Monday, February 10, 2014

The Lord's work will move forward REGARDLESS of what the world wants

Hello all!  

Another great week here in Santa Maria.  Little miracles happen every day that just make a mission spectacular.  

So to start off, you know about Mario.  Well, on Friday when we were teaching him, he told us about a lady that lives just under him named Jamie that he was talking to about the Church.  She went to a Valentine's Day church activity down in Lompoc and she loved it.  We knocked on her door, and we just started talking to her a little bit.  We asked her if she was interested in learning more about the church, and she said yes!  We asked her if she would be baptized if she came to understand if it was true and she said yes again!  She said that she would go to church yesterday but she didn't, so we'll be stopping by her place soon.  Mario is a stud!

On Thursday, it poured rain all day long.  We were on exchanges that day and we used the rain to our advantage.  We were walking around in our rain jackets, and it was raining so hard that some rain seeped through and we still got wet.  When we knocked on people's doors, they said, "You're still going around in this rain??" and we always responded, "Yeah!  We know that this message is important!"  There was a street called Harper Ct. and we went tracting down that and we ran into a golden couple that asked us to pray for their health and for their cousin who had cancer.  They told us that they had an uncle who recently passed away from cancer as well.  We bore a simple but powerful testimony about the Plan of Salvation, and they set up a return appointment with the other elders tonight at 7:30.  I know that going down Harper Ct. was inspired, it was great.

That same day, Elder Gaylor and the other missionary had a church tour with Rachel, another one of our investigators.  They said that the Spirit was really strong.  What was cool as well is she came to sacrament meeting yesterday and she said that she will have a few more questions for us the next time we visit.  We love questions! :)

After church yesterday we had the opportunity to go with a newly ordained priest to administer the sacrament to a few elderly members from our ward.  He was able to bless the sacrament, and we helped him along the way.  After we gave the sacrament to an older lady, she asked us for a blessing, and I was able to bless her.  The spirit was so strong, and she cried afterwards.  Elder Gaylor and I were talking afterward and we were just saying that doing that was one of the most fulfilling acts of service ever: administering the sacrament and giving someone a blessing.  The Priesthood is such an amazing thing to have to bless others' lives.  I got a confirmation that we were there doing exactly what Christ would have us do.  It was a very good day.

This week we also had an opportunity to have our interviews with President Castro, which was nice.  It was a pretty short interview, but I could definitely feel the Spirit of love that he has for all of the missionaries.  He was talking to us as a group and he was saying that the Lord doesn't need us, and the only reason that we are here is for us to experience the joy that Heavenly Father wants us to feel.  The Lord can do His work with or without us.  He is simply giving us the opportunity to feel joy in doing His work.  

Also!  I think iPads will be coming to this mission very soon!  Rumor has it that in March they will be here.  Personally, I think it won't be until July when President Felix comes in, but we can't wait!  Hopefully it IS March!  It will be interesting to see how doing missionary work over the internet will impact people.  It makes so much sense.  Although the face-to-face interaction can never be replaced, a lot more people are comfortable going on their computers than answering a door and talking to strangers.  The Lord is adapting His work to fit His people.

We still haven't had any luck finding new people to teach, but I'm very happy with the work that we are doing.  Little acts of Christlike service each day, a kind word, even a smile can make someone's day and makes anybody a missionary.  I'm really grateful that we all have this Gospel in our lives and that we can enjoy the blessings that come from living the commandments.  

Thank you so much for your letters.  They make my day every time.  It's really weird how my pre-mission life is becoming blurry and it seems like it was forever ago.  The letters and the communication clear that up.  It was weird going into an investigators house and seeing the Olympics opening ceremony in Russia on the TV.  Yes, Elder Harper, there IS a world outside of the mission boundaries....mission life is great. :)

This work is true.  The Gospel is spreading throughout the Earth like the stone cut out of the mountain without hands.  It will fill every corner of the Earth and every person will have had a chance to hear about the Church.  How amazing that will be!  I love you all!   Have a fantastic week!  Until the next!  Happy Valentine's day!

Elder Harper

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