Well I have officially completed one year as a missionary. I feel like even in another year more, I will never see or fully understand the impact of the service I have given, in my own life, and in the lives of others. Yesterday we were in the council of leaders and the missionaries in Oberá informed me that the daughter of Ramona who was my investigator was recently baptized, that her daughter is preparing to be baptized and she is progressing a lot more. She was healed of here heart problem because of the blessing we gave her and she said she is going to write us a letter because she wants to tell us her testimony again because she knows we didn´t really fully understand her when she told us. Her family still talks about me and Elder Muñoz. I will never really see the fruits of my labor.
However, the fruits that are a bit more apparent to me are the changes in my own life. I was reading my journal entries from the beginning of my mission and I realized how much I have learned and how much I have changed. At the beginning of my mission I didn´t have very much faith that I could do all that the Lord asks of me, but after seeing the words that He sends to me by His Spirit and the strength that He sends to me in times of trial I know that I can meet any challenge that He sends to me. And I can´t help but feel that more challenges are coming to test my faith.
This week I gave a talk in sacrament meeting. It rained and only 31 people were at church and during the class the people started talking a lot about how when the rain comes everyone loses their faith, but I felt like they were kind of acting like they were a bit better than those who did not come. So talked about Peter and Christ. Peter started out with very little faith, but Christ used His faith to grow Peter´s faith. When Peter walked on water but then sank, Christ didn´t tell Him "Too bad, it is your fault for not having faith. Save yourself." Instead He stretched out His hand and gave Peter a chance to show his faith again. Later, just before He is about to suffer for the sins of the world and take upon himself an agony indescribably infinite, he tells Peter that He is pleading that the faith of Peter will not fail and then tells him to strengthen others with his faith. Later Christ tells him three times to "feed my sheep." I think that sometimes as members of the church we think we are better than others for doing right things. But if we spend all of our time thinking we are better than other people we will not have time to help them to strengthen their faith as Christ did with Peter. So I asked the question: What are we doing to help these people grow their faith so that they too can have faith strong enough to come to church in any circumstance?
This is related to what we discussed in our leadership council: What does it mean to build the church? To me it means to help individuals and families develop faith in Jesus Christ and make and keep covenants. If this does not happen, then the church will never grow. What are we doing to help others grow in their faith? Do we expect them to just do it all on their own or are we extending them a hand as Christ did with Peter? I think I have been expecting the members to just start working. To just do it. but I have not been doing my part to help them grow their faith to the point in which they can do it. We need to start truly building the church.
Con amor, Elder Hawk