Transcription from voice recordings sent this week:
"We had a pretty cool week! We had lots of people come to church. We have ward council in the morning before church. And we have a bus that helps people come to church. So my companion and I did divisions so one of us could go to ward council, and the other could help pick up the members who needed a ride. We pass by their houses and pick them up.
We had lots of new investigators that came to church this week. We were able to pass by their houses with a bus, if and they were interested in the message we were teaching, they could get a ride to church. We had 7 people come to church today! For five of them, it was their first time coming to church. The ward council is super awesome here. They definitely get a lot done. The Bishop and his counselors work really well together. Everything is progressing well here. It's great!
The biggest problem here, is that the people are not reading their scriptures every single day. They lose this opportunity to remember who they are every single day. The scriptures have a ton of power to help us have a stronger testimony in our lives. All you have to do is open them up. Consistency is the key.
One of the new people that we found this week is Estevan. He was someone we just talked to in the street. My companion met him first. We went to his house this week to visit him. When we came, his wife looked at us, saw the Book of Mormon, and didn't want anything to do with us. As we left, we started walking down the street, and we saw him. He was crouched down behind some bushes by a wall, not wanting us to see him. I thought, ah great, he doesn't want anything to do with us either. But my companion said, No, we'll just go talk to him! So we went over and talked to him. We all went back to his house and talked to him. His wife was mad that we had returned. She didn't want anything to do with us. But the more we talked to him, the more excited he got. After the lesson, we left him with our information and headed home. That night, he called us to check and see if our number was real. He told us he really wanted to learn more, and wanted to come to our church on Sunday. We went back to visit him again. Then this morning, he called us, so we passed by his house, and pick him up. He totally came to church! He loved it. Everybody in Elder's Quorum welcomed him, he told him his name, and everyone was yelling, Welcome! Welcome to church! It was wonderful. They made him feel like he was right at home.
There is a less active that we found couple weeks ago that told us he hasn't been to church for 30 years. He was active for 10 years, then moved. So it's been 30 years since he's been back. His name is Heimrich. He's the only immediate member of the church in his family. His wife and children are a different religion. He has 9 kids, he makes very very little money, but Sunday's are his best day. It's really hard. We go down by the beach and found him living in a tiny little house by the water. He tells us stories about when God has blessed him in his life--like when he found garbage to put over his house to keep the rain off, or when he gave rice to his neighbor because he had a little extra and they were starving. He's a really cool guy, we're just having difficulty getting him to come to church. He gave us a reference to one of his friends from his childhood, she just lives a block away. Her name is Silvia. We went to her house and taught her a couple of lessons. She got super excited. She loves everything, she loves the Book of Mormon and hasn't had a single doubt. She's accepted everything. She came to church for the first time this week too. She brought her kids. The coolest moment was when we introduced her to the Primary President. She went to welcome her, gave her a hug, told her she'd take the kids to class, and Silvia just loved it. The spirit definitely works in every single person, in the exact way that they need it.
God works in mysterious ways. He loves every single one of his children. He knows that some of them are ready to learn more, and some of them are not. We are all in different levels of conversion. The Lord has blessed us with agency so we can choose and grow in whatever way that we need to.
We were listening to a talk by an area seventy that spoke about conversion. He said that when we are talking to people in a normal conversation, they may say things that are rude or are gross things that we shouldn't say, sometimes it bothers us, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes there are dirty jokes that get into our thoughts, and sometimes it doesn't. These kind of things prove to us what level of conversion we are.
The Savior would feel the same about all of it, because he has become perfect. The Savior feels the same about every single commandment. We can each get to that level, but we have to keep working every single day to get there.
I know that we can get there and that's what we are all trying to do, just in our own different ways. If you ask any person what the attribute of Christ that is most important, they will all say something different. Whatever they say, is the most important to them, at that moment. It is what they need to work on the most. A few years later, there answer may be completely different.
I know that Christ lives. I know that He loves every single one of us. I hope that we can all strive to be like Him. It should be our life goal to do everything we can to become like Him. I hope that you guys can read the scriptures this week and study Moroni 7 about Charity. That is an attribute of Christ that is really important. I know my Savior lives!
I can't wait to see and talk to all of you on Christmas.