Miracles really do happen according to our faith! This week Sister Villagran and I were working really hard trying to get a ton of people at church this week. Unfortunately, most of our teaching pool cut themselves because they weren´t keeping commitments, so we spent most of the week trying to find new investigators. We contacted, asked for referrals from almost every contact, and really tried to pray continually***. However, it didn´t seem like anything was really happening or that we were finding the elect. We kept contacting and working hard though and preparing for a baptism on sunday. Mariana was baptized on sunday; she´s a neice of a member that brings her to church every week. The mom went to the baptism and it was a special day. However, we weren´t successful in bringing any other investigators to church by our own efforts. Thankfully, Heavenly Father is kind and blessed us with 2 new investigators that showed up at church. One is Jonathon(24): his family was taught by the missionaries YEARS ago because his dad is a member. He and his mom never got to baptism. Anyway, he said he just woke up that day and told his mom that he wanted to go to church. He went and found the elders and said that he wanted to come back and get baptized! We visited him later that day and him and his mom accepted baptism. It was an awesome day. The other investigator came with a member and he loved that church too. Yesterday really strengthened my testimony that miracles happen when we do all that we can. It was a sweet reassurance that our diligence matters in the Lord´s eyes and he blesses us with tender mercies according to our faith.
This week we also had a special conference with our mission president about obedience. He called the conference ``amor duro``(tough love). Alma 4:19 is a good summary of what happened: And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony.``
It was pretty hard core but it really helped me feel the Spirit and weight of my calling. He shared some scriptures on obedience:
D&C 82: 2, 3, & 10-Nevertheless, there are those among you who have sinned exceedingly; yea, even all of you have sinned; but verily I say unto you, beware from henceforth, and refrain from sin,lest sore judgments fall upon your heads. For of him unto whom much is given much is required;and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation...I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.
1 Samuel 15:22-And Samuel said, Hath the Lordas greatdelight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?Behold, to obeyis better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.obedience is more important that sacrifice--I can work really hard but if im not obedient, my offer isn´t very pleasing to God
D&C 58: 29, 32 &33-
But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded,and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned...I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing. Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for heir reward lurketh beneath, and not from above.
***praying continually:We also had a training that really changed my view on the concept of praying continually throughout our day. They talked about how most of the time on our way to appointments(when we walk, drive, etc.) this is what we are thinking: ``I´m tired. Just 6 more months of this. I´m hungry. I hope Sister Silva makes good snacks for our FHE tonight. etc.`` They did a demonstration where 2 missionaries were thinking this kind of stuff and when they got to the house, the investigators were in a rush/hadn´t read or prayed/didnt accept commitments/etc; Then they did the practive again but just changed what the missionaries were thinking as they walked. This time as the missionaries walked to their investigator´s house their thoughts were more or less this: ``Heavenly Father, please bless the Costa family. Please touch their hearts. Help us to bring the Spirit into their home. Help us teach them the principles that will motivate them to change their life forever...etc`` Then when they got to the investigator´s house they were spiritually prepared and the investigators ended up making time for the lesson, accepting commitments, sharing experiences/difficulties, etc. When Sister Villagran and I applied this this week we were astonished at how much more we felt the spirit this week and how many of the hearts of our investigators were touched. Heavenly Father really does bless us when our hearts/thoughts are in the right place. One of my favorite scriptures is 3 Nephi 13:21 ``For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.``