so i kinda dont wanna come home anymore...sorry mom haha. im in love with being a missionary, and missionary work, and i dont really wanna do anything else anymore haha i just wanna do this forever! we had a pretty tough week as usual, but had some way great experiences, some that personally changed my whole mission and that im so glad i was able to have. im gonna start with one of the first experiences, one of the more potents from this week.
it happened with a man were teaching right now, hes a man we found 3 weeks ago when he just randomly showed up at the church on sunday and said hed always wanted to come in since he saw it like 4 yrs ago but had never done it till then and well ya weve been teaching him since then haha. anyways though so we were in a visit with him on thurs and everything was going good with the lesson and all, and then we began to ask him how hes felt with all the things weve taught and so on and well thats when he basically told us that he had made the decision that he was gonna return to his old church, and in a really nice way (the nicest and most polite ive seen yet in mexico haha) he told us that he would like if we stopped coming by. we personally were both taken back a lil because he was progressing really well and very acceptive and we didnt see it coming. so we talked to him about how he feels and found his iceberg thats hes just really confused. the testigos de jehova had passed by and left him some reading stuff, his pastor from the christian church has been asking him whats up, his whole family is death gnarly catholic, and then we come with our message and he said he was just really confused with it all and figured itd be best to just go back to where he was congregated before.
and well with that i dont where it came from but i just starting bearing my testimony. and its something that ill admit ive never really been the best at doing here in the mission. but so i just began bearing my testimony of the things weve taught, the truthfullness of the message of the restoration, just everything i know. and ive never born my testimony like that before, it just felt so powerful i guess you could say. and so i sat there and in the words of elder holland "bore testimony with every ounce of energy within my soul" and i could see slowly as i looked him in the eyes that the Spirit was working on him and i continued like that until i felt the impression to invite him to be baptized. now weve invited him a few times before and hes always said no, because he didnt feel ready, and so we just left it at that knowing with time hed accept. and so after having born testimony i invited him to be baptized. and while he did say yes, i could still see that he was a little hesitant and not to sure of his answer, just said it because he wanted to be polite or whatever it may have been.
recognizing this i asked him if he didnt feel to sure still about being baptized, and he told me in all truth elder yes, and so i said okay were going to do something. i told him that what were gonna do is get on our knees and hes gonna offer a prayer, in which hell ask if la iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos días is the true church upon the face of the earth and if he should be baptized in it. i then explained that God wont lie to him, that he will receive an answer to his prayer, and if he receives a no well leave and never come back, but that i know your Father in Heaven wont say no to this question of yours, and that after the prayer were gonna stay kneeling until he feels as though hes received his answer and then hell let us know, and with that he accepted and so we kneeled there in his living room and i swear that the moment he said the words "Querido Padre Celestial" the Spirit just flooded into the room, it was crazy i feeled as though if i were to open my eyes id be able to physically see the Spirit there with us and we kneeled there together as he humbly and prayed just like it says moroni 10:3-5 and while he was praying i was personally praying in my head for him to receive his answer and then after he had finished his prayer and said amen we stayed there kneeling until he just said "ya... ya elders recebí mi respuesta. tengo que bautizarme. yo lo sé. tengo que hacerlo." and i still remember how happy he looked. with just this big huge smile, and i invited him to be baptized the 28th of this month, and he said yes, hell be baptized that day.
after the lesson elder tucker was like dude, you just saved ricardo, that was sweet nice job elder. well i knew it wasnt me haha i was just a mere mouth piece, but still it was a crazy cool experience. i feel as though i had really taken for granted lately the true power of the Holy Ghost in the conversion of the people i teach. its an absolute necessity, they have to receive that confirmation of the truthfulness of this message and being able to be involved in the moment when ricardo receive his confirmation was really special. i also learned the true power of bearing testimony, and how special my testimony is, and also the testimony of each of you. our testimonies are such an awesome thing, i had never realized i had a strong testimony, or even much of a testimony at all, until i let the Spirit accompany my words and not just bear a generic testimony of the truthfellness of the gospel and its restoration, but a true testimony that came from within that was shared with all my spiritual energy. it was an eye opener for me that i had the ability to share something so powerful and so special. in fact it was definitely a testimony builder in and of itself haha! but ya to say the least it was an amazing experience that i had, and since then ive been a testimony bearing machine, bearing testimony is one of my favorite things to do just because of the spirit that it brings into the discussion.
