Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Lord is My Strength

During an exchange in Chiguayante, we passed by horses in a field
Another week of building up our teaching pool.  We spent much of the week knocking on doors, which gave us opportunity to talk to many people, and even teach them on their doorstep.  A not-so-perfect way to teach lessons, but it's hard to meet the mission goal of having a certain number of lessons with members present when member-help is few and far between and the only opportunities to teach are spur of the moment.

Frankly, when I get any little chance to share the Light of Christ - I'm taking it.

I'll tell you, this starting from scratch has been a slow uphill climb. Did I tell you that my previous companion tossed our phone in the water before he transferred, thus losing all of our contact information history?  Without contact information, we have been starting afresh.

Add to that, my companion is having foot trouble. Something with the tendon. The doctor is grounding him for a bit, so we have to get extra creative to work our area and rally member support.

Despite the setbacks, we have found a few people with potential. Thank Heaven.

Gladys and Gaston
One came on Saturday when I was able to get out for a good three hours (on divisions) and we FINALLY GOT INTO A HOUSE!  Gladys and Gaston. We talked about the Atonement and how Christ came to heal us. But for that to happen, we need to take action to draw close to him.  It was the most spiritual lesson I have had in a long time.

We committed them to come to church - AND THEY CAME!

Intercambios in Chiguayante
We worked a couple of days in Chiguayante, my old stomping grounds, to help the elders in that area. I teamed with my buddy, Elder Almeida (from Brazil) one day. We had a good time.
with Elder Almeida and a member
The next day, Elder Fuentes and I worked together. Everything about Elder Fuentes screams telanovela Mexicanas star. He's got the look, and he's got the house. I saw pictures of his mansion home back in Mexico, complete with a plaza and fountain. He's a great guy. We work well together.
Elder Fuentes and I on P-day
Never Short on Drama
Our first contact of the day was with a transvestite. He did everything to look like a woman, except shave.  His name was Sofia.

A couple of days before this, an old bearded guy riding a bike really slow, wobble/glided passed us screaming profanities into the air.  "The truth is in the Evangelical bible!" <profanity> <profanity> "Maldito perro!" <profanity> <profanity> "Maldito testigo!" When the guy on the bicycle swore at another passerby, I thought the passerby was going to deck him.  We're never short on drama.

The Lord is My Strength
From a list of scriptures the mission president sent out, one was particularly meaningful to me.  It is from the Old Testament during a pretty unprofitable time for the prophet Habakkuk.  He wasworking hard and not seeing the fruit of his labors.  This passage is his prayer.
Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
neither shall fruit be in the vines;
the labour of the olive shall fail, 
and the fields shall yield no meat;
the flock shall be cut off from the fold,
and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
and he will make my feet like hinds' feet,
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.
Habakkuk 3:17-19

After reading that, I went to work knowing that God was with me.  Yes, a lot of my lessons were five minutes at someone's front gate, but I felt full of confidence, joy, and gratitude for being able to share any sort of inspiring message and be an instrument for God

Sometimes it seems like the only interest is to reach a goal of hitting a certain number/statistic.  But it always comes down to reaching that one person. Finding that one individual who is ready to hear the gospel.

If the remainder of my mission here is filled with simple contacts transformed into lessons - so be it. If it means I have the opportunity to teach - to share - I will take it.  Because, as long as I can walk, speak, think and breathe, I must share this message that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior, and leader of His Church, restored in these latter days through the Prophet Joseph Smith. And that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and testifies of these truths.

How lucky am I to be here and to be entrusted with something so valuable.

Wishing you all Strength in the Lord. Pray for my area!
Elder Connor Nef

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