Monday, February 3, 2014

Letter #71 2/2/14 "Santificaos‏"

It's still raining.

Dear friends and family,

Where to begin?

I gave a talk in church last week about Zion. All four of us missionaries serving in this ward feel like that is the reason we are here: strengthen the members. They are truly amazing-- and the Lord allows the strong to be tested.

On Saturday we had an amazing lesson with our investigator, Gustavo Zipitría. When we called an hour before our appointment to confirm that he would be there, he told us that he had reached the decision to not be baptized. Fortunately, my companion and I are not the type to take "no" for an answer that easily, and we went with a member couple to his house to try and resolve his doubts. The problem is that we haven't been able to teach him very much, and the challenge of baptism weakens if not supplemented immediately by the good word of God. We were able to convince him not to close the door on something he does not fully understand yet.

This week at church the attendance dropped by over half. After calling and texting all our investigators about church, we ran the two blocks in the pouring rain to the chapel. The power was out, and only the emergency lighting was running. We held Relief Society in almost complete darkness as another black raincloud moved in and blocked out the sun. Our phone has a flashlight, which I gave to the teacher so she could read the manual. It was me and Hermana Peña, Hermana Norma (the teacher) and Hermana Rodao (the bishop's sister). 4 sisters.

There was a confirmation during the sacrament meeting, and a profound silence reigned over the chapel during the whole meeting; all the families with little kids had stayed at home because of the rain. During the sacrament, the Spirit comforted both me and my companion. Despite our efforts, the rain had turned out to be stronger than our investigators' faith, and none appeared. But faith is to believe that all things are possible, even when we see "the wind boisterous". The Spirit has given me a deep feeling of tranquility that we will reach our baptismal goal this month. The Lord is just testing our faith and the strength of our desire to bring sould unto Him. Seconds after the "amen" of the benediction, the lights came on in the church. As my wise companion keeps reminding me, "there is nothing physical that does not teach a spiritual principle."

The other sisters were frantically trying to find the baptismal clothing for their baptism to be held right after church. It had disappeared, but they found it in the house of a member who had offered to wash it after his son's baptism. Due to the fact that there had been no power in the building, the font was filled with icy water, but the little girl who was baptized showed great courage and pure faith as she stepped down and didn't say a word. The power of godliness is truly manifest in the plain and precious words and actions of gospel ordinances.

This week I am amazed at the Lord's ability to help me find strength in places I never would have looked.

I am grateful for my amazing companion. I am grateful for your prayers and please know that I pray for you every day. God has everything under control.

Love you forever,
Hermana Phillips