We got transfer info and I am staying here with Hermana Peña! That means I'm "killing" her because she goes home at the end of this transfer. We are super excited to see all of the miracles that are going to happen the next six weeks! School will be starting up this transfer too, so we're planning on contacting on college campuses with the English YSA missionaries and finding some JAS.
|Matching outfits and our favorite book!|
One of the biggest miracles of the week was English class! We went from having no one come at the beginning of the transfer to having seven people come! All of them found out about the class by us knocking on their door and inviting them, seeing our poster in the laundromat, or someone from the class inviting them! One of them, César, came up afterwards and told us he wants to start coming to our church! (Sadly he had to go work last minute on Sunday, but he told us he would do everything he could to be there next week!) We are hoping to start teaching him, and some others from the class. We have been having a member come to the class to be the "assistant teacher" and help fellowship everyone so they have a friend when they decide to come to church.
These past few weeks we have visited a lot of less actives from Canyon Lakes, but this past week we visited more people in the JAS branch. It worked because we had over 50 people come on Sunday! It hasn't been that high since I have been here. It has been interesting working with people my own age. I am so grateful for the decisions I have made in my life, especially the decision to go on a mission! I can see the difference that comes from living the gospel and from not living it.
As we have visited a lot of JAS who are less active, some have expressed their desire to come back. Hermana Peña and I have had the opportunity to share the parable of the laborers in the vineyard with them. In Matthew 20 we read:
1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
In this story we read about a man who owns a vineyard. He needs workers. He goes out early in the morning and hires a group of people to come work for him for the day. He goes back later in the afternoon and hires another group of people. When the day is almost over, he goes out and hires a third group of people. When the day is over he pays them all the same amount of money. The workers who worked all day don't understand why those who only worked a little bit at the end of the day got paid the same amount. Elder Jeffery R Holland gave a conference talk a few years ago and talked about this parable. He said "surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it... Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning… His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there... So if you have made covenants, keep them. If you haven’t made them, make them. If you have made them and broken them, repent and repair them. It is never too late so long as the Master of the vineyard says there is time.”
I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is something I will never be able to fully comprehend in this life, but it is something that has changed my life completely. I love sharing this story with people who have gone away from the teachings of Jesus Christ because it shows the love He has for us all. There are so many blessings He has for all of us, and He just wants us to come unto Him. If we have gone away He invites us to come back; it doesn't matter how long we have been away or how many mistakes we have made while we were away.
I love you all! Have a great week!