It has been another great week in Villa Hermosa. It's actually a great name for this area, because it means "Beautiful Villa." It's one of the wealthiest areas I've had here in Guatemala. Our bishop lives in a community almost identical to one that was in my last ward, and the houses in this neighborhood are a lot like houses in Europe. The rest is typical Guatemala, but nice. Here we are in the city San Miguel Petapa, meaning that I've only had one area in Guatemala City. Jerusalén and Sonora 1 are parts of Villa Nueva, and now I'm in San Miguel Petapa, meaning that only in La Corona (Ciudad Real) have I been in Guatemala City.
On Saturday, we had a really busy day, beginning with a baptismal interview, then getting ready for a wedding, then the wedding, then a baptismal service. We baptized Isidro, after marrying him, then we confirmed him on Sunday. It was great, since I really saw a change in him. Last week they were having some family problems, but since he was baptized, everything has been peaceful, and he's just been a whole lot happier. It's amazing to see the power of God in people's lives. We just have to have faith that he can help us, and he will help us do whatever he needs us to do. As Moroni teaches us "And Christ hath said: If ye have faith in me, ye shall have power to do anything that is expedient in me." (Moroni 7:33)
I will send the picture of the baptism next week, because I forgot the camera today.
We just finished a great district meeting, because President Brough and Sister Brough came to the meeting. They do that sometimes, and it was the first time for me. President helped us out a ton with our investigators, and it looks like we're set to have a great month, we just have to keep working hard. Nephi teaches that "...by grace we are saved, after all we can do," and in my experience, it's not just about being saved, but rather this principle applies in whatever we need to do. If we work as if it all depended on us, then pray as if it all depended on God, then the problems are resolved, and depending on our faith, the miracles come. It's a two-part relationship, it's not just lazing around and waiting for God, nor is it just us working ourselves to a pulp and God doing nothing. Nobody cares more about this work than the Savior, so we work hard under his direction, and with his guidance through the Holy Ghost. This was taught in Doctrine and Covenants, I believe 42:14 "And ye shall receive the Spirit by the prayer of faith. And if ye receive not the Spirit YE SHALL NOT TEACH." (empasis added) And it's not just prayer, it's WORK as well that brings the Spirit. If you think you don't need to work, read D&C 58:26-29, and also remember verses 4, and 42-43. Something the people always ask us is "and when is your day off?" The answer of course, is my day off will be in September 2013, or rather, when I get home. The Lord doesn't give days off. The Lord makes us work hard, because he knows how important this work is. He knows that there is no other way to do it, and he knows how urgent the work is. That's something I'm still working on understanding, as President Brough always says: "¡Hay urgencia en la Obra!" ("There is Urgency in the Work!")
This applies especially now as I am in the home stretch of my mission. I feel really old, because I just passed the year mark. There are people waiting, and I can't leave them waiting, they need to be brought to the Fold! I didn't really do anything special passing the year, I just bought some ice cream. Ice cream is popular here, but it's funny because ice cream and what we would consider a popsicle (or "ice lolly" in England) are referred to with the same word, so you have to find what you really want to be able to eat it. We also had cake on Saturday, but it was for the wedding, not my "birthday."
They also asked me to play the piano in church on Sunday, the first time in months. It was great.
Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. They're a big help. It's good work, and sometimes hard work, so every little bit helps.
Keep the faith. Never forget who you are.