Monday, August 12, 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude

A big friendly hello from Elder Wilcox down here in Chile to all my family, friends, and other readers.

Thank you for your letters. They inspire me. I love your lives; they are rich with action, hope, virtue, and love. I am especially grateful for the missionary spirit that the Lord has poured out upon the Whitewater ward and upon us as a family. Thanks, Ashley for your willingness and enthusiasm to serve.

Thanks, Mom for sharing that incredible missionary story. It truly brought me to tears of joy as I read it at the computer and then re-read it on the bus on the way to the center. It made me so grateful to be a missionary and to have the restored gospel that I couldn't not share it, and immediately started talking to the two men sitting behind me because I couldn't wait to tell someone about this! Well, they were not terribly interested, but that's okay.

Yesterday we had a great experience. We have been praying a lot with Elder Hanes for the work to pick up here and praying to be able to find a family that we can teach and baptise. While we were out tracting in an area we had prayed about and picked beforehand, we came across one house out of which came a fairly nice man, who explained that he is Adventist, and thus not very interested in receiving us. He said he doesn't like to argue about religion. We explained that we are not here to argue, only to help, and bore humble testimony of our message. After a short pause, my companion asked once more if we could come in. Jaime (that's his name), thought about it a moment and said, let me ask my people. He went in and after a few moments came out again with keys in hand to open the gate and let us in. We met his wife, Karina, his daughter, Daniela, and his sister-in-law, Elizabeth, and we had a wonderful spirit-filled conversation with them. They were all fascinated by the Book of Mormon, as they had not known that Christ had come to the Americas. They asked a lot of great questions, showed lots of interest, and at the end, as Jaime said the last prayer, he asked God for us to be able to meet again. Elizabeth also insisted that we stop by her house to teach her more about all this.

I left the house very greatful, and made a committment with my self and God that I would not stop praying for them, if He would let us continue to teach them and baptize them.

I've been trying to focus on being grateful recently. Every day I try to include something astonishing in my journal entry for which I am happy. I realized that the happiest people are those who think less about themselves (and, consequently, think more of themselves). Generosity and gratitute seem to go hand in hand.

I'm tremendously grateful as well to have seen some of my favorite people on this planet at stake conference yesterday, since Carahue is part of our stake. I saw Ana and Aracely as well as some others. I was going to send a photo, but this computer won't let me. I felt as Alma, when he saw his brothers after 14 years of missionary service, and what increased his joy was knowing that they were still his brothers in the Gospel. (Alma 17:1-3)

There's a million other things I could mention, but I won't. The Gospel is true. Being a missionary is awesome, and I'm devastated that it's ending so quickly.

I hope you all have a wonderful week of miracles, and I invite you to use the phrase "That's what I love about my church" two times this week. Ready, set, go!

Much love and affection,

Elder Wilcox

Cool photo from San Martín when I was with Elder Badger

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