Saturday, January 31, 2009

After the trial of your faith.....

Here's a story from Elder Rau's letter home on Monday the 26th:

"We found some really cool people this week and are starting to have a lot more success right now (finding a lot of people that invite us in and have already had experience with the church), but the only other story I want to tell this week is about a woman that contacted us last week.We were turning a corner to go down a dirt road and start knocking, when this woman came out of her house and started yelling at us. She told us to get off of her street and take our lies back to where we came from. it was a rather unpleasant experience. My initial reaction would have been to be confrontational and convince her by the level and tone of my voice that we were allowed to be there and that we weren't lying and all that. Luckily, we were able to remain calm and put off the natural man, so to speak. We tried to be respectful, and it eventually came down to us saying, we can't not talk to these people and you aren't going to stop us. So we proceeded to contact a young family and she joined in the contact and brought up polygamy and tithing. I thought to myself, is that all you got? My companion did a very good job of explaining both subjects and she eventually went away, and I think she felt a little defeated. I tell you this story because of what happened afterwards. I am a firm believe that we receive blessings after enduring a trial. On that street, we now have 3 investigators and about 5 or 6 call backs. Most of which are very promising, they just couldn't attend us at the time." 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2 Letters and some pictures, too!

We got to hear from Elder Rau twice this week  - once on New Years day and then again on his normal p-day. Here are parts of the letters he sent to the family and some pictures as well. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 1 

We had a baptism! Juan Pablo Montenegro, the cousin of Sebastian was baptized on Saturday. I can't even tell you how cool it was to see Sebastian exercise the Priesthood that he just recently received and baptize his cousin. It was a very cool experience. Even more cool and a little nerve wracking was on Sunday when he asked me to confirm him. The words didn't quite flow like I would have liked, but it was still a very spiritual experience. One of the highlights of my mission thus far! He is doing really well and is already sharing the gospel with his family! His uncle might be interested!

Last night was crazy! We were allowed to stay up for the new year, but we had to get up at the same time as usual, so we just went to bed and got woken up by the fireworks. They were everywhere! They went on for about 30 min, then it kind of died down, enough to go back to sleep. They really like the loud ones here...haha. It looked and sounded like we were in Iraq or something...

And yes I am jealous of all the snow you all are having. I guess January will be the hottest month of my life, then it will slowly go down hill until about april/may when it gets cool and we put on our jackets again. Not gonna lie, I'm kind of looking forward to that time...haha.

But anyway, I hope you all had an awesome and safe holiday and are doing well. thansks so much for all of your love and support, it really means a lot to me. I just want you all to know that I still know that the church is true and that the Lord wants this work to go forward, and I want to do all I can to hep it. I love it with all my heart and am trying to take the advice of our prophet and find joy in the journey. 

Love you guys!
Elder Rau

Monday, January 5
Things continue to go well here. Nobody wants to come to church, even when we go by their house in the morning with a taxi, so we are going to work on that. We have some really great people that are just a little too catholic still and don't feel the need to go to church every week. The ward is doing really well though. We are about to unveil the new ward mission plan and are going to kick it off with a big activity this Sunday. We as missionaries have been working on it and incorporating the mission goals, and now we are going to the ward council and I guess they are the ones that are really in charge of putting it together and presenting it, but I imagine we will still be involved with the process. I'm really excited, even though I only have a few more weeks here. This place has so much potential, and as always, the key to unlocking cinco esquinas is the members! Some of our goals are to get two baptisms per month, or about 25 for the year. Also, 15 lessons with members present for each week and five references per week. In reality, those two numbers should be way easy to get, it just takes cooperation on both sides.
We had another cool thing happen this week. Sebasitan ordained Juan Pablo to be a priest in the Aaronic priesthood. It was way cool and he gave a great blessing at the end. 

Elder Rau with Elder Jackson on Transfer day
A neat picture of the Baptismal font
The baptism group
Last sunset of 2008