Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Mission Isn't Sunshine and Daisies...

July 28, 2014

Nuestro querido Missonero Hijo,

Thank you, for your words of wisdom & testimony of the living scriptures. We are delighted, and feel very much blessed they are at our reach. How wonderful it is to hear you are not just reading in Spanish also comprehend with ease. What a blessing, and a blessing you will have for eternity.
I am reading Jacob what a genuine loving prophet he was. His voice to me sounds like a powerful trumpet which we need to heed.

Sunday was just simply wonderful at church. Sacrament was wonderful a new seasoned couple spoke. They come from Umatilla their name is Bro. & Sis Raft. Their talks were on the prophets of the Old Testament. She spoke a lot of Noah. Did you know it took him 120 years to build the ark? That’s more then I will live! He spoke a lot on Moses. Some people think he just left & went to the desert, but he was actually running away. I want to go back & reread about these wonderful powerful prophets. The ensign this year picks a different one each month.

Sunday school is different & better. Bro. Javior’s wife has been called to teach our Spanish Sunday school. She spoke about how inadequate she feels, but she found a scripture in the bible which talks about Heavenly Father does not want or has made us to be weak coward people. I can’t remember where she said the scripture was. We all told her we knew she was the perfect person for this calling, and she is! We all support her. I mention the scripture where Nephi say “ I will go I will do …..& one Elder mention the won which I love about HF will let know us know our weaknesses to strengthen us.

We also have an investigator who loves what he is learning, but his wife is not sure because she has been raised Seventh Day Adventist. He has a lot of questions, and invited me to go with the missionaries when they come to teach him & his wife. I will & can’t wait to be invited.

Dad says Tia Ofelia called the other day. The missionaries were walking in Puerto Del Toro, and they were at her house! One of the Elders is from Merida & the other from Idaho. She wanted to know what town in Yucatan you were at, but Dad didn’t remember. Can you see the blessings of your mission? Little seeds are being planted everyday.

We went to Rene’s house for Toval’s birthday party. I shared the last letter you wrote with Crystal & she got teary eye, and said “you must be so proud.” I said “in the most humble way I am.” She also mentioned the missionaries come to their home so I will have to find out which ones English or Spanish?

These are the highlights of our week! We love you beyond words & prayers are said on your behalf & Elder Wilcox daily!

All our love Su Papi y Mama!

On Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM, Manuel Santos wrote:

 Mis queridos padres,

Pues, there goes another week. In thinking about how fast time has gone since I entered the mission field (I'm coming up on 4 months since I entered the MTC, btw. Haha.), it's rather probable that those 120 years that it took Noah to build the ark could've gone by relatively fast. (Maybe. Haha.) Aw man, that really makes me happy to hear about how things are going in the ward with my favorite spanish group in the whole world! (Seriously.) I had no idea Hno. Javier's wife was baptized! Please tell him hi for me. That's really wonderful to hear about his wife teaching the class. And in regards to hearing about the seeds being planted within my own family, just, I don't even know how to express how wonderful that makes me feel. Wow. (Btw, the name of my area is Tixkokob, but I'm in the last week of the transfer/of my training, so we'll see what happens this Sunday night when we find out, especially since Elder Wilcox only has one transfer till he goes home after this week.)

Well, this is how this past week went. Oh wow. While there were some real nice moments (Including one where we gave our investigator Leo a blessing and I was able to bless his house. I seriously felt like the spirit gave me a hug. Haha. It was that peaceful.), it was a lot of trial as well. A lot of plans/appointments fell through, we tried to teach a couple of less actives who've traded the gospel of Jesus Christ for Alcoholic's Anonymous and have become really stubborn (both for different reasons), and a couple of our investigators started drinking again. (Which is rather normal since they've been drinking for many many years, but it's discouraging nonetheless.) Plus, we had kind of a freaky moment last night when we ran into a less active who claims he wants to return to church, but then he goes walking around town (because he doesn't really have a place) drinking. We have never found him sober. But anyway, we had kind of a freaky moment with him last night in the middle of town where we found out that he participates in self-harming (there are scars all over his left arm) firsthand and that was kinda traumatizing. (Don't worry, about any of this, though, because we're safe and we're being watched over by a loving Heavenly Father. He made that promise to King Mosiah with his son's and I'm confident he's doing the same with us here.) Poor guy's crazy and we're not going to talk to him for a bit, but yeah, it's been a tough week.

Really, the mission isn't sunshine and daisies, but it is a time where you learn about what's really important and just how important it is to truly live the gospel and seek to understand God's will so that misery such as I've seen can be evaded. Really, my spiritual message for this week is a rather simple one. Just try to seek and understand the will of the Lord. It's difficult, yes, but it's always for our benefit and for our blessing. As stated in 1 Nephi 9:6, "But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen." It's something I've been working really hard to try and understand as well. It's a lifelong process that takes a huge amount of faith, but it makes everything so much easier. These things I know to be true and I leave them with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. That is all for this week, but I miss you guys so much. I wish I could give you a big, long hug, because Lord knows I could use one, but I send you all my love and my prayers. Till next week!

Love, Elder Manuel Antonio Santos 

PS, Something I've forgotten to tell you for a bit (Mom), something that helps the missionaries a lot is if when they see you or you go with them, you have someone in mind that they could visit. My invitation for you is to think of someone before you see them next. Perhaps every week you could try to think of someone. You'll do wonderful! You're my momma for a reason! And also, something way cool is that one of the youth in the branch went to EFY (Especially For Youth) in Merida this week, and while he was a good kid before (we have the same music taste, haha), he came back with a huge testimony and is just a new person. We're taking him out with us twice this week and that really does get me real jazzed and happy.

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