Hellooooooooo there everyone! '
Man... this was a TOUGH week! There is definitely a reason they tell you that a mission is the hardest but best time of your life! There are so many ups and downs in missionary work! BUT, to say the least, THAT is why it is the most important work in the WHOLE WORLD! :)
So basically, Sister Noakes and I had a TON of success last transfer. We were on fire and we found a ton of new investigators! But, like everything else in life, it comes with a price. There always has to be a "developing period" and that is what we are in right now! Basically... to sum it up, we dropped over 30 investigators last transfer and reestablished our teaching pool 3 times over. Well... we now have to do that... again. For the 4th time in 2 transfers. Just, this time, it's coming along a little slower than we're used to. Our current investigators are starting to dwindle a little. Karen and Carolina fell off of baptismal date... and off the face of the earth as well. SOOOO, we are working on re-developing San Juan! Our teaching pool is basically a puddle... BUT we are working SUPER hard to replenish it! This week was slowww. And I mean really slow. I spent more time on my knees than I did on my feet. And let me tell you... I got a straight up spiritual rebuking for my lack of faith! Just when I was beginning to get a little disappointed in our work and lack of success, Heavenly Father came in and said NO WAY!!! Specifically speaking, I was studying one morning this week and realized that I had lost a lot of my faith and motivation in the area just because of two slow weeks. Well, let's just say, my faith quickly returned after a good couple of hours studying INTENTLY on how I could serve more effectively and use the Lord's guidance to help us with finding and teaching. I had a wonderful fast yesterday and specifically asked to be guided to where HE wanted us to be. I have a lot of FAITH that we WILL see miracles this week. A tough pill to swallow, BUT I know that we are being led by our Father in Heaven. This is HIS work... and I am learning to work on HIS time. :)
Soooo... with that being said, I had an amazing experience this week. I believe I have mentioned Alfredo before. He was a suuuuper solid investigator that I LOVED. He was sooo spiritual (currently plays in the band at his Baptist church) and ALWAYS did his homework that we gave him. He had been taught by missionaries before and has read the Book Of Mormon twice, but just can't feel anything. Every appointment we had with him I would ask him, so how do you FEEEEEL when you read and he would say the same thing every time: Nothing! Now, all of us know that is IMPOSSIBLE! How can you read such a TRUE and INSPIRING book and not feel anything?! Soooo, on Wednesday evening we had an appointment with him. Since he is a single man we have to have a member with us to go inside of his house. Our member that was supposed to come had to cancel last minute and we were SCRAMBLING to find someone to bring. No dice. Every member of the branch was busy. SO, we came to the conclusion that we would just share a scripture with him on his doorstep and check up on his reading. Well, we get to Alfredo's that night and we share Moroni 7:12-13 with him, which talks about how all good things come from God. I bore my testimony to him of why I KNOW for a FACT that this is the true church. I began to get tears in my eyes and just stood there silently for about 30 seconds. As we all stood there, I received the STRONGEST prompting that it was time to let Alfredo go. Sister Noakes and I had prayed about it earlier and felt that we might need to drop him soon, but neither of us wanted to. So, when the prompting came, I, of course, wanted to ignore it. I tried to think of SOMETHING to say to make him believe my testimony. BUT, again, the prompting came: "Let. Him. Go. Now is not his time. One day will be... but not now." So, as to not ignore a prompting from the Spirit TWICE, I began to cry. I explained to him that unless he started to progress towards baptism and had a desire to prepare for that, we could not continue to teach him. Silence. Then came his response: "That's okay... I understand. Now just isn't the right time." Word. For. Word. As I had heard it in my mind/heart. Let's just say, the next 10 minutes were filled with laughing and crying, and then an awkward hug from Alfredo where I stood like a stick haha. It's interesting being a missionary... you develop SUCH a strong love for your investigators. You YEARN for them to gain the same testimony that you have. You KNOW that this will change their life. BUT, all you can do is tell them. Ultimately, it is THEIR choice. For the first time in forever, I have just a GLIMPSE of the love our Heavenly Father has for each of His children and the love a parent has for their child. You want soooo badly for them to choose the right thing, but sometimes, they don't. I know that one day Alfredo will be baptized. One day he will get his answer. But for now, we just leave it in God's hands. <3
On Saturday evening I got a priesthood blessing from Elder Smith and Elder Rogers. Sister Noakes and I had such a tough day on Thursday after not teaching ONE LESSON all day, we really needed it. As always, what an amazing experience. I received so much guidance. It was clear in my mind that I needed to increase my faith. Faith really is everything in this life. Without faith, we have no gospel and no hope. BUT, with faith, we have EVERYTHING.
Yo tengo mucho amor en mi corazon por este evangelio. Yo se que esta obra de misional esta progresando. Estoy aqui para ayudar los hijos de dios venir a cristo. Sin cristo, todo es imposible. Me encanta ser una misionera y me encanta esta mision que puedo servir.
Hermana Erica Pierce
PS: Our photo shoot from last monday went great! It was so fun! Check out FB to see the pics! Sister Evensen should be tagging you in them, mom! :)
PPS: Yesterday I translated the primary program into english since we no longer have bi-lingual Elder Penuela