07 May, 2012

The Lord tries those whom he loves‏

Well, as the title of the email states, this week was quite a trying one. All of the things I have learned as a missionary, all of my development, and training, and learning all were tested in a trial of faith for my companion and I. The week turned out to be a complete roller coaster, and unfortunately not your typical fun roller coaster. It was probably one of the hardest weeks of my mission, but it really taught me something. My mission has really changed me. Earlier in my mission, I didn't take all that well to all the trials, and frustrations of the missionary work. Now as a "veteran" missionary I really have learned how to just trust in the Lord and push forward regardless of what happens.

On Tuesday, I did divisions with one of the companionships in my district to do the interview of a guy that was to be baptized. The interview went really well, and the divisions were good. The man that was to be baptized was super prepared. He was studying the BOM, principles of the Gospel, and duties of the priesthood, and some of the Liahonas. He really had a true hunger to know more. It was a really spiritual experience to be able to interview him for the baptism. I love the interviews, because I can share my testimony with them, and hear their testimony as a new(future) member.

I got back from divisions to find out that everything (OK, maybe not everything, but basically) had fallen in our area the day before. The family, Reinaldo and Silvia, said they found out they couldn't get married, because his wife didn't have her documents for Paraguay (she is Brazilian) and that they weren't going to be able to get married and baptized this week. Also our other investigator, Oscar that had a date for this week, was drinking with some buddies when they passed over there. The whole day was apparently a pretty good mess.

The next day, we went to the civil register (for marriages) and found out more information. It turned out that they could in fact get married and everything was fine. We went out to their house later to tell them the good news. When we sat down and started talking, they said that they needed to get the documents first, for migration, and passport and everything, or it would cause problems later on. They said it would make a lot of things harder if they get married before taking care of that. Then they said they made the decision to wait on the marriage and baptism because of those problems, and that it would take about 6 months to get it all done.

We of course investigated thoroughly to find out the law on that. We first talked to a member from Argentina that lives here and is married to a Paraguayan. He told us that it is actually easier if they get married, to get the documents and migrations and everything else. Then the next morning we talked to 3 different judges that all confirmed the same, it is in fact easier to get the documents, and migrations if they get married first. So we realized there had to be something else behind the whole doubt there. We talked to them that night, and asked some good questions before telling them what we had found out, and found all of the iceberg that was under there. They just feel like they need a little more time to prepare.

With Oscar, we visited him on Wednesday. We talked to him about some stuff, and he is still smoking and drinking. There was a slight pause in the lesson, and Oscar asked my companion what he was thinking. To which he replied that he was thinking about a remedy for smoking where you put cigarettes in water, and drink it, which makes you not want to smoke anymore. So what did we do, well lets just say we did a little bit of an experiment. We put 8 cigarettes in a glass of water, and he drank half of it. That was on Wednesday. He still has yet to smoke since then, going on 5 days now. There were some pretty ugly side effects though, some of which were throwing up, stomach aches, headaches, and throat pains..... but those only lasted a couple of hours, and since then he hasn't smoked.

On Sunday, we didn't have any investigators in the meeting, the first time in like 3 months now..... it kind of just set in everything else that had happened during the rest of the week.

Overall, it was a pretty rough week, and my companion was getting really frustrated with it all. (the same I would have done earlier in my mission) Regardless of it all, I had one thing in mind. Trust in the lord with all thy heart. I know that regardless of what happens here in this area, the Lord knows what he is doing. Every day, I pray that the will of the Lord be fulfilled, and I must live by that principle. My mind is set in doing the will of the Lord, and so all I can do, is stay happy, and keep giving everything I've got. If the people don't get baptized right now, in my time, and in my way, they will be in the lord's time and in the Lord's way. I have no doubt that the Lord will do what's best. As long as I am doing all I can, I have no need to worry. This week is a new week, and whatever happens, I will keep praying that the will of the Lord be done, and do all that I can to fulfil that.

I love you guys tons, and pray for you always. Have a great week, and keep pressing forward with a steadfast faith in Christ. Thank you for your examples, and for all you have taught me. Love ya.

Elder Ryan Griffin

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