Monday, August 18, 2014

Feliz Cumpleanos!

The package from home and a very tired Elder Paddock
Elder Holman with the muffins made from the mix in
Zack's package & his birthday banner.
Also, notice the traditional Paddock birthday
streamers on the door in the background.

First off, you guys are the best family support system a missionary could ask for.  My birthday was awesome!  Having a birthday on a mission is kind of weird, especially when its in a brand new area.  Birthdays really aren't that different from any other day!  It was kind of nice.  You guys are great though.  The packages were just what I needed to make my birthday amazing.  I loved all the little notes and letters from friends and family.  That was probably my favorite part.

To give you a little update on the war.  The cockroach army is slowly decreasing in numbers.  The home fort is being invaded by a much smaller number.  We went from killing 20+ everytime we walked in the house after a day of work PLUS  all the brave ones that come out during the day to now we're only killing about 15 a day.  That's good, right?

Something awesome is happening here and I just kind of walked right into it.   One of our investigators named Jonathon is getting baptized this week!  He's so ready!  He's made a lot of changes in his life so that he can come closer to Christ, including giving us his lighter, coffee and tea cups so the temptations not there!  Most people won't do that!  Its awesome!  Its a little weird walking right into it but I'm glad the Lord is blessing me with the opportunity to be here for it.  Its the first baptism Crete has had in a long time since we're 30 miles from the closest church.  I know that this is going to help the work keep going.

Last thing I wanted to share is that this week I've really learned the importance of keeping our testimonies strong.  
This all came from a El Salvadorean woman named Patricia.  As soon as she opened the door, she just started going off about how big of a "nuisance" it is that we come by all the time to talk to her son's friend since all we do is talk about a "book from the devil."  One thing I've come to learn is that there's two ways that  we can respond to people who just want to argue like this: 1) Argue back or 2) calmly testify.  For me personally, I hate contention and would much rather do #2, and thats what we did.  As she would come at us with some heated remark about how the Book of Mormon is false and the Prophet Joseph Smith was a crazy guy claiming visions, all we did was look at her in the eyes and talk calmly and tell her that we know the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith was a true prophet.  Its funny to me how people can think of a million and two different reasons why this church is a church of lies, but they never pick up a Book of Mormon and read it and see that it only talks about Christ.  A book of lies wouldn't bring me such true happiness.  A book of lies wouldn't help me feel my Father in Heaven's love everytime I pick it up.  That wouldn't be possible.  My Heavenly Father wouldn't answer my prayers in the way that he has if these things were a bunch of false teachings.  I'm thankful for my testimony.  I'm thankful that my Heavenly Father has made me so sure that these things are true that I can look an angry person in the face, share what I love with them, and not even hesitate to tell them that its true.   It was a real testament to me that we all need to strengthen our testimonies all the time.  We all need to read the Book of Mormon.  We all need to pray to know if its true.   This world is full of crap thats always going to try and tear us down.  Every time the Lord has had his true church on the Earth, there has always been opposition against it.  And there always will be.  Of that I'm 100% sure.  People can say all they want against what we know, but they can not take away a testimony. 
I invite you all to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  Even angry El Salvadorean Patricia agreed to ask God if the Book of Mormon is his book.  I know you'll get an answer if you ask for it. Of that I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love you all.  Thank you for all the Birthday wishes.  You're the best!
Have a great week!
Elder Zack

No comments:

Post a Comment