Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hey family, friends, and friends of my mom,

This week was alright, pretty uneventful. One moment that was really incredible was with our investigator Beatriz. Last night as we were discussing some doubts about the plan of salvation, it just felt right to avoid the doubts she was having and change the topic to baptism. She has been hearing us for some time now and always has questions, not questions to fight, but she is sincerely concerned about what the true doctrine is. She´s awesome. Anyways, I told her that we could answer her questions a little later, but that I wanted to ask her something. I asked her if she believed this was the only true and living church of Christ on the earth today. She told us yes. I asked her to explain what the true church of Christ means for her. She went on to tell us that it was like she was in a neighborhood into which had moved her family, but she didn´t know in which house they lived. She said that in this neighborhood there were many good houses which had a lot of good people, but none of them were her family. She told us that it is as if she has finally found the house with her family, and she can now know how it is that she can have salvation.

Salvation is something incredibly important for her, and she reminds me that it is incredibly true that many are kept from the truth because they know not where to find it. It´s frustrating that she can´t attend church because her mom tells her she needs to watch the little store in the market because SHE is attending church at that time. We told her that we can talk with her mom, and she said she will do the same, but her parents are very opposed to their daughter being in another church. The other thing is that she and Alsidez aren´t married, but with how she reads and prays, I really don´t think any of this will be a problem. It might take a little more time, but I really believe she will be baptized sooner or later.

Something that you might find interesting, or something that I´ve been thinking about lately is the culture here in Guatemala. They are an extremely god-fearing people. Some missionaries take that and they use the extremely strong scriptures that say you will go to hell if you don´t do this, or that you´ll be cast out if you do this, etc. I´m not saying that we should never use strong scriptures, but scaring people into go to church is not the way I feel it should be done (see the verses about the sabbath in Numbers, many missionaries LOVE this scripture). I feel as if this is part of the reason retention can be a problem here. This is all my opinion mind you, maybe there has been an incredible conversion due to one of these scriptures, but from my experience I´ve seen that those who act out of their own desire to find the truth and do what is right are those who stay in the church. This goes for those who are baptized because the missionaries are their good buddies, they have a girlfriend in the church, etc. I´ve been thinking a lot lately about how important it is that these people have a desire to know, and then act because of that desire instead of coming in for social reasons. Just a thought and something that can be found often in Guatemala for anyone who is interested.

Anyway, changes are Wednesday, and they will let us know tonight. I´m trying not to guess, but we will see what happens and you will obviously know next week. I love you all! Thanks for the love and support you always give me, and I hope you got your little envelope Mom!


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