Monday, May 23, 2016

Tender Mercies and Gifts of Strength

Dear Family and Friends,

We've had a great week this week! I'm really starting to get adjusted to the new area and our area is really flourishing! There's a recent convert here in the branch that was baptized this last January, but her husband was not at all interested in the gospel... After a while, he started to gain an interest in what his wife was doing every Sunday. His name is Brother Greg, and we've been teaching him for a few weeks now. When we first started, he was drinking probably 5 or 6 days a week, almost non stop, but every week as we've been teaching him, its become less and less and less. And just yesterday, when we followed up with him on how his drinking problem has been, he'd been completely clean from alcohol for a FULL WEEK! What a miracle! His desire to be baptized has just been growing and growing. He said there were many times when his friends would invite him over to drink. And although he was tempted, he resisted and thought of how much better his life would be without the alcohol. Its been great!

We also were pleasantly surprised to find out that Greg is really good friends with two of our other investigators, Jessa and Michael, a young couple with one four year old child. Sister Jessa is very intelligent and literally understands EVERYTHING she is reading in the Book of Mormon. She's already to the Book of Jacob and is convinced of the truthfulness of the Book and of the restored Gospel. She's been a little embarrassed to pray because she feels like she has so many sins and is afraid of what Heavenly Father would do to her. We were super happy to hear that because she understands an essential principle that when we pray, its not just for the sake of saying a prayer, but rather, a literal conversation with Heavenly Father. We shared with her 2 Nephi 32:8-9 about prayer. In her prayer later in the lesson, she started crying when she said, "I thank Thee, Father, for giving me the opportunity to learn of Thy plan and Thy Gospel." Sometimes I take for granted the knowledge that we have. To know of the Plan of our Father in Heaven. Its something that so many don't know! Its our duty and privilege to be the bearers of such a message. 

The faith of these members here in this Branch inspires me! I wish you could meet Brother Fernandez! His story and faith deserves to be in a church film! He was a total drunkard before he met the missionaries on a tricee. And ever since then his life has just completely turned around! He told us the other day, "I'll do anything for you, Elders. ANYTHING! I know that everyone in the whole world needs to hear this message and I'll bear my testimony for you to your investigators whenever you need me." He's very serious about that. One time, the branch president called him to go help a member of the branch with his medicine which meant he wouldn't be able to work that night to buy food for his family. He went anyway and the Lord blessed him and his family in tremendous ways!

Sorry this is longer.. I know this is the work of the Lord. I've never felt so much peace in my life than I do right now.

Have a great week!

Elder Navarro