Dear Family and Friends,
This week, there were many more lessons learned. I feel like I become better at following the Spirit each passing week and in turn, becoming a better missionary.
This weekend on Saturday, President and Sis. Collings came and visited for the Rwanda Zone Christmas party. Before we started our Christmas extravaganza, President began the meeting with some opening remarks. We had a discussion about Moroni 7:20-33 about Faith and our Standards of Excellence and replaced "every good thing" with "standards of excellence" in that sequence of scriptures. Basically, what I learned is that because the Standards of Excellence are good things and they represent living souls, and they were prayerfully put in place, it means that the Lord expects us to find 7 new investigators, have 3 people attend sacrament meeting each week, and teach 4 lessons a day. It also means that he will assist us in doing so and will put people in our path and if we have faith in him, we "shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me". It's a simple principle, but I understood better how these things increase faith and help in missionary work. Yesterday evening, Elder Grant and I found ourselves needing 6 more new investigators to accomplish our weekly goal. After dropping President and Sister Collings off at the airport, we got into our area at about 5:30 and worked diligently the rest of the evening. It was funny because though unlikely, I had a sincere belief that we'd be able to accomplish it because of what I learned from President. Unfortunately, we were only able to teach one man and set a return appointment, but I felt peaceful at the way Elder Grant and I worked and felt that if we approached every time we set aside for finding the way we did, there would be absolutely no problem in the future.
My testimony of the Atonement increased this week as I studied Elder Renlund's talk, "Repentance: A Joyful Choice". I testify that burdens are truly lifted as we make that effort to Repent. It is a choice and is not forced upon us. None of the Gospel is. But I know that the possibility of gaining a remission of sins and having guilt swept away IS the good news of this gospel. I also know that Repentance doesn't come without sacrifice. It's no wonder, because the act of suffering in Gethsemane for the Savior wasn't an easy or comfortable thing for him either. However, I know that token of sacrifice is absolutely, positively worth it. If any of you reading this right now have any sort of reason to repent, please take the opportunity. The Savior is waiting with his arms of mercy stretched out always and will embrace you and will take you as you are and mold you to become a little more like him.
On Thursday, Elder Grant and I were sharing with Sister Grace, one of our recent converts, and the topic of her deceased husband came up. When I got set apart as a full-time missionary, my Stake President told me that I would have Guardian Angels helping me in my missionary work. When Sister Grace began talking about her husband who passed away about 20 years ago, I just felt a distinct prompting that Grandpa Melendez knows Grace's husband in the Spirit World and that Grandpa has been teaching him. It was a tender mercy for me for sure. I have been thinking about him a lot lately and I felt so much gratitude for that thought. I shared it with Sister Grace and her feelings were mutual. I truly know that the veil is thin when it comes to the Lord's work and I feel privileged to be doing the same work my Grandfather is doing on the other side. God's plan is perfect.
I love you all,