That picture of Lake Powell is so gorgeous! Man, I miss the desert. Haha. I also miss the seasons changing. Here there are only two options. Super hot, and super hot with rain. I'm glad everyone seems to be doing so well and being nourished by the good word of God as well. This week I learned a good lesson.
We have been working hard to find some new investigators and teach them with members to help them progress and come to church. To me it seems hard to get people to church out here, but I don't want to sound like a complainer to missionaries who have a much harder time. Well, Friday night rolled around and when the Elders called to ask us what our goal was for investigators in church on Sunday, I told him I thought we might be able to get 4 there (we had only 1 two weeks ago and 2 the week before). It seemed like the realistic answer to me. We are teaching about 20 which means that around 4 will actually show up at church and maybe 2 of them will get baptized in the next few weeks.
But then he surprised me and said, "No hermana, your goal is 15."
What? 15? I could feel myself starting to get irritated. Why did he think that he could just set my goal for me, and an unrealistic goal at that. And for what I did next, I feel really bad about. I just told him straight up how I felt.
"Elder, that is not a goal, that is a dream. And I don't work with unrealistic dreams. I work with goals that are acutally accomplishable. Maybe if you had told us on Monday that we had to get 15 investigators in church we could have had time to make plans and realistically accomplish that goal but the night before, with just one day to make it happen... it just can't be done."
He tried to convince me and I just kept being stubborn and obstinant with him. He told me not to kill the messenger. But when I hung up the phone, I got to work and started making plans with Hna. Cano. We made a list of all our investigators and those whom we had committed to come to church. We didn't have time to visit everyone we needed to to get a commitment from the others, but we made a list of people to call. Then we made a list of ward missionaries that could help us in the morning on Sunday to bring each investigator to church.
We worked hard all day Saturday, praying for the Lords help to accomplish this goal and by the end of the day I counted 14 investigators who had given us an affirmative "yes" that they would be at church and there were a few others who were possibilities. We got up early on Sunday, hoping for a miracle and started passing by for everyone. Well, with the help of a few of the ward missionaries, and the most help from the Lord, we had 9 investigators in church. I was super happy and a little bit sad at the same time because some of the investigators that I was sure would come, who I thought were the most positive, didn't show up. And three of the nine were brought by members and we hadn't even planned on them being there.
It is a great blessing when members bring their friends to church so I am excited to go and teach the new ones that came. But a little disappointed that we are another week behind with a few investigators who I thought were the strongest. Well, the Lord knows which ones will truly progress. But the point of the story is, have faith in the Lord to accomplish big tasks. I had to repent of my attitude on the phone with Elder Cruz, but once I did and decided to have faith and work to accomplish a goal that seemed bigger than life, the Lord did a miracle and brought nine investigators to church. More than quadrupling the number that we had last week.
I know that this is the Lords work. He is in charge. He is getting things done. The church will only go forward, it cannot go back. And we are simply here to be His hands, His voice.
Being a missionary is the best thing in the world - this is HIS work.
Love you all more than the smell of flowering trees in the dirty streets of Nicaragua.
Love, Hna. Crosland
P.S. The pictures are of the new shoes and of my little hija and of brother and sister Medina on Hna. Medina's birthday. We wrote her a song on the guitar and bought her a couple of cute parakeets. She loves them. Haha. It was a fun activity for us.