Monday, October 17, 2016

Falling Slowly

I pull my inspiration from a musical called Once this week. I haven't actually seen it, to tell the truth, but my friend showed me this one song from it and I think it's a very touching song. I'm honestly surprised that I remember it. I feel that sometimes as a missionary things seem to go downhill gradually no matter how you try. In my interview with President Mathews last week, he shared with me that at the point where I'm at in the mission, a lot of missionaries feel like they've hit a plateau in their improvement. He explained that there are no such things as real plateaus, only ups or downs. So if you feel like you've plateaued, you really gotta make sure you're not falling slowly.

This last week was more of a refresher for me than anything else. The interview I had with President was a real rejuvinator, to be sure. Also, because I had been sick the week beforehand, my new companion Elder Ronces and I had the work of picking our area and our investigator pool back up to speed. Seeing as we found a lot of new families, I feel like we did just that! We found a total of 20 new investigators.

Sadly, Patrick was not baptized this past Saturday. He actually doesn't even want to talk to us anymore. On Monday evening he expressed concern that he wouldn't be able to keep the Law of Chastity with his girlfriend. We encouraged him that the Lord would help him to keep worthy, but he didn't seem to think that it was an option. He kept asking if he could go to church without being baptized. We told him yeah, but an important part of living the gospel is also living the commandments. After a couple of days we went to visit him again, and he didn't even want to sit down with us. He kept giving excuses like how he had been baptized in his parents' church, which really confused us because a couple of days ago he was super stoked about baptism. Since then, we've seen him once but he avoided us. I guess he just wasn't ready to accept the Lord's standards. I feel sad that he couldn't follow through, but that's what happened. We'll still try to keep in touch with him.

What is cool is that we could definitely have a marriage here the next month! A recently returned-to-activity member named Erineu has been working hard with the girl he lives with to accept the gospel, and for the past couple of weeks she's been coming to church! We finally got to talk to her this past week, and I'm astounded by how accepting she is of the message of the Restoration. Last time we talked, they said they'd either marry the end of November or the beginning of January. We just shared how we felt impressed to give Ronisse (the girl) a baptismal date of November 26th. It turns out they wanted to have the marriage on the 25th. Coincidence? I think not! We're super excited for them.

Really, really good week. I loved it. I even got to see my recent convert Laura yesterday, on the way to church. Sometimes the Lord shows his mercy in ways that we expect, though not often. I feel like I received that kind of mercy this week. Hope you all are well, have a good one!

Abra├žo,
Elder Penner

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