They continue, but I love it. The best part of the interviews is when you start to see the missionaries put into practice the things we are teaching them. Everyone is super excited about the B.E.E. and everyone wants a shirt like Elder Gomez and I, hahaha.
This week we went to a part of Cali and then off to Pasto and Ipiales. MAN it is FREEZING there in Pasto and Ipiales. I am definitely accustomed to my Cali.
The interviews went great. We went to Ipiales and did the interviews there, it was super awesome. When I was in Ipiales I found out that some of my converts two weeks ago went to the temple and were sealed for time and all eternity. I honestly couldn’t believe it.
It made me think of their story:
I met Luz and Jose when I had recently got to Ipiales in November of 2013. Luz is a haircutter and we had gone to get our hair cut. We told her that we were going to pass by another day and teach her, but she didn’t look very interested so we didn’t go back. About 3 months later in the final part of January I told my companion that we were going to meet someone. We went to the house of Luz and Jose. They received us, but very tentatively. Luz said that she was born a Catholic and Catholic she was going to die. We told her that we were not there to do anything else but increase her faith in Christ. We started to teach them about the Plan of Salvation and the infinite love that our Heavenly Father has for us and that He restored His gospel. They read the Book of Mormon and watched the Testaments. They agreed to go to a fireside with us where President Prince gave a talk. Afterward I brought them to meet the President of the mission and they talked for a little bit, President Prince asked them to go to church with us that coming Sunday and they agreed.
The following Sunday they went to church, and it just happened to be fast and testimony meeting. Jose felt so excited that he too wanted to stand up and give his testimony about the love of God.
They were progressing in the gospel, that is when Luz told us that she didn’t believe in anything we had said. We couldn’t believe it. They were doing so good, we started to ask her why and she finally said, "It’s because I don’t believe in the resurrection, everything you have taught me so far I believe but the fact that you believe in the resurrection lets me know that you are wrong." I then asked her, if you know for yourself that the resurrection will happen one day, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone who holds the authority of God to do so?
She told me yes, that if she could only know if the resurrection was true she would believe in Jesus Christ’s ministry to this continent and its translation through Joseph Smith.
That is when I asked her for her own bible.
I opened up to 1 Corinthians 15:12-14
12. "Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13. But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is all so vain."
When she read this scripture she was furious. She stood up and told us to get out of her house.
I didn’t know what to do at that moment, so my companion and I left the house silently. This was Sunday afternoon, and that night we found out that both of us would be leaving the area.
As I packed up my things in the house I left a note on the door for the new missionaries to go and visit Luz and Jose along with the address.
The later part of the story I learned months afterwards.
The 2 new missionaries got to the area and found my note, not knowing anybody else they went to visit Luz and Jose. They knocked on the door and heard screaming. Luz and Jose came running out knowing that it was the missionaries. As they opened up the door they saw that it was two new missionaries, they handed them a card that I had left in the house for them. She asked them “Where is Elder Lyle and Elder Aguilera cause I have news for them”. They told Luz and Jose that we weren’t there, and she told the other missionaries "Well when you see them, tell them that my husband and I are getting baptized this Saturday."
When we had left the house that day they were moved by the spirit and read all of the passages of the scriptures we had read and started to pray. After that they said that there was no doubt that they had received an answer from God.
They continued to progress and 2 weeks ago they went to the Guayaquil Temple in Ecuador and were sealed one to another.
It is incredible to see how the spirit can touch the lives of people.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints is true:
How can you know?
Easy. Ask God in a prayer.
He will show you the truth.
That is our great invitation to the world, that everyone asks God if we have the truth or not.
So this week we started interviews again in the mission. It’s weird to think that we do them every 3 months and this is my 3rd time doing it.
Elder Gomez and I have an awesome training that we are giving the mission and we are seeing a lot of results! Everyone is getting super excited. We are working with the "Beehive Mission" and working like a beehive. We made shirts, we made logos, and in the interviews we are explaining exactly how a “BEE” Missionary works.