my assignment america for this week, is bear your testimony! and this sunday isnt fast sunday so that means youll have to share it with a coworker, friend, neighbor, whoever just make it a goal to share your testimony of a gospel truth with someone, and I PROMISE YOU it will be a great spiritual experience for you, and who knows maybe something will come it. i had another similar story to the one i just shared that happened this past saturday while meeting with a man named jorge while meeting with him for the first time. we had finished the lesson and felt the impression to invite him to be baptized. he said no, he wanted to get to know the church first before making any commitments so better later, and so we then asked him what baptism meant to him, or why its important...and then he told us "well i dont really know what baptism is..." aha! there was the iceberg, and so we explained baptism to him and taught him about it, and he agreed to it and accepted it and so we asked him again if hed be baptized, and again he said no. we were kinda shocked again cuz we thought for sure hed say yes after we explained it to him haha but still no.
so then we each bore testimony of baptism and of its importance and stuff like that and midway through elder tucker sharing his testimony, jorge kinda cut in and said "pues, de repente, no voy perdir nada si me bautizo y no es nada malo, entonces sí me bauitzo. porque no." and so we were like alright sweet! thats what im talking about and so accepted to be baptized this upcoming 4th of august. so those were two really neat experiences i had this past week about the true power of testimony and especially with teaching in a way that allows the Spirit to be there and confirm the truths of what we teach. ah such a cool week!
however bad thing from this week...ate menudo and ya it sucked haha. the worst too was having to eat it while the hermana was watching us and just being able to tell that she knew we didnt like it. elder tucker got off lucky and pulled the "i have a stomach infection and cant eat meats" card and so he got away with just eating a bowl of rice and beans however i had this big bowl of menudo just sitting in front of me. and well ya it was super gross. i showed it down the best i could but my goodness it was gross. i definitely do not recomend it to anyone! sorry if any gets offfended by this because its there favorite food but to add to it the menudo was in a bad state where it was on the edge of rotten im pretty sure and gah it was just bad. i feel sick just thinking about it and the taste of it. yuck.
however for anyone who wants to eat some good food, look up how to make tortas ahogadas, and for those of you from the spanish branch or from mexico who may be reading this, im sure you know what im talking about because there so good! in fact dad ask the guy at your work what he thinks about tortas ahogadas, and tacos de birria and pasole...and anybody else back in the states whos reading this and has tasted these foods i just want to say sorry that they dont in america. it really is a same because there so good and when i get home well have some fiestas and eat some real mexican food haha. but ya things are going great here, super hard work, but great :)
im so happy being a missionary. i love emailing home because i get to think back on all the great experiences i had in the week and it just makes me so happy and just ya :) its so awesome i love it. i cant tell you all enough how much i love being a missionary...its so rad! haha in closing i wanna wish you all a great week and hope that things are going just swell for you all back in the states. and that youre able to enjoy your summers, and most importantly time together as families because families are the best ever and i love my family and how great they are! love you all have may all go well till the next email! a dios!
much love from mexico,
oh and a little message for Johnny Arreola....¡¡felicidades!! since im not able to physically be there to congratulate you i wanted to give you a little shout out and let you know that along with your Heavenly Father, elder brother Jesus Christ, and the great ward youre in that Elder Maccarthy down in mexico is also way proud of you! youve made a huge decision, one of the greatest of your life and im so happy for you. ya it might be weird cuz i dont really know you and you dont really know me but youre a rock star. stay strong and just remember that your baptism was only the beginning, you have so many more great experiences and blessings waiting for you, and your Heavenly Father is anxiously anticipating the day and moment when He can give them to you. stay rad and keep connor in check for me haha congrats bud!! :)