Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Story Unfolds

As this week I am without companion...well kind of. We live in a house with four missionaries, but this past weekend my companion, Elder Torres, was assigned to the office, leaving me in a trio with the other two to cover both sectors at the same time until my new comp arrives on the 7th. I feel really strange leading the zone alone right now, and I feel a very large wait upon my shoulders, so I'm excited for the new Elder to come. However, it has helped me step up and take charge of the sector, and feel more responsability for the zone, as last transfer I was new to it and was still learning. So it'll help prepare me for this next transfer.

The baptism this last weekend was incredible. Marta and Constanza are so awesome, and Marta reminds me so much of Andrea from Carahue. They've progressed incredibly and they were really happy this weekend. Marta told us that when we gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday, she felt like are hands were hot on her head, and she felt a heat go through her whole body, and when we finished the prayer, she was crying. She truly understood that it was a baptism by fire, even by the Holy Ghost. It reminded me of my own baptism and confirmation. I remember crying as well when I was given this unspeakable gift, and although I didn't understand all things at that age, I do remember feeling very strongly that God was pleased with what I was doing, and that He loved me.
Bryan baptised his brother, and on Sunday also blessed the sacrament and gave the opening prayer in sacrament meeting. So he and his family and coming strongly back to church.
These experiences of late have strengthed my testimony that God knows and loves His children and knows what we need to be happy. I know without a doubt that this is His true church upon the Earth today, the only Gospel on Earth that gives us access to the Atonement of Christ so that we may be cleansed of our sins through repentance and baptism.

What a blessing it is to be a missionary and show people the way into the Kingdom of God.

A quick spiritual thought.
The parable of the talents in Matthew 25 has marked me this week. Give it a read through. I believe that the Lord does not care how much ability we have, only what we do with the ability that he has given us. We don't have to be the most intelligent, the most skilled, or the most spiritual even, we just have to try. If we work hard, that's enough for him. The two first servants who went and magnified their talents were received into the presense of the Lord. It's interesting that the entrance fee for both of them was different (10 talents versus 4 talents) but the prize was exactly the same: the joy of the Lord. In the end, the servants did not receive their blessings by how many talents they had, because those always belonged to the Lord in the first place.

I'm out of time for the week, as we had a conference today and council yesterday so we've gotta keep working, but I congratulate you mom on your wonderful presentation. The pictures are pretty incredible, and I'm really proud of you. You are an example to me. Dad, thank you for your council. The mission has helped me have a perspective less selfish of life, and I know now that the most important thing is being able to form and provide for a family. I never understood that before and didn't really appreciate everything you do for us. But know I realize just how much you have given to support us and give us so many opportunities, and I'm grateful for the wonderful father you are and have been. Thanks, Dad. I'm gonna pray and fast and figure it out.

Jenn and mom, due to the shortage of time, I'm taking your emails home to read tonight.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Wilcox

Monday, April 22, 2013

The BoM

is the bomb.

And it explodes in the hearts of people unto testimony and conversion.

This weekend Marta and her daughter, Constanza will be baptised, but I want to share a specific experience about Constanza.

The other day, while we were teaching her, the member that was accompaning us shared her testimony about her own conversion to the gospel about a year ago. This inspired Constanza to share some things with us she had never told us. She said that at first, when we started visiting her, she really more than anything just thought we were handsome, and had no interest in learning much. But she said, little by little as her mom (Marta) began sharing her own experiences with her, she began to take interest. Before awhile, Constanza started listening to us with real intent, wanting to know if what we teach is true, because she had been looking for the truth. She said one day, reading the Book of Mormon, she read a passage (in Alma, about the Spirit world), that she said struck her heart very powerfully, and in that moment she realized that this isn't just any book. She began to read more, and now is addicted to it. She said she brings it with her on the bus on the way to college and people look at her funny because she reads with such enthusiasm. She said she couldn't stop thinking about it, which is weird for her, because she doesn't usually like to read very much.

Man...I wish I had the words to describe how this lesson was, but I just can't seem to explain it. Basically, Constanza went off for like 10 minutes basically telling us the whole story of her own conversion, and she hasn't even been baptised yet! I know she and her mom are going to be wonderful converts. They remind me both very much of Andrea, from Carahue. I'm so grateful for the power of the spirit in converting our hearts. Constanza said that now she's doing things she never did before. She prays, she reads, she has a different outlook on life. And I'm grateful for the power of the Book of Mormon, which is in reality a testament of Jesus Christ. I know it's true. I've seen it change lives, including my own. I have no doubt that this Gospel is true. Being a missioary is awesome.