It is super fun. We are seeing a lot of missionaries that are excited to learn how to work even more efficiently. The interviews are always TENAZ. I’m sorry for those who don’t know what tenaz is in English, I also don’t what it is, sorry, but it is the only word that I know to explain how interviews are. You don’t sleep, you don’t walk, you just go from one interview to another and you just talk and talk and talk. Every interview is 30 minutes long if not longer. We talk a minimum 43 hours to be able to complete all the interviews for the entire mission saying the same thing interview after interview. It starts to get to you. You are dead beat tired every day. Being a missionary your body becomes used to walking all day and getting tired but when you are doing interviews there is so little time when you are going to bed super late and getting up early enough to travel to different parts of the mission to give the interview. These were Elder Gomez’s first interviews so he was super excited to start them, hahaha, I told him that they were tenaz. The first few days of interviews we were going good then around the third day, after having said the same thing 40 times, he looked at me and he was like... I don’t know if I can do this anymore, hahahahaha. I looked at him and said, “I TOLD YOU SOO!”
But we are BEE MISSIONARIES!
We have to keep on working, hahaha. You guys probably don’t think that is as funny as I do, but you had to BEE here to understand.
We did all the interviews in our BEE shirts and all the missionaries are asking for the shirts. We are trying to unify the mission with this one theme. And so far it is working really well. Honestly that was my week… Interviews.
I love interviews don’t get me wrong, it is when you have the best chance to train the missionaries, but trust me, IT’S TENAZ.
So this week I was reading some things that I really liked. And I would like to talk about some of my favorite people from the scriptures.
The Stripling Warriors
Personally I love the stripling warriors, I always have, always will. I was reading their story.
First of all in Alma 53 it says they were:
20. "And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all-they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.
21. Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him."
I have always wanted to be a stripling warrior all my life and I have always loved that scripture that explains who they were.
But the story gets interesting; the whole country was under war and they needed reinforcements so these young men that had never fought before formed a troop per say, but nobody wanted them to fight. But when things were looking bad, they sent the stripling warriors in as a decoy. And the other army took it and started chasing them. Little did the enemy know that the stronger army started to follow them to kill them before they got to the stripling warriors. But there was a point in which they were all tired and they had to make the decision to fight and the leader of the stripling warriors asked them
44. “Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them in battle?”
They went and fought and in a letter their leader had sent to the main captain he explained the stripling warriors in the following manner
45. “And now I say unto you, my beloved brother Moroni, that never had I seen so great courage, nay, not amongst all the Nephites.
46. For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.
47. Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
48. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.”
This has always impacted me.
I love the stripling warriors.
They did indeed go to battle and they won, but the troop leader was concerned and so he:
55… “numbered those young men who had fought with me, fearing lest there were many of them slain.”
Only to find that
56. “But behold, to my great joy, there had not one soul of them fallen to the earth; yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such a miraculous strength; and with such mighty power did they fall upon the Lamanites, that they did frighten them; and for this cause did the Lamanites deliver themselves up as prisoners of war.”
I love the stripling warriors.
Let us be stripling warriors in this day and age and fight for what is right.
Let us follow the same qualities of those awesome men. I love these scriptures; it shows that no matter what the odds are, if we are upright before God He will help us in all our struggles.
Like it says in Mosiah 2:41
41. “And morever, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.”
This last week was all concentrated about the Savior of the world.
My companion and I did nothing else but think and preach about Him and His resurrection all week long. I think it was possibly one of the most amazing weeks I have had here in Terrón Colorado.
This week in Latin America is known as Holy Week it is where they celebrate the triumphal entrance of Jesus in Jerusalem last Sunday and celebrate every day up until today, Resurrection Sunday. We think about his great sacrifice that He paid for us starting Thursday night in the Garden of Gethsemane as he paid the price that no other man could. As we preached this week we used the initiative,
Because He Lives
And we saw the effect that it had in the lives of those we shared it with.
Because He Lives
We can start over, again and again
Because He Lives
We too will live
Because He lives
We can have a family forever.
All of these brief but powerful statements captivate the souls and the minds of the Children of God.
Our Savior lives
That is the most important part.
Many people here celebrate crucifixion Friday more than resurrection Sunday. More people went to church, any church, on Friday than I have seen go to church my entire mission. It made me think of a scripture in John, as the angel at the sepulcher spoke to Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary.
“Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
I know that our Savior lives. I know that if we but look for Him, He will show himself unto us.