Monday, August 18, 2014

You are Qualified for His Work

Leadership Council at the Mission Home
Another week passes by! A lot happened this week. I'm going to try to put it all in order. We started the week off with a great P-day playing ping pong with a bunch of Elders from our district and others in Madrid. Missionaries love ping pong for sure.

We had a family home evening with a member family and a young recent convert that Monday night. We were talking about the purpose of life (Alma 34:32) while my comp was drinking water from a glass. He saw the number 38 on the bottom of his cup and he felt impressed to read that verse in Alma 34. We read it and paused for a second. The recent convert member completely opened up and expressed to us how he felt that he may be ignoring promptings from the Holy Ghost in his life. We could see how much that pained him and he felt guilty. We testified to him of the good that he is doing now and how "right now" is the best time to choose to be better. He was comforted by the words the Spirit spoke through us. That lesson was exactly how the Lord wanted it to be. "When we teach by the Spirit it becomes the Lord's lesson rather than ours." Follow the Spirit. 

The next day we went to... The Mission Home!! For a leadership council. Woohoo! It's been a year since I've been there. It was great to be back in Alcobendes and to see a lot of great friends. My trainer, Elder C, my cousin's cousin, sisters from Oviedo, as well as my many missionary friends from the MTC were there. We learned a lot about being consecrated in the work, receiving assignments and callings, and how to respond to the answers to our questions. Really interesting and helpful topics. 

The next day, Elder D and I held our first zone meeting together. It went really well with our 24 missionaries. The Spirit was there and we all learned a lot together. What I learned most from the Council is the correct way to respond to an assignment or calling in the church. When the Lord calls us through his leaders in the church, we should NEVER say the word "Why?" Never. The Lord knows our potential and will never call us to do something that we cannot do. He always provides the why, anything is possible through Him. The perfect example of a response to a calling from the Lord is Nephi when he was called to construct a boat. He didn't ever say, "Why me?" but he acted and trusted in the Lord. There were those (Laman and Lemuel) who told him that he couldn't do it or it wasn't possible, but look what happened: The Lord provided the way.

We've been working a lot with a young recent convert who is preparing for a mission. One day we were "Missionary Walking" (super fast) and he was trying his best to keep up. We later learned that his pants had ripped because of how fast we were walking. That's some good preparation.

While on comp exchanges with Elder V (from Oviedo) this week we came across a man in the street. He came up to us with his alcohol in one hand and cigarette in the other and started attacking our religion. Asking questions and trying to give us the impression that we thought we were so much better than him. When the spirit of contention was almost unbearable I stopped him and asked him firmly, "Brother, why did you stop us?" He started to cry. He looked me in the eyes and said, "Because I can't stop drinking. My wife left me and I miss my children. My life is being destroyed. I pleaded this morning with God to help me today... and I saw you two. I know you're sent by Him."
What an incredible change I saw in this man. We testified of God's love and our love for him. We'll be visiting him this week.

We contacted a young Dominican women in the street and taught her about the Book of Mormon. After, my comp asked her why she decided to listen to us. She said that she recognizes us as representatives of Jesus Christ and that the things we teach bring good feelings to her. She said that God is the one who gives us good feelings, so we must be working for Him. It's a great feeling when the people recognize us as servants of the Lord. It's a privilege to wear the name tag.

There was a baptism of a family in Barrio 1 on Saturday. One of the little 9 year old boys asked me to baptize and confirm him. I was honored. They are a sweet family brought to the church by members. "Now is the time for members and missionaries to work together."

Something funny was that literally right after his baptism he looked up at me and the other Elder and said, "So.. What's baptism?" We looked at each other and laughed with him. We explained and reminded him what it is that he had just chosen to do. I testified to him that in that exact moment he was completely clean. He looked at me and smiled saying, "I feel clean."

What more can I say than that the Lord is hastening His work. People are prepared to hear our message. If you have a testimony of your Savior Jesus Christ you are qualified for His work. Now is the time to share your testimony, to be an example, and to live worthily to receive promptings from the Spirit.

I love you all,

Elder Giforos

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