May 17, 2010

I love you guys...

We are in Concepcion right now.  Coming here we were on a bus with a lot of university students.  It was very weird, because I have their age, but I’m not one of them.  Not in any way am I one of them. We are the same, but we are so different.  I wondered what life will be like after the mission.  I’m scared for that. I had a dream last night that I finished the mission, but I didn’t do everything that I was supposed to, like I didn’t fulfill my purpose.  I’ve had dreams like that before and I wake up with the emptiest feeling in my stomach.  It honestly scares me.  The plan that our Heavenly Father has for us is so complex, but it is so simple.  It whacks me out when I think about this life.  This life really is the time to prepare to meet God.... its the entire purpose of this life.  We are here to have joy, but that only comes by completing with our Heavenly Father. 
It’s interesting because I write this and I think about this, and I think about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon EVERYDAY.  That book is amazing.  When we read it we can keep an eternal perspective.  We can truly receive the things we need to continue on day to day.  It gives us counsel.  It shows us what we need to do.  It guides us through this life... a life that is absolutely loaded with temptations and traps. I walk through Concepcion and I like it... I do. I love the feel.  It has a bigger city feel, but not too big.  It has a lot of stores and formats that I saw in New York, but the buildings are tiny compared to those in New York.  I like it a lot, but while I walk through the street you can just see Satan everywhere.  He is so good at what he does.  He is so sneaky, tricky, slimy, and down right snakey.  He will get you and you wont even realize it.  That is the scary part.  I think back to the kids that were standing next to me on the bus.  The college girl I was sitting next to.  The guy on my other side.  They are just blinded.  They are blinded children of our Heavenly Father.  I wish I could help them, but they are convinced they are OK where they are.  Last night we were doing contacts in the street and we talked to a guy for so long... in the end, he knew he hadn’t completed the commandments of God, but it didn’t bother / worry him.  He said he was okay were he was.  Right after that we knocked a door and a lady of 60 years mas o menos came out.  We found out she has read the Book of Mormon, she has read the Pearl of Great Price, but she is not interested she tells us.  It about put a dagger in me.  I looked at her and I truly saw her as a daughter of our Father, a lost, confused daughter.  My eyes watered up... I didn’t cry... but there was nothing we could do.  Right then her twenty-year-old son got home... we started talking with him... He said we could come back today.  His name is Jose.  I hope and pray we can do something for him. 
Yesterday Jose Luis and his family came to church... I believe they really liked it.  It was good... they are a great family.  They are incredible examples. Matilde has been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon, and she is truly converted I believe.  Her husband hasn’t read.  I know he likes the organization of the church, but he has so many doubts... Matilde also.  They difference is that Matilde has been reading the Book of Mormon (I love that book!!) Claudia is 15 years old and I love her because she is just a good Daughter of God.  What am I talking about... the four of them are great children of God.  They need lots of support to be able to make the change. It will be interesting to see what happens.  This is God’s work... and He does it.  We haven’t done much in the conversion of these people... its God.  I spoke earlier of the sneakiness of Satan. God knows how to work a lot more then Satan. The only difference is that God doesn’t force it... you have to desire it.  He invites, never obligates.  I say this because he has truly prepared this family.  We are also sharing with two teenage girls and their mom.  They are so awesome.  The girls go to seminary almost every night.  The mom is great too. The only problem is the dad.  He WENT to a different church.  He is so nice, but because he is so nice, the mom doesn’t want to go to a different church.  Plus, her mom, who lives with them, goes to a different church and is so, so mad at her for listening to us.  It is incredible... Satan always puts in those things.  But it’s all a part of God's plan.  I love the challenges that people have because then they will be even stronger in the church.
Yesterday I thought I was going to give a talk.  I got there with lots of ideas in my mind, but not knowing what I was going to say.  While I was sitting there, I knew that I needed to talk about the Perfection.  I always like to speak last, so there were two people before me.  I was extremely excited to speak.  I felt very good about speaking about the Perfection.  However, the two speakers before me spoke a long time.  I didn’t even get to say a word.  Now I ALMOST started to get frustrated thinking about that, but then I thought 'Can I really talk about perfection if I get frustrated because someone didn’t give me my time to speak?' NO! I didn’t get frustrated at all, and I am actually very grateful it happened.  Like I said, God knows his children.  He does what is best for them.  He let me get a little bit closer to perfection yesterday by not letting me speak :)  I have come to love trials. I need a lot more patience, humility, love and faith.  Because of that, I know I will pass a lot more challenges... because God loves me.  He knows me.  HE KNOWS. 
I testify he knows.  I also testify he lets us know what we have to do; we just need to be humble and listen to the counsel of our leaders and Prophets.  It’s amazing how much Love, Humility, Patience, and Obedience are connected.  I hope that we always obey.  I hope we obey the counsel to read –no- STUDY the Book of Mormon everyday.  If we are obedient in that, we will learn to be more humble, have more love, develop more patience, and be more obedient. 

I love you guys... Thanks for everything....
You are all so Amazing.  I LOVE YOU.

Elder Pitcher