Saturday, December 17, 2016

Greater Confidence

Since I passed the half-way mark of my time in Chile, I am officially in the part of my mission where I will only experience things once in the field. Never again will I have a December 5 in Chile as a missionary. Weird. It's been causing me to reflect more on my purpose here, and how I use my time.

For instance, I have gotten gotten back to filling in the info on Mi Familia (the family history booklet). Preaching the message about how families can be together forever has really made me think more about my own ancestors. So I am using what little free time I have to work on it. What a blessing to remember those that have come before and made me who I am.

As for our time out and about, my companion and I have had some real success this week in finding some promising people to teach. Let me tell you about two of them.

Strong and Faithful
So we passed by an old street contact named Angelina. She is a middle aged woman whose two kids have grown up and left the house, and her husband works a lot - so she's often alone. She's also almost paralyzed on her left side. There was a car accident years ago that almost killed her, but God had other plans for her! She loves praying and reading and - get this - also completely understands that trials are for us to gain experience and wisdom (somebody pinch me, I must be dreaming). After sharing with her the message of the Restoration, she committed to read the Book of Mormon, and said she was pretty interested.

And just when we stepped out the door to leave, her husband Oscar arrived home from work. "Oh no," I thought, "we just had this lovely lesson, and now we're going to find out he doesn't like us!" But I was wrong to worry - he's a really nice and chill dude. We had a short chat, but he told us another bit of info about Angelina.

Turns out that she was barely able to leave her wheelchair after her accident, and yet she donated her wheelchair anyway. He came home and was stunned.

"Where is your wheelchair?" he asked.

"I donated it. Someone else needs it more than me," she said.

That's a strong woman of faith.

"It's been a while"
Another day this week we were out and about with the Branch President to knock some doors of his neighbors. No one was answering, and we were running out of doors on the block. I started praying hard mentally for us to meet someone interested, remembering Jeffrey Holland's quote that "this is life and death we are talking about!" Right as I was thinking this, my companion said, "Ok, this is the last house."

It was so hot, I could feel the sweat all over me, and I was dying a little on the inside - when a middle aged lady answers the door.

"Well, it's been a while since I have seen you!" she said.


Turns out that Cecilia used to meet with the missionaries a long while ago. She's one who believes in her own way, due to some past bad experiences with religion. But she likes listening to us, and there might be some hope for progress, but we will have to meet with her a few more times to see.

President's Inspiring Words
So we've had some success with finding people! All the same, I've been feeling pressure from some that I haven't been doing my part in the work here. But that all changed when I read the email from my mission president this week.

It made me so happy. He told us all to do the exact things me and my companion are already doing: teach and train members, teach lessons more for quality, etc - and do less of what many others have told us to do (like focusing on the number of people you teach). It was a relief sent from on high.

So now I have greater confidence that I am acting exactly as the Lord wants. I know I have only so much time in the mission, and I want to make sure I use it the best way to do the most good. And in meeting Angelina and Oscar and Cecilia, I know that there are lives to bless and people to help.

May the Lord bless you all with confidence as he has with me,
Elder Connor Nef

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