January 6, 2020
I can't believe that it's 2020. It's crazy to think that in 2018 I was getting on the plane to Peru, having absolutely no idea what I was doing haha. Well, I hope you all had a happy New Year. Our New Year was pretty solid. We watched a movie and I made a cheesecake for myself. It turned out nicely. Elder Carhuajulca (my district leader that cut my hair back in Sullana) came back to visit the mission. I got to talk to him, so that was cool. Some elder got spike ball in a package and we played spike ball for like 3 hours today! It was super refreshing! I forgot how fun other sports are haha.
Well, these past two weeks have been a little unproductive in the work because the majority of our investigators are with family, or at the beach, or just not at home. We did have a beast lesson with Kayla and her sister Fresia. We taught the restoration and the Book of Mormon and it was a powerful lesson. The spirit was so strong. They completely understood everything that we taught, and they accepted an invitation to read the Book of Mormon and to find out for themselves if it is true. One of their concerns, however, is how this knowledge would affect their family relationships. They're parents are from a different religion and may not approve of them believing in the Book of Mormon, or going to the Church of Jesus Christ. We've taught their parents before actually and we are a little bit worried about how their parents might react if Kayla and Fresia were to join the church later down the road. So, we've been praying a lot for them and their parents.
We had an interesting experience this week. We were getting out of a moto one day and there were some Venezuelans that were selling water and stuff, and they asked us what church we belong to and we started talking and stuff and we set up an appointment with them for the following day. So, we went to the appointment and we were talking with them and they were just a super nice couple that were going through a lot of tough times. I felt really bad for them. So, we started talking about the Book of Mormon and they had a few questions and stuff, but everything was going pretty good and we were almost done when this moto pulled up to the house. The wife said "Oh good the pastors here!" And I was like "wait your pastor?" She had invited her pastor to the lesson to try to argue with us haha. Are you serious?? It was all planned out from the beginning. It was an ambush!! So, this dude walks in and is like "Hi. I am pastor (I don't remember his name) and I'm from Brazil, and I've been a pastor for 24 years." And we were like wow good for you. So, then he started talking to us trying to convince us that we were wrong and that the Book of Mormon was fake and that Joseph Smith made it up. It's always interesting when people tell you straight up to your face that what you believe in is wrong. Unfortunately for him, my comp an I aren't no scrubs, so we started defending the Book of Mormon and the church. The problem was he would not listen to anything we said. Every time I would start to say something he would cut me off and say, "Sorry for cutting you off but.." Then he would say the exact same thing that he had just told us. So, finally we just left because no matter what we said we knew that they weren't gonna listen. On our way out, he was like "wait let me pray for your souls." So, he prayed for us that we would find the right path and stuff and that was it. It was pretty sad that they were so stubborn that they wouldn't even listen to what we had to say, but I felt good because I felt like I had successfully defended what I believed in. Something that I wasn't so good at in the past with experiences like that.
This week I finished the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time on my mission. I was just really focused on the Book of Mormon for some reason this week. I was contacting with the Book of Mormon a lot, and I was just really focused on it in lessons too. I think my understanding and testimony of the Book of Mormon deepened finishing it again because it really is such a powerful testament of Jesus Christ. Literally almost every page references Jesus Christ and the doctrines that it teaches are so powerful. Also, in my spare time in the office, I watched a ton of talks by Elder Callister. He always gives awesome talks about the Book of Mormon and the spiritual and physical evidences that it is true. It just seems so clear to me, more than ever, that the Book of Mormon is true. I won't go all in to all of the evidence, but basically Joseph Smith (a 23 year old man with a 3rd grade education) translated the book in less than 70 days. He did it without notes or any books and in just one draft! That's crazy! There's absolutely no way that he wrote it himself. There's just no way that it's not true. However, it doesn't matter how much physical evidence there is, the real and true way that one can know that it is true is by reading it and asking God for yourself if the things that are written in it are true or not. The spiritual confirmation that comes from the answer to that question is unlike anything else you can feel.
If you haven't read the Book of Mormon, read it! Find out for yourself if it is true or not.
Have a great week!