Well it was one of the best weeks of my mission. We are seeing our hard work pay off and a lot of blessings from the Lord. Perhaps the experience that best sums up my week was when I taught an inactive family about faith. They talked about how they don´t feel a lot of the Spirit in their home and I started talking with them and they basically said that they just don´t feel the desire to read the scriptures or do anything spiritual. I thought of a scripture in Alma that talks about how at first if we even have only a desire to change that we can let this desire work within us. They said that they had a desire to truly have the Spirit again. So we talked about planting the seed which is the word of God and then working on it so that it grows. And then a thought came to me. I said that sometimes we have enough faith to at least put the seed into the ground but after about an hour or a day we lose faith and forget about our seed and leave sad. But that is not true faith. Or at least not the faith necessary to receive the fruits of eternal life. What we need to do is plant the seed and do all that we can to prepare the soil and take care of the tiny sprout that comes up and little by little we will have more faith until we have a strong, tall tree. But patience is the key. And this isn´t just true about certain things. It is true in all principles of the gospel. We are commanded to pay tithing and we do it. But when we have a small financial struggle we think that the Lord is not keeping His promises so we stop. We have family home evening but when the kids are misbehaving and no one listens we stop having it. We go to church hoping it will unite our family and when opposition comes and there seem to be more problems than before we stop going. We want to quit smoking but after the first day we feel worse than when we were smoking, so we stop trying to quit. It happens often in our lives. And it happened to me. I was working as hard as I could and when I did not see immediate and instantaneous success my excitement dropped and my work was less productive. But that is a lack of faith. The Lord ALWAYS keeps His promises. We do not know when or how, but I know that He ALWAYS keeps His promises. We just need to patiently wait and work. I may never see all of the fruits of my labors, but I need to have the faith and the hope in God that my labors will give forth fruits. This week was very fortunate for me because the Lord blessed me to be able to see those fruits.
The fruits in Itá Paso were that after months of having the goal and vision that the members would be self-sufficient and depend less on us, they are doing it. On Sunday I didn´t put up one chair, I did not prepare the sacrament, I didn´t have to help the group leader pick the hymns minutes before the sacrament meeting, and I didn´t even have to bring investigators to church or sit with them because the members brought their friends who we have taught and made them feel very welcome. And the gospel principles class was bomb. haha It was an incredibly rewarding experience and I am so grateful for the hard work of all of the members and for the help of the Lord in all we have done here. Itá Paso is now ready to have lots of progress.
In our new little group we had a testimony meeting that was awesome. Some members from Itá Paso came and helped a lot and gave some powerful testimonies. Also, David came. We found him on New Years Eve day and then on Saturday we went back. He was baptized when he was ten but after his father died he kept strong for awhile, but as he was getting ready to go on the mission he fell into drugs and alcohol and now years later he still regrets what has happened to him. When we went back on Saturday he had been drinking a bit, but we sat down and he told us that for a long time he had prayed and no one had ever offered a hand to help him. He said he had been pleading for a long time for help but that he feels like maybe God isn´t listening to him. Then Elder Blanco asked if he believed that we were the answer to his prayers and David started crying. He said that we were the answers to his prayers and I felt the Spirit very powerfully. He came to church on Sunday and is in much higher hopes.
I know that the Lord always blesses us if we do what He asks. Although we may feel that He is not listening to us or that He is not blessing us for our efforts, I know that He will. But sometimes He waits to give us a chance to develop greater faith and give us greater blessings. Never lose hope. Trust that God will always keep His promises. I know He will. But always in His time and in His own way. But it will always be in the way that will help us the most.
Con amor, Elder Hawk