Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Love your enemies..."

Hey there! The work here is going strong.  Every week I feel myself becoming a more effective tool in the Lord's hands.  This week was especially good.  I learned a lot about focus and love for the people.  It was a hard lesson to learn but I'm glad I did.  I'll get to that in a minute.

First off, I've finally learned I hate dreaming about home.   I started to get feelings of homesickness again so I started praying to have dreams about the work instead.  Every night is different.  For some reason, every night I have a different investigator show up in my dream... and every time they're wearing their white Baptismal clothing :)  Some great things are about to happen here in Sioux City, I just know it.  

I had the AWESOME opportunity to go on exchanges with our ZL's this week. Elder Cabezas and I went around and visited some of our potentials and were able to teach two really awesome lessons.  He's a really smart missionary. He really taught me a lot about teaching people, not lessons.  The lessons we had that night were powerful.  One such lesson was with one of our investiagators named Genie.  Her mom and sister are both members but she just has doubts and questions and thinks we're weird.  We came over and she came in and sat down and just started firing questions at us.  We, along with her mom and sister, were able to answer all her questions, teach her, and testify with conviction and with the Spirit.  So many of her questions came up.  When we talked about her prayers/reading the Book of Mormon she said she hadn't done either.  When we asked her why, she said, "I don't do it because I'm afraid of the answer I'll get."  She already knows its true!  She just doesn't want to admit it.  In the end she sat back and said, "ok.  I'll read."  Elder Cabezas and I walked away with giant smiles on our faces.  
My biggest lesson this week was yesterday.  Lately I've really been struggling to love one of our investigators.  Everytime we go there he ends up making fun of me for my baptism or my spanish or anything in between.  It just ends up leaving me frustrated for some reason.  Yesterday I was frustrated with it and I was almost tempted to tell Elder Juan we should just call and cancel our appointment... but then I read Matthew 5:44-45 which says, 

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

Don't you love when the Scriptures smack you upside the head  and tell you to stop being stupid.  I know I sure do :)   Immediately I said a quick little prayer, asking for my Heavenly Father to help me love this man that makes me frustrated.  I didn't feel any different until we walked in his door and saw him.  I immediately felt this genuine love for him and a desire for his spiritual well being.  I couldn't help but picture him in a white baptism jumpsuit and I just smiled.  Our lesson with him and his wife yesterday ended up being our best, most productive lesson with him.  

 I'm so thankful for the opportunity I have to serve and love these people here.  This really is a labor of love.  If we don't love them, we can't help them.  I thankful for the people the Lord has placed in our way for us to help.  I pray everyday that we can be able to say something to them to help them come unto Christ and want more than what they have.  I know the Gospel can fill anyone's spiritual hunger if they give it a chance and seek the truth.  and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Last thing.  I ate seafood yesterday.  Lots of it.  We ate this catfish, octopus, clam, crab soup..... it wasn't awful.  
Here's a picture of the fish's head :)  I thought you might want to see what I ate this week :)

Love you!  Have a great week!

Mucho amor,
Elder Zack

OH!  Actual last thing.  I want something from you :)  Its kind of a homework really.   Write down the moments you knew the Church was true and your testimony.  Copy it and keep the original, put it in your journal or something, and then send me a copy :)  I'll do it too and put it in the mail this week some time. If you don't know yet, find out.  Read the Book of Mormon and pray sincerely to know.  I promise you you'll know.   Love you and hope to hear from you soon!
(This challenge is for everyone, not just my family)

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