Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I wanted to write a little about how my testimony has grown on my mission. I have learned much about how God works with His children, and truly how loving He is.
There was one part of my mission where I was not baptizing. I passed weeks without a single baptism, and when you are part of a mission that baptizes weekly, it is really challenging to work your all without having results. I had recently been taken out as a zone leader and one of my companions that I was training decided to go home. Even through all of this I was still working as hard as I could, but without having results. Everyone around me looked at me and treated me as if I was one of the dead elders in the mission. Eventually my back started giving out and I passed through much physical pain as well, all the while hearing and seeing many others think the worse of me. There were many who were close friends before in the mission that thought that I was just faking the pain I was feeling and that it was only in my head, that I was just finding excuses to not work. There were weeks where I had firmed more than 4 baptisms and they all fell through, one by one, throughout the day Sunday.
Needless to say, it was a difficult part of my mission. But this part of the mission is the part of my mission that I am most thankful for.
During this time God helped me understand a certain story in the Book of Mormon much better. In the Book of Mosiah it talks about the people that Alma the Elder leaded. He baptized them in the Waters of Mormon, led them away from the wicked king Noah, and started a prosperous people. They were a very righteous people, all of them recently baptized and with much desire to serve God. Yet, even with their righteousness, the trials came. The Lamanites came, found them, and promised their freedom if Alma´s people helped. This they did, but the Lamanites did not keep their promise. They put them in bondage, and put over them as leaders the wicked priests of Noah who before only caused problems to the Lamanites and had stolen their daughters. They suffered much. Alma was also recognized by the wicked priests as the one who had run away, and punished him more. With time though, God freed them because of their faith.
During this process there is one scripture, Mosiah 23:21-22 that God finds it convenient to test our faith and our patience. But, if we trust in Him we will be lifted up in the last day. And this is what happened with this people, and what happened with me.
I eventually left this time of difficulties. Since I have I left that situation I have had 18 weeks, and I have baptized 12 of these weeks. Since then I have baptized 32 people and 21 in this last transfer. I am now respected in the whole mission as a great baptizer, a great missionary. I am finishing happily as a district leader, but my district is baptizing more than a zone and in this transfer has baptized 31 people, a large part being men and families. Miracles have been happening.
I know that all these blessings came from my time of trying. I learned so much in that time. I am so much stronger as a person, so much firmer in my desire to follow God. That time of trials determined what kind of missionary I truly was. Now I can truly say I know that I am faithful to my God, that I will follow Him. I have learned that God's greatest acts of love are letting us pass through our pains, sorrows and trials. His greatest acts of love is that even though He hurts even more then us when we suffer (imagine the price our Savior payed for our sins in Gethsemane, God suffers our pains more than we do), He lets the pain happens so we can learn. He lets us grow, He lets us choose. He truly is a loving Father.
I am very grateful for what I have learned in my mission.
I know these things and give my testimony now at the end of my mission in the name of him whom I tried to represent, Jesus Christ, amen.