Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Another Fantastic Week!

Dear All,

This has been a great week. We had some hard work, and a lot of meetings, but we came out alright in the end.

The miracle of this week is that Roxana, who wanted to be baptized, had disappeared for a few days and we couldn't get a hold of her. We talked to her yesterday, and on Sunday, and we're teaching her the last few things she needs to know before being baptized. She doesn't live in our area, but a family member, who is also her close friend, is a member of the ward here, and has been helping us a ton. We always have the lessons in her house, and she's always there, so we get to have that visit with a member present, which is excellent.

Wherever you are, I exhort you to work with the missionaries. Having a member who isn't a missionary at the lesson makes a HUGE difference. You don't have to teach anything, you just have to share your testimony and let the missionaries teach what they have planned. It's not that hard, and it makes an enormous difference in the Lord's work.

When I was in Villa Hermosa, I arrived and met an investigator who had been making a lot of excuses to not go to church on Sunday. Then, we brought a member to go visit him. That Sunday, he already had plans, but the following Sunday, he attended church. That same Sunday, he said to my companion "When will there be baptisms? I want to be a part of this." The last I heard, he comes to Church every Sunday, and he's super active in the activities, and everything that has to do with the Gospel.

And it all happened because a member took a little time out of his afternoon to join us for a visit. So even though you think your testimony is weak and that you don't make a difference, YOU DO.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (see Matthew 5, 3 Nephi 12)

Yesterday we also had a great zone activity, in which we went to Antigua Guatemala for the second time. It's a great city with some great views, and it's one of the most famous places in Guatemala. It used to be the capital of Central America, and it's where you can buy all kinds of typical fabrics, and just about anything made out of such fabrics. It's really fun, and I bought some nice, unique things to enjoy when I'm back in the states. Antigua is also the place where there are more Gringos than any other place in Guatemala, both living there and tourists. Some of the elders spent a while talking to some guys from Canada, and there were just a TON of white people there. There are Guatemalans that have light skin and light eyes, but it was really weird to see so many "canchitos" (white people) in the same place. They're everywhere in Antigua! Imagine how weird it will be for me when I get home!

I leave you with my testimony in the form of 2 scriptures from the Book of Mormon that have helped me a ton. Alma 37:6-7, and Ether 12:27.

Alma reminds us that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass," and in Ether, the Lord mentions that if we come unto him in our weaknesses in humility, he will make our weaknesses into strengths.

Recently, I have noticed some changes in myself. Changes with respect to challenges I have had for extended periods of time. And my faith really has grown, because little by little, by small and simple means, the Lord has changed me. I have tried to be humble and ask the Lord for his help to help me overcome my challenges (believe me, just being a member of the Church, getting baptized, going through the temple, or going on a mission doesn't eliminate the problems) and he has done so, little by little. I know that he has been listening to my prayers, and that he has been blessing me in his own time frame. And it works out better that way, because at the same time, he has helped me be more humble and patient, while waiting for him to help me. No, the challenges aren't over (far from it in fact), but I know that the Lord will strengthen me to be able to take it, and to overcome (see Mosiah 24).

I testify that the Lord does hear our prayers. He does bless us with miracles, and he does help us when it seems like there's nothing we can do. We just have to "Lift up our heads and be of good comfort" and have faith in him in keeping his commandments, and he will help us more than we can ever imagine. I have seen it, and I have lived it. "And Christ hath said: If ye have faith in me, ye shall have power to do WHATSOEVER THING is expedient in me." (Moroni 7:33) "And Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE to him that believeth."

I testify that these things are true. Jesus lives, and has done what no other man can do for each one of us. God has again called prophets to guide us in His ways, and that His church has been established once again upon the face of the Earth, all because of his love and concern for us.
And I testify these things in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all.
Thank you for your prayers.
Have a great week.
Elder Banks

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