Last P-Day we finally gave in to the temptation and bought tennis rackets. We have played every morning since then for exercise and it is a blast. I am grateful that Mary talked me into playing tennis in high school. Also, I am beginning to understand why Stephen was always sending pictures of the sunrise and sunset home. As I love Texas more and more, it just becomes more beautiful to me. It has been the place of the mission of my dreams and I love everything about it: the heat, the humidity, the mosquitoes that came out in full bliss this week, the people, and the Spirit.
In Mosiah 18 after explaining all about our baptismal covenant and how the people were baptized there and the joy and the peace they had due to their association with the church of God, we read in verse 30:
And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the , in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall to his praise forever.
As I have been here in Houston, what once was a trashy, ghetto, smelly and hot city of millions of people has now become beautiful to my eyes because I have been able to come to the knowledge of my Redeemer and help others to come to that same knowledge as well. What a blessing and joy it is to participate in this Gospel work!
Eduardo Colon was called to be the 1st Counselor in the Young Men's Presidency on Sunday and he is so excited about it! The Colons hold a special place in my heart. I have known them now since last September and have had the joy of participating in their conversion from the beginning. Every time I see any member of their family I understand a little better the joy spoken of in D&C 18 when it refers to bringing souls unto Christ.
This past weekend, as a mission we baptized and confirmed 3 people. We have more than 100 companionships and the Lord has asked us to baptize weekly in each companionship and we had a meager 3 baptisms and confirmations. It was hard to accept that last night as we were texted the numbers and as we spoke with President Ashton, he just keeps saying it is all about faith. And it is. Back when we were baptizing 15-20 people a week consistently the only difference was that we believed we could baptize. We had the faith we could and so we did. I have been thinking a lot about faith all day and decided that I am getting back on the bandwagon of faith. I know that this work is true and that the Lord is really at the head.
The other day, 1 Nephi 7:12 touched me deeply. It says,
Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.
This is how it really is. The Lord can and will do all things expedient for the Salvation of His children. He wants everyone to be saved and does all in His power to save each of us. He, in His goodness and grace, allows us to participate in the work as instruments in His hands and the only condition He places upon us before we see miracles is that we have faith in Him.
What a blessing it is to be able to repent each day of the little things and rededicate ourselves each Sunday as we renew our covenant to keep the commandments and always remember Him.
On Tuesday, we taught the boyfriend of a less-active member. We taught the Atonement and it was a powerful lesson. We returned Friday night with a member from the ward and had a wonderful lesson. Marcelo (the investigator) had read the Introduction and loved it. He understood it very well and no longer was worried about the fact that when he asked if what we were saying was that the Pope had no authority to baptize and we said no. He wanted to learn more and loved the Book of Mormon. He was thrilled to be able to read about Christ's visit here to the Americas. We have an appointment with him tomorrow night. Please pray that his heart will continued to be prepared and softened and that he will have the desire to be baptized.
I love you all. I know that this Gospel is true. The Spirit testifies of that every single day.