Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another Week in the Vineyard

Dear All,

It sounds like things are nice and chilly in Utah. Here in Puerto, it's nice and hot. The house stays about 92 degrees farenheit during the day, and it feels hotter outside in the sun. We're working hard, and we have a couple families that are getting close to being baptized! This will be great, because with an attendance of about 50 every week, this branch is ready to grow. We've got a few really awesome people, and I'm excited to be able to work the area with a new missionary, because new missionaries have so much faith! We'll be able to do great things, once my companion gets used to the heat. Unless he's from Nicaragua, because in Nicaragua, it's all really hot like here (or so I've heard). In the chapels here, air conditioning is a rarity, but in Nicaragua, they're starting to put AC in all the chapels.

And I suppose you're all wondering about the earthquake. Yes, we felt it, but it wasn't scary. The house just moved around for about a minute, and then everything was fine. The epicenter was in San Marcos, which is far from here (not even in my mission) and is very cold. It's one of the few places in Guatemala where it actually snows. We just felt some movement, but it was nothing scary. Even being here in the coast, there wasn't a tsunami or anything. So don't worry, it ended up just being another experience for the journal.

Also, in General Conference a few weeks ago, the choir sang a really cool hymn that helps me in the work. In the Spanish hymnbook, it's number 67, but in English, it's not in the hymnbook. It's called "If the Way Be Full of Trial, Weary Not." The chorus of this hymn says:

"Do not weary by the way, whatever be thy lot.
There awaits a brighter day, to all, to all who weary not."

In Spanish, it says
"Do not weary of fighting, be firm in the battle,
God will send rest to those who fight in the battle."

That's something that comes to my mind whenever things get hard. That if we keep on fighting, keep on working, and don't weary by the way, there's something great that awaits us. I know that if we keep God's commandments and endure to the end, we too will see the brighter day that awaits us. I hope to be able to see that day, and I hope to see you there with me. I know that even though we make mistakes, through our Savior Jesus Christ, we can return with our Heavenly Father once again. Another Hymn comes to mind:

"Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
whose wond'rous pow'r hath raised me up
and filled with sweet my bitter cup.
What tongue of gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel!"

I know that our Redeemer lives. Trust in him, and everything will work out for the best. It probably won't be easy, but that's how it is because he loves you.

I love you all and appreciate your constant prayers on our behalf. Thank you.

Until next week,
Elder Banks

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