Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another Week... And it was a good one!

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been a pretty good week!

We had 5 investigators at church, which was amazing! Usually, we just have one or two, but we had 5!!!! We also had a really good week as far as teaching goes. We found some great families, and we're teaching them how to be able to return to our Heavenly Father, and how they can have eternal families, to be together forever. It really is a great work. I love the area, I love the ward, I love the investigators, and I love my companion.

Speaking of the investigators, we're working a lot with a family who Elder Martinez was teaching. The daughters were all baptized, but the parents are still preparing. We found out through some friends of theirs that they're a little worried about some of the commandments. Specifically tithing. They don't think they can afford to do it. We have to help them see that they can't afford NOT to do it! Tithing is a commandment that God has given us, so we can show him our faith, and he will give us blessings in return. The money isn't the point, it's the faith. But you can't have the blessings unless you live the commandment. In my life, I've seen the blessings, and I can't afford not to pay my tithing. They just can't see it yet. We'll get them to see, and help them to have the blessings, and they'll be baptized. They already know that the Gospel is true, they just have to meet some members that have a strong testimony of this principle, and they're ready.

Yesterday, apparently there was a zone activity of lunch with President Brough, but nobody told us, so we didn't get to go. The good news, however, is that we went to some pacas (used clothing stores) yesterday, and I found some awesome stuff. I found 6 cool ties, which altogether cost me Q25, or about $3.25 for 6 ties. I also went to another Paca and bought something I didn't plan on buying. I found a blazer/suit jacket that fits me perfectly, and pretty much matches one of my pairs of slacks (which I happened to be wearing at the time). The suit that I brought from home is now a little big for me, so I'll be wearing this on Sundays these days, just for a change. It was an unexpected surprise that only cost me Q40 ($5.15).

My spiritual moment this week is about humility. To be able to do this work, I can't trust too much in myself. I have to trust in the Lord. If I trust too much in myself, I'll get pride, and I won't have the Holy Ghost with me. If he's not with me, I can't teach. Humility is something I'm really learning here in Guatemala. Many people here live very, very humbly, with very little money or worldly things, but the thing that I love is that they are so happy! And I really mean it. I know plenty of people in the United States who aren't nearly as happy as the people here are. It's amazing to see how wonderful life can be when we cut away all the things that don't really matter, and we focus on what really matters: our family, our friends, and especially the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As the Lord teaches us in 3 Nephi 13, "Do not lay up in store treasures in the Earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal, but lay up in store treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, neither do thieves break through and steal." (See also Matthew 6) I have seen the truth of this time and time again, and I really admire it. I wish I could have my mind so firmly fixed on the heavenly treasures, and not have the earthly ones as a distraction. I love the Gospel, and I've seen the Joy it can bring. I wish everyone could know this gospel, and live it, to be able to have both Earthly and Eternal happiness.

It is my solemn testimony that I am on the Lord's errand. He takes care of us all, even in the littlest things. He loves each and every one of his children, and he wants us to return to him. Those of you who are parents, think of when your children left home. Those of you who are children, think of when you left home. Don't you miss each other? Don't you want to be together again? Don't deprive your Heavenly Father of this joy. Work to return to him. He loves you, and he wants you to make it back home. I know that there is only one way to do this, and that is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and through baptism and other sacred ordinances performed by the priesthood authority of God that is only found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I love you all, and I want to see you there when we've all made it back home.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. Please keep praying and thinking. Share the Gospel with a friend or family member. Go to the Temple whenever you can. These things will help you to make eternal friends and bring you eternal joy.

Yours in the Faith,
Elder Banks

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