Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Another Week in the Vineyard

Dear All,

This has been another week of work in the Lord's Vineyard. I've been a bit quiet, and my comp is pushing me harder, so I'm trying to be a little more bold, and to exert myself more. My companion has been sick this week, so we've spent a good amount of time in the house. He's had a bad cold/flu and a fever. He's pretty much over it now, but it was hard. I tried to help take care of him the best that I knew how, and thankfully, all has now passed into health and hard work again.

Yesterday, I got my first taste of Guatemalan rain. My companion told me it's not even close to what they get in the coast, but I still got pretty wet. Last week, a member gave us each a big umbrella that's red and white, and says "Colgate" on it. We used them yesterday, and we were talking to someone across the street from her house, and she came out on her porch and saw us using the umbrellas she gave us! It was neat.

As far as investigators go, Jairon and Vilma are amazing. They have lots of questions, and really want to follow the Lord. They'll probably be baptized as soon as they get married. We're working on that with them, and we'll see what happens. I think it will all work out well.

As many of you know, General Conference is this weekend. We will be listening to the Lord's Prophet and his Apostles speak to us via satellite. We will be watching it probably in the stake center, but maybe in another bigger chapel in the stake. We are supposed to be participating in all the sessions, and depending on how many investigators show up, I may even get to watch it in English! Usually what they do here is set apart another room for the Gringos (both members and missionaries) to watch the conferences in English. If a lot of investigators come, I'll be sitting with them in the main room
in Spanish, but if they don't come, I'll be watching in English. We'll see what happens. The stake center is about an hour away by public bus, so we'll be in the Stake Center pretty much all day Saturday and Sunday.

The other big news is that I will be leaving this internet café not with Elder Calta, but with Elder Loayza. Our district leader (and companion of E. Loayza), Elder Flores, is going on divisions with my comp in our area today, so I get to get out a little for a change, to the area Panorama, and return to Jerusalén tomorrow. I've been here once before, with Elder Gomez during my first month, but this will be my first time working with Elder Loayza, who is also a Peruvian. My comp was a little disappointed, because he wanted to work with Elder Loayza, but I get to do so! I'm pretty excited. Elder Loayza is 6 weeks newer than me in the mission, and from what I hear and what I've seen of his teaching, he's an amazing missionary. I'll let you all know how it goes when I write you next week.

Because of General Conference, this past Sunday was Fast and Testimony Meeting in Rama Jerusalén, and I had the opportunity to get up and bear a simple testimony. I would like to share a similar simple testimony with you now.

I know that this is the true church of God upon the earth today. I know that Jesus Christ suffered and died for all of our sins,
mistakes, pains, sicknesses, and everything of that sort, and he understands us perfectly when we are passing through challenges. I know that there is only one way to return to our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ after we die, and that way is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His church, with his priesthood authority. Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End are the steps upon which this Eternal Life can be reached. I am very grateful to be able to know this Gospel, and to be able to share it with the people of Guatemala. I love the Gospel. I
know that our families can be together forever through the priesthood power found in the Lord's Holy Temples here upon the earth today. I know these things to be true in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thank you always for your thoughts and prayers. They are always needed for me, my companion, and our area and investigators. Their effects are being experienced, though we be separated by many miles. Thank you.

Yours in the Faith,
Elder Nicholas Banks

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