Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another Great Week

Dear All,

It's been another good week here in La Sonora. We had the confirmations of the two who we baptized last Sunday. Their parents are preparing for baptism, and we're trying to keep looking after them well, so we can get them there this month. It's really cool to see how people change, and apparently they were a lot different before I got here.

We had a good week. We found a few great investigators, including a couple young guys who are brothers. One is 18 and the other is 16, and they're really cool. They have the true desire to investigate and find out what God wants for them, and they're willing to search for it to find it.

It reminds me of a hymn, which is popular here, but a little less popular in the States. It's called "Oh say, what is Truth?"
The first two verses are as follows:

Oh, say, what is truth? 'Tis the fairest gem
that the riches of worlds can produce.
And priceless the value of truth will be when
the proud monarch's costliest diadem
is counted but dross and refuse.

Oh, say, what is truth? 'Tis the brightest prize
to which mortals or gods can aspire.
Go search in the depths where it glittering lies,
or ascend in pursuit to the loftiest skies.
'Tis the aim of the noblest desire.

The other two verses I can't remember in English, so you'll have to look them up in the hymn book. The meaning is the same in Spanish, but it loses the power with the words if I translate it back into English.

So, today I am writing at an earlier hour because we're going to a conference in Montúfar, which is in the center of the capital. I'm still in the capital, but I'm basically in the suburbs, even though they count my zone as the coast. At this conference there will be some general authorities and mission presidents, and basically all the missionaries from Guatemala City. A few weeks ago, President Brough assigned me to play the hymn "We are all Enlisted" in this conference, and I've been practicing. Saturday he called me and told me that they put me on the final agenda playing two hymns: the above, and "Called to Serve." I practiced both like mad yesterday to be able to be prepared for today, and I think it'll go pretty well. President said to me "Now, I don't want you to feel pressure, Elder Banks, but there will be four general authorities and their wives and three mission presidents on the stand." That's pretty big. If I goof up, everyone will know, but the Lord will help me. He's worked miracles with me playing the piano before (see one of my letters from the CCM) and since I've practiced, I expect he'll help me again. President even gave me permission to practice during the week this week, which I did, and it helped a lot.

As for my companion, he's progressing great. I think I said last week that I see a lot of me in him, when I was a new missionary (Wow, I'm not a new missionary anymore!), so we understand each other pretty well. He's learning really fast, and he contacts and teaches pretty well already. I feel like all I have to do is give him a few pointers, set a good example, and teach him the rules. Yes, it's hard sometimes, but "I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the Children of Men, save he shall prepare the way that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7) I've seen it this week, and since I've been with Elder Luna.

We also had the chance to get to know a few more members this week. We met the Romero family. They're young, and they're really enthusiastic and faithful in the Church. He's on the High Council, and amazing, because he can't be more than about 26 years old. He has a wife and a couple of small kids. We also met the Porras family, who are also great. As missionaries, there's not a lot of time to get to know the members, but it's important because we need them to work with the investigators. Our lessons have so much more power when we have members with us, because it's another testimony that the Church is true, and they can see that members of the Church aren't just monks running around in white shirts all day visiting people, but that we're actually normal people who have jobs and families.

Thank you for your prayers. They are much needed and much appreciated.

Keep the faith. Press forward. Pray always, that you may come off conqueror. (D&C 10:5)

Yours in the faith,
Elder Banks

Elder Martinez baptized Helen and Diana, the two daughters.

Elder Luna and I baptized the older sister, Marilin, and her husband Carlos.

Me and Elder Martinez

Me and Elder Guandique

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