The Best Day of My Mission

Dearest Family,

The Best Day of My Mission

I love the joy of helping the units grow, and yesterday was a truly a joyful day. The best day in mission, bar none. I was filled with the joy that Doctrine and Covenants 18:15 describes:

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one asoul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the akingdom of my Father, how great will be your bjoy if you should bring many csouls unto me!

Let me tell you why:

It’s a jolly good day!

So, as I’ve talked about previously, yesterday was the big Sunday – if we could have an attendance higher than 120 here in La Entrada, then that would be a great milepost to sending a request to the Area Presidency to making a stake in Copán. This last month, literally all we’ve done on Saturdays in visit all of our investigators and
less-actives to invite them to church. Every week or so, 12 families or so commit to come to church, and the previous weeks, they haven’t come. A bummer there. But this last, the branch got super active, all of the members brought their less-active/non-member friends and family, and 130 people came to church!

Across the Santa Rosa de Copán District, the energy was similiar: 128 in El Dorado, 98 in Florida, 148 in Santa Rosa, 171 in Dolores, 150ish in Santa Barbara. ESTACA COPAN SI OMBEJE!

Add that to that many new investigators and some with baptismal dates came to church, along with many less-actives. Truly a miracle wrought by the Lord’s hand. All we did was walk, bother everyone enough weekly, and be there. The Spirit’s exhortation was the real reason why they came, along with steps of faith and love for the Lord. I am honestly so so so happy and on top of the world and praise the Lord for it, because really Elder Elmer and I didn’t do the heavy lifting here.

President Bush was kind and invited Elder Polanco and I to share brief testimonies in Sacrament Meeting, and as I saw that little Sacrament room filled to the brim with so many people that I love, I couldn’t help but stutter. The Lord has wrought a miracle here in Copán and in my heart. When I think of Copán, I will have to think of humble Porfirio and Zoila Villanueva, illiterate but quick to observe the Spirit. I will think of the Baquedanos, the new converts who are so filled of faith and desire to live the fulness of the Gospel, even if they don’t understand it all. I will think of President Merren and his family; though some dislike his strictness to Handbook No.1, I will remember his desire to do things in the Lord’s way. I will remember so many others, and I thank my Father above who has given me the chance to learn from them.

In Copán, I’ve been humbled and brought to my knees, both as I’ve had to repent more thoroughly and as I’ve sought His direction and inspiration. And now I know perhaps better than ever, with a surety bursting from my chest as I write this, that God lives. His Son, Jesus Christ, lives and guides this church through His prophet, and this is Their work.

Elder Call at the Copan Zone conference, 26 Feb 2017

Learning with Elder Elmer

Elder Elmer has greatly taught and inspired me in these two changes*. Not only have I learned that being quiet is ok and often really really good, but he is a powerful example to me that obedience really is just love for the Lord. I thought that and lived that, but his simple love and obedience has inspired me. Moreover, he does everything simply and just says, “So why didn’t we do what we said we would do? Let’s just do it.” I’m sending this email to him and he really hates it when I make compliments about him, but he’s going to have to deal with it hahahaha. Really I love him my crazy fourth cousin once removed and I’m going to miss him after he goes home in June. I hope to see him often in Utah.

Transfer Coming!

The long story short is that we just got back from a super sweet hike to waterfalls called ‘Tijuto’ or something like that. It was off the highway about 2 hours or so, and combine that with the fact that Elder Elmer, Elder Jordan, and I went bushwacking and free climbing on the rocks for 1 hour, so it took a while. But, it was a wonderful way to end my time in Copán.

Oh spoiler alert I’m going to be transferred to be Zone Leader in Zona Fesitranh (northern San Pedro Sula). That is the plan at least, unless President Bush pulls a last second change of plans.

I hope in La Lopez (that’ll be my new area) they have a DVD where I can transfer my photos to a USB; if I can, then I will put them all on Dropbox next week.

Oh! And Anna – enjoy this letter about SOCCER!

I’ll write some other little things in another letter. Love you all lots. Keep being stellar!

Love, Elder Call

* [Editor: a “change” is a period between transfers, which typically occur every 6 weeks….most missionaries stay in an area for two or more six week changes].
Thad

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