I really loved your insight on Abinadi and Alma. Whenever a missionary feels down and out of it, we can at least turn to him (or Stephen, in that matter) and recognize we're not being burned at the stake for what we preach and teach. Along with that, we never know how much good we actually do! Not only did all of Limhi's people convert to the gospel later on after initial rejection, but from Alma came Alma the Younger, who became the type of missionary caliber that Peter was as well! Thousands were brought to the knowledge of their Savior from He and his buddy’s works.
On that note, I always thought it cool to think what it would look like if Peter and Alma were missionary companions...
So, you ripped out the new counter tops and Harley's wearing what's basically a life-jacket for heat now, eh? Sounds like things are changing around the home. For the better, of course! The heat peaked here this last week as well. Sunday maxed at and around 103, which isn't the hottest I've proselyted in. You'd think that maybe one of these days people would be sympathetic and maybe just let us in for the sake of escaping the sun. Fortunately we have the car for the transfer, so that makes travel more bearable, under the sacrifice of set miles. Meh, we make it work.
Speaking of work, we had a pretty cool miracle this week! We were up in the dirt-roads again close to where a recent convert is. I noticed a street off the highway that I hadn't had much attention to, and I felt like the spirit was nudging us to knock it. So after a little more driving around we did. Parked, said a prayer, felt good, and started hiking. Now I'm not usually the one to expect the "like always," outcome of things, but...like always, we get to the last house of the dirt road, and this guy about our age named Anthony opens. He's visiting his Mom, Zuamy (pronounced Swam-ee). They let us in and we talk to them and share the last verses of Romans 8. Always a good set of scripture to bring hope. That's when Zuamy opened up. Recently she and her 5-year old son have been facing a lot of doubt and adversity together. She expressed to us she wanted to start following God again, and so we offered to bring a Bible by to her. The next day, we took an RM in the ward, Rocky, to visit her. We gave her a copy of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Rocky just got home from his mission in Louisiana, and he was totally still in missionary mode (even intro'd himself as Elder Cobb).We explained how the two books go hand in hand in drawing us closer to Christ, and how by following His teachings, we can overcome our challenges. She was awfully appreciative, and even shared with us that she wants to come back to church. And although there's still some concerns she expressed to us, we could tell at the end that the spirit had led us to her to comfort her.
In the end that's basically what we do. Comfort. I don't need to follow media rules for missionaries to recognize how comfortless the world is getting. Invasions of privacy, usurpation of power, destructive criticism; all of those seem to rob the world and man of true comfort. Spiritual Comfort is what we aim for, not physical. And the only way we can ever earn the comfort that the Comforter gives us, is through adversity. It was one of the Savior's last mortal teachings. Through the Holy Ghost we can find comfort. The same Holy Spirit we help others recognize in life.
A lot of people like to slander us by saying we don't believe in the same Christ they believe in, all based on the philosophies of men. Well, that's because we believe in a Christ who still speaks to all us. Who still reaches out to all of us at an individual need level. A being who still calls Prophets like He always had, the same being who is at the head of this church. The Living Christ. The Resurrected Messiah. My Elder Brother, the Firstborn of my Eternal Father. He is the same being that I know is real. He does love us. Nothing shall separate us from that. We just need to reach out to Him.
I never understood why people don't believe someone's Christian after they comfort someone like we did. Kind of like Berta back in Yakima.
Apart from that, not too much else happened in the week. Our meeting with Alva and Bev was more or less of a talk-it-out. Recently they've been going through a lot of family issues. But he still wants to be baptized, and he told us that he'll make it through. He's amazing, Mom, he really is. I also learned this past week that Jessica Gonzalez from Yakima was baptized this past week as well. That was an incredibly heart-warming feeling. Someone I had the privilege of teaching, someone who was Christian already, to recognize how more and more how much Christ loves her. I'm not certain you'll remember her, but she is incredible. Our progression back to God can be an infinite amount of downs at times, but also an infinite amount of ups as well. Stupendous success is usually preceded by horrific failure at times, but dang, it's worth it.
Well, there's my spiritual schpeel for the week. But it's true! God really does love us. There's a Mormon message on LDS.org called Shower of Heavenly Blessings that really describes the nature of blessings that God rains down on us. Sometimes we may not notice them, but they are there. That I can testify.
Yep, this week was outstanding for the district. Things are going great here! And I know that it'll be great back home as well. I love you Mom! I'm always pondering back on how much you and Dad taught me, and I'm seeing more and more the benefits of all of those lessons. Still, I love you, and everyone else. Stay cool at home and we'll keep the work hot out here. After all, we do this for God and family!
Elder Michael Camit