Another preparation day, another week, another month, and another transfer. Time keeps marching on.
On Monday, we went back to the pueblo of Úbeda to teach Olga again. We had a lesson with her about our relationship with Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ, and how we can communicate with them through prayer. We have another lesson with her tonight, and hopefully things will keep going well, poco a poco.
Besides that, the first part of last week consisted of helping Elder Moffat get ready and go off to his next area. Accordingly, on Wednesday, he left, and my new companion, Elder Liza, arrived. He’s from Peru but has been living in a city in the north of Spain named Pamplona for the past 11 years. He’s also a convert of about two years, so it’s been really interesting to see his perspective on missionary work after having been “on the other side of the the table.” I, and I believe all of the rest of the companions that I’ve had, were raised in the church, so there’s certain parts to the conversion process that we obviously can’t understand having not been in that position. I also had to say goodbye to my crutch of being able to speak English whenever I wanted to, which is probably for the best.
Things have been going really well so far. We were able to find two new investigators in the past few days. One of them is named Nabil, who is from Morocco, and is really interested in the precept of a modern day prophet. We taught him about The Restoration on Saturday, and should be meeting again with him this week. The other new investigator is named Jorge, who is from Mexico, and has had contact with the church and the missionaries in the past. He’s actually invited us over to dinner for the past three nights in a row, and we’re starting to reteach him the missionary lessons and respond to his questions and doubts about the church. In addition to them, we’ve been able to set things up with some menos activos that we’ve been trying to get into contact with for a while now, so yeah. Everything is going pretty good right now, even with the heat and the hills and everybody being out of town for vacations.
One of my favorite parts of the Book of Mormon has always been the story of King Limhi’s people, as found on Mosiah 21. Maybe I’ve shared this before in one of my previous emails, but it’s something that I had reviewed this week, and I’d like to share it again. At this time, the people of King Limhi were under the yoke of bondage of the Lamanites. It was a miserable position to be in. As the record states, “. . . they did humble themselves even to the dust, subjecting themselves to the yoke of bondage, submitting themselves to be smitten, and to be driven to and fro, and burdened, according to the desires of their enemies.”
Their response to this situation was to “. . . humble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions.”
Humility lead them to pray, although, “. . . the Lord was slow to hear their cry because of their iniquities; nevertheless the Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.”
The Lord always hears and answers our prayers. Sometimes those answers are not what we were hoping. I’m sure that the people of King Limhi were praying in order to be delivered from bondage, but the will of the Lord was to keep them where they were. Nevertheless, the Lord began to bless them “. . . that they began to prosper by degrees in the land, and began to raise grain more abundantly, and flocks, and herds, that they did not suffer with hunger.”
From this, and from personal experiences I’ve had with prayer, I know that Heavenly Father listens to every prayer, from every one of his children. He always answers them too. Even though these answers may not be what we expect, or come in our timing, all we need to do is trust in the Lord, and trust in his timing. Prayer works.
Élder Stark ??
1-2: Elder Moffat, Elder Craven, Elder Rigby, Elder Stark
3: Snuck my way in
4: Goodbye Elder Moffat
6-7 At it again
8: Jorge and Elder Liza
9: Really wants to go home
10: Until next time