Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nuevos Comienzos‏ (New Beginnings)

So I had a little bit of a shock this week. We had transfers this week
-- which no one actually knows what will go down -- and I was totally
expecting to stay a third transfer with Hermana Clements. I expected

President called me this Saturday, and asked me to move. I'm going to
the super-far-north of Spain to a city called Lugo to whitewash the
area. We are going to be the ONLY missionaries there.

President is showing a lot of confidence in me and my new companion
(Hermana Whiting). Because frankly... I'm a little freaked out. Not
too much, but this is a lot of responsibility.

Prayers, as always are appreciated.

Just a note about Hermana Whiting. We sort of knew each other before
our mission through Facebook. We got in contact through a group that
was for sisters who were preparing to go on missions and we hit it off
there. In my first transfer, we did two companion exchanges because
our trainers were the sister training leaders and had to go to
leadership council. We did another companion exchange when I was in
Leganés, and we joked about how we wanted to go whitewash some obscure
branch in the north in an area with no other missionaries... We got
our wish!

This week was a bit slow, but we did see some good progress with
I****. This week we started teaching him some of the commandments. We
started by teaching him the Word of Wisdom. He had a lot of questions
because he had read about people drinking wine in the Bible. We simply
explained that we know that we have a living prophet today who
receives revelation from God and that if we want to know if something
is a true principle, we need to live it.

The next day we got a text from him saying something like this:

"Hola, hermanas! You can pass by after 7 if you want. By the way, I
went to a birthday party last night and someone offered me a beer and
I told them I don't drink anymore."

I'm so proud of him. He has been accepting the Gospel so fully and has
been living in a way that he'll be able to receive an answer. He's
accepting the Gospel with his whole heart.

Side note: He's in Mosiah 10 now.

Also L****, one of the girls in the ward who is planning on going on a
mission got her call this week for London England. She invited us to
come see her open her call. She's super excited because it was the
exact call she wanted. She leaves on December 17.

Unfortunately, we dropped R**** this week. Like always we had a
beautiful, strong lesson with him. Also like usual, Roger has no
desires to change his ways.

We had decided since he was struggling with reading the Book of Mormon
that we would read with him every lesson until he felt its power and
wanted to start reading on his own. We read 2 Nephi 31 which talks
about what we need to do in order to follow Christ. And he loved it.

We asked him if he would read the Book of Mormon every day. He said no.

We asked if he would read a little bit every day. He said no.

We asked if we sent him a text with a scripture in it every day. He said no.

We asked if he'd come to church with us this week. He said no.

He had a lot of doubts and excuses. No matter how much we explained
things like it was okay if he failed as long as he tried again or
whatever else. He still said no. Hermana Clements even testified and
promised that he would be happier and find a job if he read and prayed
about the Book of Mormon. The Spirit testified to me in that moment
that this promise was true, but he still didn't want to read.

At this point I sort of saw where it was going. I've seen it before.
He didn't have the desires to change. He liked meeting with us and
hearing the word of God, but he termed himself to be a "flexible
Christian" and said all churches lead to the same God. All he needed
to do was be a good person and everything would be fine. I testified
that I know that God established one way for us to return to him, that
this was the true church and that God would testify of that to him,
just like he did to Joseph Smith if he would just read the Book of
Mormon and pray and ask.

He then got offended. He essentially went to say that all churches are
the same and teach the same things. Therefore they must all be true.
He then told me to not say that I know that this is the true church
because it confused him. The Spirit testified to me at this point that
it was time to let him go. So we did.

It was a hard lesson. I don't think I had ever seen the Spirit work so
hard on someone who was so resistant. He really was prepared and had
potential, but he chose to use his agency against the Spirit. Hermana
Clements and I were really sad. We kind of began to understand how God
feels when we disobey him or don't listen because of our pride.

On my last day we went to several families to visit them. I was
surprised about how much people appreciated me even though I was only
there one transfer. A few people actually shed a few tears. We went
over to the Plasencias, a really nice family from Chile, who told me
that when I was over before, they really felt the Spirit after I
started a small testimony meeting with them. The wife wants to do that
in her Sunday school classes. The son also thanked me for being a good
example of obedience. He's preparing to go on a mission and didn't
really like the idea of the rules. He said that we made it seem fun to
be obedient missionaries.

That's all for this week! Off to Lugo!

Con cariño,

Hermana Sykes

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