Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Eighty-fourth Week - March 1, 2016

Hey, guys!  I hope you all had a great week!
Sorry I couldn't e-mail yesterday.  My companion had his final interview and we were gone all day basically.  I can't believe that it is already March... This week was crazy fast!  This letter is much better.  I was up til midnight writing it, so that I didn't have to sit in front of the computer screen thinking what I needed to write haha...
Tuesday was just a normal day.  We have been teaching a lady named Rosa.  She's like 35ish, has two kids that got baptized like 9 months ago.  She wants to get baptized so bad, but... she is living with a guy.  His name is Abel, sells vegetables for a living.  He is married to some other lady, but left her and now is with Rosa.  He doesn't want anything to do with the church.  Rosa doesn't love him and doesn't want to marry him.  Abel feels the same about her.  It is so sad to see all the families here and how much they are missing.  But we finally just talked to her and told her to kick him out of the house cause he is only there cause he needs a place to live.  She wants to do it but is scared.  Pray for her to have the courage to do it.  She wants to get baptized!  
Also at around 6 pm, the power went out, so we had to go to our house cause it's not safe and it was pitch black.  The power didn't come back til midnight.  I showered at 9:30 pm.  It was still 90* so i laid in my bed but with no fan (AC doesn't exist here) and laid there for about 45 minutes and was sweating so bad that I got up turned my flashlight on to find huge sweat marks on my bed.  So i went to shower again at 10:30 pm, then went and sweated some more while I was reading my scriptures.  Then finally at midnight the power came back, showered again, then went to bed peacefully:) 
Wednesday we had a multizona.  Elder Ochoa from the Area Seventy came. 
It was a good day.  Sister Russell talked about one of my favorite topics, Faith.  There are two definitions of faith:
1- Definición del mundo:  See = Believe.  There is a famous saying in English"  "I'll believe it when I see it."
2- Definición del Señor:  Believe = See.  It is simple.  In order to see, we have to believe. One of my favorite scriptures says, "But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe." -Doctrine and Covenants 63:9.  If you have faith, fear disappears.  We will have many times in our lives when we don't understand why we need to do certain things, but we need to trust in the Lord and do it!  
One of my favorite examples of stories of faith is Lehi. "And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.  And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him. 
And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness.  And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family,and provisions, and tents, 
and departed into the wilderness." -1 Nephi 2: 2-4. 
It really is true that by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass!  Imagine if Lehi wasn't obedient to the Lord or didn't put his faith in the Lord and did not act on what he had received?  Would they ever have arrived in the Americas?  Would we have the Book of Mormon?  It's questions that get you thinking.  But thank goodness that Lehi put his faith in God and did it!   We also need to have that type of faith and trust in God even if we don't see why (Ether 12:6).  
First, we need to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Second, live by faith.  Lastly, continue to increase our faith daily.  Faith is a gift from God, but you must nurture your faith to keep it strong.  Faith is like the muscle of your arm.  If you exercise it, it grows strong.  If you put it in a sling and leave it there, it becomes weak.
Friday, we had consejo with President Russell and Elder Ochoa came, also.  It was by far the best consejo that I have been to.  Just talked a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of the mission.  It was awesome to have someone from the Seventy there.
Saturdays are always crazy, baptisms.  And a lot of times there are problems, and when there are problems we have to go and help out.  Saturday morning, we got a call from one of the DL's that had two baptisms that day but the dad told his son (18) not to do it (typical Nica father) and the girl (15) didn't think that she was ready.  So Martinez and I went over to their house and started talking to them.  The Spirit was actually strong.  I explained to them a lot of scriptures about faith how it is not a perfect knowledge and we receive no testimony until after the trial of our faith and all we do is need to plant a desire to believe in our hearts and act with faith that things will work out for our own good.  So all in all, they both got baptized!  It was awesome.  We ended up with 23 baptisms as a zone in Febrero.
Sunday, the Lord blessed me a lot more than I deserved because I wasn't in the area for much time this week.  I got eight investigators to church.  It was awesome!  Right now I don't have a ton of investigators, but the people that I am teaching, all have problems like Law of Castidad, Word of Wisdom, parents... problems, problems, problems.  Got to get them all figured out cause they need to get baptized.
I have been thinking about a lot of things lately.  I'm rounding third base and I'm almost home.  I have many more things I need to learn.  I have learned many things on my mission. It is my foundation to my life, but I also recognize that I will learn things for the rest of my life that will be building upon my foundation.  But my foundation will never crack.  It will never fall apart.  Even when all the storms and turbulent times come, I can say that my foundation is strong enough that it will NEVER be destroyed.  
One thing that I am really trying to work on right now is looking for the good when you feel that there isn't any because sometimes after walking days and days in this heat with dirt being blown into your face and no one receiving you, you kinda feel like there is no recompensa.  But I recognize that if I keep trying my hardest and trusting in the Lord, things will work out.  We will always have hard times but with the restored gospel we can find true happiness.  But, happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them. This gospel gives us hope for something better.  Hard times come and go, but if it weren't for the hard things, we wouldn't ever learn.  Once we replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results. 
I love this Gospel with all my heart.  I try each day to be a little better.
I hope you all have a great week.
Have faith and remember, "It's so hard when we HAVE to, and so easy when we WANT to"!!!
Elder Copahland

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