Sorry I couldn't describe more beatifully the beauty of that lesson, but you get the idea.

And we press on this week. There is much to do.

Just a few things:
Dad, President Martínez has worked for the church his whole life practically. He was in the department of seminaries and institutes of religion.

Mom, Thank you SO MUCH for the boxes! I finally got them both (and yes, I got the shirt box way back when as well, and am enjoying very much the new shirts). Elder Torres says thanks as well for the easter basket, and Elder Bonnett...well doesn't know haha. 

I really wish I could give you an exact date but I really just don't know yet. I tried asking president in the Conference, but he was really busy and told me to bring it up during interviews in a few weeks. I'm going to try and stop by the office right now and talk to the office peeps to see what's up, and call president on the phone if needs be. I'm so confused now about everything. Because I'm realizing that the fall semester starts the 3rd of September, so if I could get released like one or two weeks early, I could start school immediately, which would be fantastic, but then again, I don't even know if I want to do Music Dance Theater anymore, and have no idea what I'd study this year....yikes...I feel pretty lost. Maybe it's just easier to extend and have time at home to mull it over. Regardless, I will try to let you know the date definitively next monday. Let me know what you think about everything too.

Well, That's all for this week. Thanks for your letters. I love you all very much and am always grateful for everything you do and love hearing from you. Have an astonishing week!

Elder Wilcox

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blessings in Disguise

There are many in this world. We have to be positive enough to find them.

We were hoping Marta would be baptized this past weekend, but she had an unexpected trip to Los Angeles she had to make to meet with her attorney for a piece of land she owns there. Sooo, she will be getting baptized instead the 27th, which is actually better, because it means she can get baptized the same day as her daughter, Constanza. Marta is awesome though, and she told us she wants to sew her own dress from her baptism. We were astonished. Constanza is progressing really well too and came to chuch by her self yesterday (I mean, she's a big girl and everything, being 21), but it was the first time she had gone completely by herself, so it shows an important step of faith.

We're also working with a family that recently has been activated in the Church and are going a lot more. Their son, Bryan just got ordained to the office of Priest, so he will be baptizing his little brother, Diego on the 27th as well. Their family is really happy for them. And we are too!

I like being with Elder Torres. He's a deep thinker. Sometimes he thinks more than me, which is saying a lot, or maybe a little, I'm not sure, but he likes to analize things, and he's helped me to understand the importance of thoughts, and how they change our nature. We talk a lot about desire, and how it influences our actions and also how God responds to our prayers. Missionary work (or anything in life), can only be accomplished with great desire.

I thank you all for your letters and support. I love the fotos. Sam, man, you're looking buff. And you too, Heather! Congrats, Mom on a job well done with your presentations. I'm amazed that somehow you keep learning to do new things, just when I think you already now how to do it all. And Dad, thank you for your support and interest in my sector, I can't wait to show it all to you! Ashley, keep up the hard work with the mission papers and let me know how everything's going! You're gonna be great! Jenn, I love you and your family very much and am grateful for your efforts to be a Latter-day Saint Woman and mom.

I love you all, and pray for you in your endeavors. Have a great week. God is good!

Elder Wilcox

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

It's a Beautiful Life

That sounds like the title of that one movie. Not what I had in mind. I just think life is beatiful, that's all.

I'm incredibly happy with my new sector and really excited to be here. It's a lot of fun working close to the ocean again, and Boca Sur has that kind of beach town feel, mixed with inner city life. It's kind of a rough neighborhood, but I love it because it's much more lively. At church, the members where awesome, and you can tell they love the missionaries, and each other.

We have a lot of people to teach with Elder Torres, and I'm excited to see a lot of miracles. Currently we're teaching a lady named Marta and her daughter Constanza. Marta seriously reminds me so much of Andrea from Carahue. She's very studious and is already reading the Book of Mormon from the begining. She'll be getting baptized the 13th and her daughter on the 27th.

I'm very grateful for all your prayers and for your support and letters. Not a lot of time today, since we don't have a lot of cash on hand, so I'll leave you there, letting you know I'm happy, healthy, and excited for these last 6 months to be the best ones ever.

Love you all and have a great week.

Elder Wilcox