Monday, May 8, 2017

Count Your Blessings

Email written: 5/8/17

Well, at least we're alive (Don't worry Mom, nothing scary happened) that's about all we can say this week. This week was brutal. Elder Comp and I are staying together here in Pompeya and we were ready to keep working and see miracles. We were all set up to have 2 or 3 baptisms this week but they all fell through and then we lost every other investigator. We were so confused because we had been doing everything we were supposed to do following the counsels of President Smith along with talking to literally everyone, fasting, praying, and focusing on being obedient to make us worthy of miracles and in the end.... nothing.  Like for example, Franklin. The kid who by miracle showed up and is so ready for baptism. His parents had changed their minds so we made a plan, fasted and prepared so much. We even filled the baptismal font and set up as if we were going to have a baptism to show our faith and desires. We had the best lesson planned and when we showed up, that plan went out the window and it did not go how we planned. They said they want to wait a year to baptize Franklin and then we invited them to be baptized and they didn't give us a clear yes or no and it was so frustrating. I was frustrated because we had done everything to show God we were ready for a miracle, and to get nothing was really hard on us. On Saturday we went to the youth activity to teach a lesson and they asked me to give a spiritual thought (I was not in the mood to do it) then as I thought about what to share, the youth theme this year is James 1:5 which basically says that if we want to ask something from God, He will answer. That at first bugged me because we had been asking and we didn't receive but then I was reminded of the example of Christ found in matthew 26:39 and how even He was asking for something that he didn't receive. That made me realize something. It´s not that we're not going to see a miracle, it's that God has something a lot better and bigger planned for us and we'´re only going to get it if we keep up our efforts. Yesterday during testimony time, a few members gave incredible testimonies and the ward just seemed happier. Then one pointed out it was that they've all started reading the Book of Mormon as a family. One sister got up and was crying tears of gratitude for our challenge in having them read the Book of Mormon. While it's not technically what we were working for this week, it was rewarding to see that we are still doing good. 

Yesterday in Gospel Principles we talked about Fatih (in Spanish it´s Fe). One of the members made a joke because Fe on the periodic table is iron. That made me think a lot about how our faith can be. Iron is a metal, which means it´s strong and pretty hard to break, but at the same time it can be heated up and bent and twisted and reshaped. We need to be firm in our faith but also allow God to put us through the heat to purify and reshape us. We have no idea why last week was so discouraging, but we know something is going to change soon enough. 

Pics- My belt finally broke, and the inside of my agenda (to help keep me focused) 
-Elder Steele

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