Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Vi voglio bene!

Hey guys!

I'm so happy that everyone is doing well! I'm sorry about the news with Cola... I'm so sorry! This is probably not the time to joke but I promise the first thing in my mind wasn't a horse burger! R.I.P. Cola!

This has been an interesting week to say the least! I am positive and happy still, but unfortunately we have lost a quite a bit of investigators because we've started cracking down on our missionary purpose and not spending as much time with those that don't have interest in the Gospel and just want to be friends. I feel it's important to still have a friendship with them of course in order to positively influence their lives, but we have the elect to find and baptize! On a good note thought our investigator Giuseppe finally came to a church event: the family home evening we do on Tuesday nights! He loved it because he likes to be a part of little groups so it was one step closer to him FINALLY coming to church!

With our teaching pool now nearly empty, we are hitting the streets and doing a lot of finding and trying new methods to really bring in new investigators. We haven't seen that much success, but that's okay! They are out there waiting! And we are out there finding!

On a happier note I think I've already mentioned it but the sisters have a fantastic investigator and it looks like she is getting baptized at the end of the month. We've made a great friendship with her also and she wants me to baptize her so I'm really excited about that! She has basically only been taught the Restoration (as far as the step to step lessons we must teach) and she already feels ready! She comes to my intermediate English class and she came up to me after and said that she was having some fears and concerns about this date because it was so close. I told her that the sisters had prayed hard for this date, but the most important thing is how she her self feels. I told her boldly that if she went home and continually prayed that night, she would receive her answer if the date is right or not. The next lesson they had she said that she wanted to be baptized on that date! 

It was a neat experience and it goes to show that the Spirit is the real teacher. A lot of people think that missionaries are the one's that are to blame for the miracles that happen in the conversion experience. Not true! We are the lucky little instruments that do the 'inviting' so that these wonderful people can act on their own and see how intimate and personal their relationship with Heavenly Father really is! Would you acknowledge the hammer, or the skilled carpenter that crafted a beautiful chair?

 I have been going a little crazy for this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 58:
26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is abslothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
 27 Verily I say, men should be aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
 28 For the power is in them, wherein they are aagents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their breward.
It makes me think of the parable of the talents and how the indolent servant who received one talent didn't go out and multiply that which his Master had given him. Whenever I talk about talents with a group of people they focus on the trivial things we consider to be talents: being musically inclined, some kind of skill, athletic ability, etc. Many are quick to say, "Gosh, I don't have any talents" not realizing that these things can be found, but maybe we should look at something that is the basis to all of these talents, and like I've said a million times before, the central message to Christ's ministry, and even His very existence: love. 
We have all been given the capacity to love, to be loved, and to learn how to love. I think this is a talent!!! We need to occupy our time in developing this talent, and it is a beautiful thing to be so diverse as human beings so that we can share our different methods of showing our love for another. Even with speaking about these trivial talents that some consider to be the most important we can conclude that the basis is always love. To become a pianist one must love to play the piano, to become a teacher one must love influencing someones life for the better, and to become a disciple of God one must love others and think of creative new ideas to serve his/her fellow man.
It makes me think of the beautiful story of the Christmas truce in 1914 during the First World War. German, English and French soldiers began singing carols in their own languages and met in the area between trenches nicknamed "no-man's land" to celebrate the birth of our Savior. They ate, shared pictures of their loved ones back home, played soccer and made bonding friendships with the men that just hours before were trying to kill. God's love can penetrate even the ugliest of circumstances such as war. 
Love has no limits.
We must be anxiously engaged in a good cause to develop this capacity. We have our free agency. Let's use it!
I love you all so much! Thank you for everything you do for me! I love you Dad, I love you Mom, I love you Morgan, I love you Brooke, I love you Heather, and I love you Greg. Have a great week! It's weird being in the 'countdown' phase as now I officially have less than five months in the mission! Crazy! Vi voglio tanto tanto bene!
Vi abbraccio profondamente!
Anziano Clay Lacey

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