Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 50 ~~

Hi All - I cut out some personal stuff and here is the rest of the letter from this week!!

Anyways, as far as the mission goes. Right now this past week we just baptized a woman named Dilia, she is a little old Grandma. She wasn't going to get baptized because of pain walking. But luckily all of those injuries I got in high school running, I knew what was hurt and was able to show her how to get some relief. That being said, the funniest moment of my week, was my companion trying to baptize this woman. He is still super new, and she just wouldn't go under the first time, so then she decided that she is going to baptize herself. And lets go of my companion, walks over, grabs the handrail and dunks her head under water with like one arm waving above. Needless to say for what should have been a sacred ordinance I was really way to close to laughing.

We have been teaching her 8 year old granddaughter, but the girl has a serious coffee addiction, so we need to make sure to keep on her so she doesn't do that. Its just sad that an 8 year old has a coffee addiction.

In terms of other things that I am dealing with, I have a wonderful investigator named Jaime, and he is great, he loves the book of Mormon, and goes to church, but he has two problems. First off, he doesn't pray, which makes it rather difficult if one is looking to get an answer from God. Second he smokes 16 Cigarettes a day, and has done so for the past 40 years, so he is going to have to overcome that to get baptized. It is really weird because I feel like he just needs a little bit more, and he would so be able to overcome it. There is a recent convert here in the ward who should be able to give him advice because she smoked a pack and a half daily.

Something that has really been hard for me to learn out here is the art of asking questions. It is a very very difficult thing to do. If I want to ask good questions I have to think of exactly what I want the person to learn, and how I want them to learn, but the challenge is that so often when I try and teach with scriptures, people just read them and then don't pay any attention to what is being said. Its as if the words go in one ear and out the other. So that is my great frustration.

A moment when I had a surreal experience this week was with a less active, I got a prompting to go knock on the door of a less active who I knew had no interest in going to church. I felt the prompting, ignored it, then the next time we passed by, I felt it again and so we knocked the door, she let us in, and we started talking about going to church and she said she was too busy to do that. She put up a bunch of excuses, and then I told her what she could do to overcome the difficulties, and she didn't want to. I then responded I felt like a parent watching their child do drugs because I knew all of the blessings that she would get from the sacrament and she said I know the consequences and I am going to accept them. In that moment I thought wow, this is not the Gospel of Elder Standridge. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Its not always about what I want, and not everyone is going to accept what I am sent to say. Sometimes I am sent so that at judgment day that everyone will have gotten a fair chance.

This is quite an interesting topic, I asked President about it. Can I really affect the salvation of someone else. If I chose to be disobedient and lost the spirit in the mission, would God honestly allow one of my brothers to be lost. The answer is no, he always has another means, like with Nephi making the second set of brass plates. If I fail as a missionary, the people will still go to the kingdom that they are willing to receive, and God will give them the best chance. Why then do we preach the Gospel. The scriptures have 2 answers. First is to prepare the world so that it is ready to receive the savior when he comes. And the second is to avoid ´´the abomination of desolation´´ or in other words the consequences here in this world of sinful action. There was an extremely poor country torn apart by civil war, where the people had hardly any more for even food. What was President Benson´s (I think it was him) advice, they need to pay their tithing. Why? Because the Lord would then bless them with what they needed physically. I am not just here to help people for after this life, but for what will happen right here, right now. Wow the mission is great. I love getting to work every day to help those around me. I get to bring blessings to those in need, and although some people may reject the message, so many people are changed and grow, and it makes me just so very happy. 
I love you both, and enjoyed very much our phone call. hope to hear from you soon.

Love, Kevin

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