Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 9, 2013

Dear Everyone reading this,

I hope you all had a wonderful week and didn´t miss me too much ;) 

I´m going to be reflective for a termini to start things out, so bear with me here. It´s incredible how quickly we forget the blessings and goodness of the Lord when we go through hard times. We´ve had a couple of slow weeks, but this week (yesterday mostly) the blessings and miracles came again. Just like they always do. Like you said, Dad, the mission goes in cycles. I feel a little silly really, that I got down and upset. I know that things always get better afterwords, they always have. I guess that´s why the scriptures talk so much about remembering. Also, don´t ever compare yourself to others. Words of wisdom.

So, now the good news right? Well, yesterday we invited 4 of our investigators to be baptized and set dates with each of them! We were finally able to meet with Merci and almost all her family again after church on Sunday (her husband had work). We had been without contact with them for awhile, but Saturday night we passed by and talked for awhile in the doorway (no man at home), and they said they were going to come to church. So after church we met with them for about half an hour and talked about baptism. Both Merci and Emelda (Emily) said that they aren´t 100% sure this is the right church for them, but that when they know they will without a doubt be baptized. We told them that we had been talking and praying and we know that they can know by the 28th of September if they continue reading, praying and going to church. They were a little hesitant, but they agreed to prepare themselves to baptized that day. They we talked with Jourdes, the son (he doesn´t speak much English). We explained that we were talking about baptism, explained what it was and asked him if he would like to be baptized. He thought about it for a minute and then said yes. His mom, a little bit worried, said are you sure? He said yes. He is super great, he loves primary, reads the Book of Mormon and has even said he wants to be a missionary. I so excited for their family! The only thing now is to pray like crazy that they will receive a sure testimony, that they will prepare themselves. We are also praying a lot for Merci´s husband, Corlet. He can´t come to church now because of his work, but he may be changing schedules soon, so we are praying that he will have Sundays off, or that in some way he´ll be able to come to church with his family. Right now he has Tuesdays off, so we should see him then and find out more. 

Well, I did say four. The fourth date we placed yesterday was with Bastilio, our Chinese investigator. He is the best! He is super prepared! He is now praying everyday (he told us with a big smile) which is so amazing for someone who has never had any religion before. And he told us about a miracle that happened too. He said that the night before he had a dream. He dreamed he saw the apostles and that they baptized him. Afterward 3 men put their hands on his head. And we hadn´t taught about confirmation yet. It was amazing! So we taught the 5 steps of the Gospel and invited him to be baptized. We explained that the dream he had came from God that it was an answer to his prayers. He said that he believes this church is true and that he wants to be baptized. So we invited him to be baptized the 12th of October (we only meet with him once a week so we´ll need some time to teach, other than that he could be baptized now). He said that was a little soon, but we promised him that he could be ready by that day and invited him to pray about it. He said he would. He is so great! I´m amazed by the simple faith he has, and by how much he wants to follow God. He never knew hardly anything about God or Jesus Christ before meeting with us, but last night he said he wanted to follow Jesus. It´s amazing to see his faith growing. 

Another highlight from the week is that we met with Miriam, the Filipino lady who introduced us to Merci and her family. And she told us she has another family she wants us to meet. Friday we are going to do a noche de hogar in her house and she is going to invite this family. She is an amazing member. She told us about how she loves to tell people about her church and how she always has a Book of Mormon with her to give away. She is an amazing example! She understands her responsibility of missionary work better than any other member I´ve met. If all members were like her the church would progress at an incredible rate. The members are the key in missionary work. I´m learning that again and again. They determine, much more than the missionaries, the success of the work in their area. This work can´t be done without the help of the members. We are going to try to work much more closely with the members here. I know we´ll see a difference in the work by doing so, even though it will be a huge challenge. 

Other good news, we found a new piso! Elder Kinghorn and I will be moving out soon since we are all supposed to have our own piso. I´m excited, it´s in a super good location for us and I know we´ll be able to focus better being on our own. Maybe I´ll pass you the address for this one. That about covers the news, I believe.

Sounds like you enjoyed Labor Day. Grilled chicken... mmmm. I´ve actually been eating a lot better lately, Elder Kinghorn likes to cook a lot and knows some stuff so we´ve been sharing food and making some good stuff. We made an AMAZING pizza using Mom´s dough recipe this week. Super good. 

I actually had no idea I´d been anywhere involving Church history. That would be a lot of fun though. Road trip!

Tell Erin I´m so proud of her! 2 goals in one game is awesome! I´m really glad she is liking her new team and that it´s a better environment for her. Being able to build confidence is so important at her age. We´ve been playing some football lately too. Every Saturday we go play in the morning with members and investigators and I do believe I´m getting better. This last Saturday I was playing up front the whole time with Hermana Caballero, a Spanish (so naturally good) sister in our ward and we had some sweet plays up there. I need to work on aiming my shots better though, I only got one in, but several assists. Speaking of sports, I´m a little bummed that Madrid lost the Olympic bid. We´ve been following it through the TVs in the Metro and we were kinda sad yesterday that we lost. Oh, well. 2024.

Thanks for your encouragement. It is super important to learn from our mistakes and to love people. I feel like I´ve been in a bit of a rut and I need to get back up and work a lot more at being a better missionary. We had a really good zone mtg this week where the sister training leaders (one of whom is Hna Caballero) shared a super powerful message about how incredibly important having the spirit is and how incredibly important it is to love our investigators. It really hit home with me and I really want to work hard on improving in those 2 things. I feel like I used be better at it and I just need to remember how. Again, remember! It looks like we´ve come full circle. And that´s a good place to end for this week. Thank you, though, for your encouragement and support. I have appreciated so much your words and stories that you and Mom have shared with me throughout my mission. It makes a huge difference to me. Thank you. I love you all so much! Please pray for the people we are teaching, as you always do. I know it helps. I love you. Be safe. Until next week.

Elder Cousins

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