Monday, February 29, 2016

To act and not be acted upon

This week was pretty good!  Unfortunately we still have very few investigators but I still have the faith that somehow through our efforts we will find more.  We haven't been able to talk to Kiara's father to get permission for her to be baptized because he is never at home (she lives with her dad and grandma).  But, Kiara has talked to him twice about the idea and he has told her that she absolutely will not be getting baptized.  She was supposed to get baptized this Saturday but the father won't be home until next Sunday and we have done everything in our ability to get his permission, so things are looking pretty gloomy.  We are doing our best to not get discouraged though because Kiara is so so ready to be baptized and her father is the only obstacle.  We even asked her the other day, "Kiara, do you still want to be baptized?" And the little 10 year old replied, "Yes hermanas, it is the greatest desire of my heart."  After hearing this and seeing her exercise her faith by going to church and reading/praying every day, we are a little heartbroken with the situation.  But I know that whether she gets baptized during my time here or not, she will one day remember these lessons she had as a little girl and have the opportunity once again to be baptized.
This week was also super special because we got to see a live broadcast given by Elder Bednar while he was in Buenos Aires.  For those of you that know me, you'll know that I was especially excited because Elder Bednar spoke, but he also gave some wonderful advice and counsel to us missionaries in he South Sout American missions.  One of my favorite parts was when he talked about how we need to act and not be acted upon. He shared an example of this with the story of the Israelites, which I am going to share through and excerpt from a talk of his from 2006.  He says:

We find a powerful example of the interaction among assurance, action, and evidence as the children of Israel transported the ark of the covenant under the leadership of Joshua (see Joshua 3:7–17). Recall how the Israelites came to the river Jordan and were promised the waters would part, or “stand upon an heap” (Joshua 3:13), and they would be able to cross over on dry ground. Interestingly, the waters did not part as the children of Israel stood on the banks of the river waiting for something to happen; rather, the soles of their feet were wet before the water parted. The faith of the Israelites was manifested in the fact that they walked into the water before it parted. They walked into the river Jordan with a future-facing assurance of things hoped for. As the Israelites moved forward, the water parted, and as they crossed over on dry land, they looked back and beheld the evidence of things not seen. In this episode, faith as assurance led to action and produced the evidence of things not seen which were true. True faith is focused in and on the Lord Jesus Christ and always leads to action. 

There are many examples of faith given to us through the scriptures but I especially loved that example of the Israelites seeing the miracle "after the trial of their faith."  Elder Bednar related this story to a common thing that all of us as members do.  Many church members read the scriptures just a certain amount of time every day because it is a duty.  But what we really need to be doing is going in as agents with a question.  We have to act and not be acted upon.  We can't just read and wait for "God to deliever the goods" as Elder Bednar put it.  We need to knock and it shall be given to us.  Another example of this is how many a time we have heard church members say in their prayers while at the pulpit in sacrament meeting, "Please bless the people who didn't come today so they will be able to make it next week."  When Elder Bednar said that in reality when we say that sentence, we are actually "doing it all wrong."  The type of prayer we should really offer should say something like, "Heavenly Father, please bless everyone one of us here to think of at least one person who isn't here today so that we can go visit them on our way home from church.  And please bless us to not all think of the same person because that could get awkward."  haha a little funny but so true! We need to be agents that act, not objects that are acted upon.  Just a little food for thought but I hope that we will all be better agents who act according to the great faith we truly have.  I love you all and have a wonderful week!!!

p.s. next week are transfers so if I email a little late, that is the reason why!! I will probably be staying here in San Martin to end my mission though so I will probs not have any changes, just a new comp!

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

-doing the same hike that we did on New Years Day!!! 
-hot chocolate in the park...the weather changes from day to day here!! one day it is super hot and then the next, it is pouring rain and freezing cold like winter! I love San Martin :)

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