Monday, April 4, 2011

Always positive

This is Travis and Victor (Elder Camacho). When I first moved out to Sacramento, I would go out with the sister missionaries every Thursday. Victor was one of the guys that we taught and got baptized (along with his whole awesome family of like 10!). Me and Jimmy have hung out with them and gone to dinner and to all the Spanish ward activities when this family has gone. Victor is A STUD and I couldn’t believe it when he got called to Travis’ mission. So glad Trav got to see him!

To think that President Monson is just as much of a prophet as moses and nefi and moroni, it is such a miracle and blessing to have the restored gospel on the earth today. I wish i could take all the feelings that i got from just watching conference and stuff it inside the people that we are teaching so they could FEEL the truth of this church. Beyond any spiritual conversion, the talks and messages that were given, even warnings, made so much sense logically. At the same time i was thinking how important a testimony is. In priesthood session i think, president monson said, "if you haven't read the book of mormon, READ IT" and the holy ghost will testify to you of the truthfuillness of it. There were many warnings as well of how this world in which we live is not going to get better any time soon, and the importance of having a solid foundation of a testimony of the gospel to pull us through. I loved the messages from conference and can't wait for the ensign with all the talks inside. It was another renewal of my testimony that we have a living prophet to guide us back to our Heavenly Father's presence. Wow so this week was pretty crazy and a little stressful for me to say the least. I don't know if i handled it the best but nonetheless we move forward haha. Last monday night and tuesday we were in eugene at Zone leader council. That was pretty cool and intense and long haha. We were in President macdonalds living room for 5 hours talking about different aspects of the mission and what we need to do to lift our own zones. A point that he made in the beginning that i liked, was that we are called as zone leaders, not zone managers. I think it's easy for us to fall into the habit of 'managing' the missionaries and making sure they are doing all the "right things". Doing the right things are for managers, and while that's important, a leader's job is to do things right. He said if everyone in your zone loves you, then you're probably doing something wrong beacuse naturalyl there are missionaries who are disobedient or lazy and need correction. We have to play the bad guy sometimes but in an effort to lift not put down. It's like the lord chastiseth whom he loveth and i think it's a similar role that we have to take on. But it was a pretty inspiring message and we all left feeling great and excited to lift our missionaries and inspire them to be superstars and rockstars :) After ZL council we got back to our areas though and i said goodbye to puertas which was fun having him around again. We Found some new people to teach this week and actually had an awesome experience with this girl named jessica. So i think in my last letter we told you about the less active family that lost their son to social services. Their son is not a member and might be coming home this week so we are hopeful to teach them but also, that family gave us a referral with their friend Jessica. We went over to her place to teach her this week with the whole family (less active family's name is camacho). She was kind of nervous to meet with us but was really nice and has two cute little girls. But we started teaching and this lady has no religious background whatsoever, doesn't really know much about Christ or anything, and so it was awesome to start from the VERY beginning and really focus on the relationship that exists between her and Heavenly Father. It was awesome to see things clicking so easily for her and we could tell that the spirit was strong from the beginning. We talked about families and how importnatn they are to Heavenly Father. We got to the story of joseph smith and we were bearing testimony of him being a prophet and i can't even remember what we asked her but she just sat there and then tears just started flowing down her face! It was like the Spirit just flooded over her and she just wept! At the beginning of the lesson she said "her life sucks" and by the end, man did she have a different perspective we promised her blessings that she would be happier than she has ever been in her whole life by following the gospel of Jesus Christ and we invited her to be baptized on the 16th of this month. It was such an incredible lesson and the spirit was sooo strong i can't even tell you. It doesn't often happen this strong but when i got to bear my testimony i could feel the spirit working through me and i felt like my words were being carried to her heart. It was an awesome experience. She described her feelings as floating haha, like she was having an out of body experience almost but felt so good and hopeful like everything is going to be alright. It was great and now we are having a lesson tonight with her sister monica too. Miracles after miracles have been seen here in medford. We are trying to get these same miracles for the rest of our zone. our goal is to set a baptismal date on every exchange that we do. That's one thing that we have to do every week twice a week. We are going on exchanges tonight until tomorrow night and then on friday to saturday too. That'll be fun and new and a chance for us to work with the missionaries in our zone and hopefully get everyone pumped to be on the Lord's team. We also had to teach a combined district meeting for our zone this week. It took a ton of planning which was super stressful but we had a lot of prayer and felt really good as we were preparing and we knew that we were guided by the spirit. We were nervous because we only get the chance to teach once a transfer and wanted it to be epic haha! So we found this little talk by henry b eyring that has music to it, i want to put it on the computer and send it to you because it is amazing! It's all about missionaries and their calling how eternal lives depend on us and how the Lord has literally chosen us to our callings. I am gonna burn it to the computer so you guys can listen to it cause it's amazing! But we played that and talked about our goals that we had made and fasted for the previous sunday and how we have to do all things in our power to bring them to pass. Last transfer we may have been good but we didn't meet our inspired goals. So clearly there is something more to do. Elder K and I are waking up at 6:00 now to get an early start on the day and taking less time for lunch and stuff like that and are committed to finding at least one new investigator a day with some other stuff that we put on a list of stuff that we would do this transfer. We are so excited and are trying to do everything we can to pump everyone up. We also taught the doctrine of christ at district meeting and the importnace of LOVE. We had some sisters in our zone teach love and it was perfect. That talked about what motivates us and why "love" is the most importnat motivation, the most powerful rather. It was a great meeting and we think it took it's effect. The only thing that we struggle with is that, the missionaries that come to learn at those meetings, always leave having learned something, but the ones that don't, DON'T! It's like the gap widens between the missionaries that are already good and the ones that need help. But we are working on it. We'll see how things go the next few weeks. Conference went well yesterday, we had one investigator come for one of the sessions which was good and although he doesn't have a baptismal date, he is close, he just has to get married first (UGH!) But that'll happen soon. Unfortunatly this Family history center is closing so i have to go early but i love you guys soo much! Seriously i love hearing from you and look forward to your letters every week! The church is true and i know the President Monson is a Prophet today that leads and guides and shows us the way the our families can live together forever. Love elder edwards ps. you can send stuff to my actual address if you want now. i should be here for at least 3 months haha but it doesn't matter, wherever you want to send mail is fine. And i will not need new sheets, there are some on there already that are washed and everything. I can't believe mike and stephanie and genevieve had babies! that is crazy awesome! Also i'm glad your getting into your school mom with ur research paper and presentations man i bet you're tearing it up. And dad still sounds busy hah going to la and stuff, i'm not to far from there you know>? Thanks for the support and the encouraging words, they really do help me so much! Love you again!
oh and katie your boy elder camacho got all dressed up in white his first weekend in the mission ;) HE'S A DUNKER!

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