This week was memorable. I am so so grateful to be in Garin. President told me that this will for sure be my last transfer, so I am trying to give everything I can to Garin these last 6 weeks. So I have been here a little over 5 months and we have been so blessed with a lot of success. Now I look at the lists of less active members, former investigators, and active members, and I have literally passed by every single one multiple times. I have talked with every single active member in the area asking for referrals or neighbors. So this week was rough, because honestly I had no idea what more to do, but somehow the Lord always does incredible things even when we have no idea what we are doing.
Thursday...we passed by a few less actives whom I had not passed by in a long time and did EVERYTHING we could to find the elect there. We asked everyone whom we could visit. We visited a ton of people and even started knocking doors of neighbors (which we don't do in this mission, but really there was nothing else we could do and we just wanted to teach someone). At the end of the day, we had talked with like 60 new people, but not one of them was ready to accept the gospel. Finally we ended the day with 0 new investigators that we prayed and worked so earnestly to find. We didn't have new investigators, but one guy did give me a couple of lemons from his lemon tree, so that was a success at least.
That night, in planning, I had nothing, no idea at all what to do, so I just prayed and begged Heavenly Father to guide me, and He did. That day we found Cecilia! Then we passed by Daiana, whom we hadn't seen in weeks and we found her! She was still reading the Book of Mormon and wants to be baptized. 2 miracles and 2 lemons.
Saturday was very similar to thursday, we did everything. All the plans we had fell through. It was a long day. It was 5:30pm and my body felt like it was 10:30pm, ready to colapse. My spirit was exhausted. The thoughts of sleep came rushing into my head, but something inside me always reminds me there is something much more important to do, so I looked up and told myself, "I'm not tired. I'm not tired. I'm not tired." and kept going. Finally, we met Ana, a neighbor of a less active member. The natural man in me still cried for rest, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually, but the most important thing in the world to me in that moment was Ana. We were outside, talking to her through her fence, and I poured out my heart. "Jesucristo le ama." Jesus Christ loves you. I said. "and because He loves you, he has placed his Church here on the earth to bless you and your family, to help you feel peace." I looked into her eyes and I knew she felt it. She felt it was true. The spirit filled my heart. She told us she wanted to go to the church.
After a long hard week, Heavenly Father blessed me with tender mercies on Sunday. First of all, Victor blessed the sacrament for the 1st time. Moments like that I will never forget. Ariel was confirmed yesterday, received the aaronic priesthood, and that night went with us to visits. Without us even saying anything, he testified to our investigator, telling her about how he lost his dad, and his house has always been broken. He didnt even want to be in his house at times, but when he started to go to church, to read the Book of Mormon, and to pray, he changed. He felt peace. "I know that the Church of Jesus Christ, this church, is the right church...thats all..." It was hard not to cry. It was one of the most powerful testimonies I have heard on my mission. There was nothing more we could say to invite the spirit more so we ended the lesson there. Miracles... This 12 year old kid just 3 weeks ago took everything like a joke, now he is a worthy priesthood bearer.
I love seeing the atonement in these people and feeling it in me. I know it is real. Hard times now are not just hard times, they are an opportunity to use the atonement, an opportunity to be more like Him. I am so grateful for these times, because there is no time like this ever again.
I love you all so much
Full of gratitude,
Elder Heath Tenney