hermana Avendaño and I had found Evelyn through a member reference-  she had met a member who was on her way to church one Sunday with her kids and asked if she was going to a church and what church she was headed to.  The sister shared a bit with her and found out that Evelyn had investigated the church when she lived in the US just a month beforehand.  She had come back to Perú for her daughter and was looking for the church here.  As it turned out, she lives literally RIGHT BEHIND the church but hadn´t recognized it as the "Mormon church" that she had visited when she was taking the lessons in the states. And it was in English there haha.  So we started teaching her in January and had invited her to be baptized one of the first weeks in February (because she had been listening to the missionaries in the US very recently) and she accepted but of course the opposition came and has made things difficult for her to attend church and make the commitment to be baptized.  She has developed a lot of faith and has come a long way since I first met her.  It was probably my favorite baptism of my whole mission.  It was really special for me because I had been there with her in the majority of this process and got to witness how the Gospel really changes lives.  It would have been great if she had been baptized sooner, but I now have a firm testimony of the Lord´s timing and have learned to trust more in it.  She was so happy and grateful that day and so was I!

Thinking about this experience and the many others that I´ve had in the past 13 months, I can only feel an immense gratitude to my Heavenly Father for the mission that He has allowed me to have.  I may not be a "Dan Jones" type of missionary, bringing hundreds upon hundreds to the knowledge of the Gospel and I may not be a perfect teacher, but I have been so blessed for my efforts.  I have been able to witness the Atonement in my own life and in the lives of those I teach. I have been a recipient, as well as my family, of the blessings of sacrifice and diligence in this work.  I know that the Lord is mindful of me and of each one of us.  He really does listen to and answer the prayers of his servants (Mosiah 27:14).  At times I feel extremely weak and I don´t know how I will be able to do all the things that I need to but as often as I ask Him, Heavenly Father blesses me with the strength to press forward.  This Work of Salvation is of utmost importance to Him and nothing that Satan does can stop that.  We are on the winning team.  I loved Elder Holland´s talk in this last General Conference. As he closed, he said: 

Friends, especially my young friends, take heart. Pure Christlike love flowing from true righteousness can change the world. I testify that the true and living gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth and you are members of His true and living Church, trying to share it. I bear witness of that gospel and that Church, with a particular witness of restored priesthood keys which unlock the power and efficacy of saving ordinances. I am more certain that those keys have been restored and that those ordinances are once again available through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than I am certain I stand before you at this pulpit and you sit before me in this conference.
Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them. A long history of inspired voices, including those you will hear in this conference and the voice you just heard in the person of President Thomas S. Monson, point you toward the path of Christian discipleship. It is a strait path, and it is a narrow path without a great deal of latitude at some points, but it can be thrillingly and successfully traveled, “with … steadfastness in Christ, … a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.”19 In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, you cannot fall.20 In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I know that this is true and I thank God every day in my prayers for the opportunity that I have to serve Him and his children.  We face a lot of opposition in missionary work and in life but I know that trusting in Him is how we can overcome it. Like Elder Holland says, and in Helaman 5:12, if we make the Savior our rock, we cannot fall.  

I hope each of you has a great week and I look forward to Mother´s Day! :)

Hermana Bledsoe

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