This has been an amazing week here in Primavera. Today we had the privilege and blessing of having a conference with Elder Gary E. Stevenson who is a member of the Quorum of the twelve apostles of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. The conference was truly awesome. My mission, the Peru Trujillo North Mission, and the Peru Trujillo South mission we all got together here in the Primavera chapel to receive training from Elder Stevenson and his wife. For members of the church, these leaders are called apostles because, just like the original apostles of Jesus Christ, these leaders are imperfect men called of God to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ around the world. They travel all of over the globe visiting and teaching many other church leaders and people in need. It is truly a unique experience to have a conference with one of them and we learned so much.
The conference started out with a message from the area President who is in charge of all that is Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. He shared the story about when he was 16 years old living in Brazil when he met the sister missionaries and decided to be baptized. He told us that when he got baptized he was a rebellious teenager with a pony tail. Everyone got a good laugh out of that. It was a little hard for everyone to picture. What he taught us though is that we should never judge others but rather through small and simple acts we should help all others to hear this message. The spirit will work with those that are prepared to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It does not matter where someone comes from, what they do, what race they are, what their profession is, when the Gospel and the light that it brings is presented one can feel its truthfulness and will naturally have the desire to follow it. It is much like a moth in a dark room. It does not matter what type of moth or bug it is, how far away, how large, how old, etc. when there is a light in a dark room the bug will be drawn to it no matter what. Any person, when the Gospel is presented to them, will feel the spirit and will have the desire to follow it if God has been preparing them to receive it. Just think about that the next time a decision presents itself, that naturally we are drawn, through the spirit, to what is good and one will be able to recognize the truth if they have true intention.
What Elder Stevenson taught us as well was amazing. He really taught us about the importance of inviting others to change and promising blessings. He, as an apostle of Jesus Christ, can promise blessings in the Lord´s name, and I, as a missionary, have the same right to promise blessings. When God makes a promise He is bound to fulfill His half when we do our part. We can have confidence that the decision to follow Jesus Christ will always bring to pass blessings, maybe not immediately, but they will come. That is why we as missionaries are called to teach people repentance so that many may change their ways in order to enjoy the fullness of the promised blessings. It is an awesome privilege to be able to represent our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and promise these blessings, all the while teaching people so that they may follow the path the enjoy the fullness of these blessings.
This week in our teaching we had awesome visits with the Murga family. We taught Juan and Juancito first on Monday then Elder Torres with Elder Rosenhan taught the mother Yesika yesterday. These week we focused on the commandment of keeping the sabbath day holy. This is a commandment that man has had since the start of time. Many may recognize it from the ten commandments given to Moses. That being said many people also do not understand it because what it explains in the bible in Exodus 20 is the following:
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
To be honest these four verses may be very confusing for many because it talks all about manservants and cattle, but the idea is that we are given six days of the week to do all that we need to do. Our Heavenly Father just asks us to dedicate one day to remember him where we can devote ourselves to service, scripture study, church attendance, and family time. Here is a video that we used this week that I really love. https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2015-12-008-the-sabbath-is-a-delight?lang=eng
The mission is awesome and God loves blessing us. All we have to do is complete with our part to receive these awesome blessings.