I feel like I'm running out of introductions to describe my week in just one or two words ("This week has been ________"). Ha! I made another one. I'll probably be thinking all this next week of how I'll start next week's post...
We had some pretty neat stuff that happened this week. The first one I wanted to talk about happened on Sundaywith one of the sisters in our ward. After sacrament meeting, she came up to me and told me she needed to talk to me. I recognized her slightly, but not enough to know exactly who she was. She told me she had had a dream where she saw me in my grey suit (that I was wearing that day). I supposedly told her in said dream that someone from her past would try to come back into her life, that she needed to be careful, and that I needed to give her a blessing. I wasn't really sure what she meant by all of this, but she said that someone from her past did try to communicate with her (I imagine through Facebook or something), and that she wanted me to give her a blessing. Not knowing the full situation of what was going on, I decided to simply follow the Spirit. I felt like it was a pretty standard blessing of comfort, but upon saying "amen", I saw her wipe tears from her face. She stood up, shook my hand, and said, "Elder Groesbeck, usted es un misionero muy especial," before walking off to relief society. I don't know if there was something specific that I said in the blessing or if it was simply the Spirit that touched her heart, but that experience has strengthened my testimony of the mysterious ways the Lord works. I still don't know what happened or what will happened, but I know that the Lord used me as an instrument to bring about something marvelous in the life of this sister, and I feel honored to be a channel of the Lord to give such miracles to other people.
The other strengthening experience came from my fellow district members. I did my first interchanges with elders in my district this week, and it went swimmingly. Elder Jones and I contacted a LOT, and we got quite a few new investigators for them over in Panuaya. They didn't have a single other appointment for the next few days, and we filled those days chock (chalk?) full of appointments. Elder Jones arrived here in Mexico back in January with me, so Elder Gamez is his senior companion. Elder Jones expressed to me that the two of them almost never contacted, and they usually went with less active members; their numbers over the past few weeks have reflected that. To make a long story short, that's bad, and I was able to give some pretty good advice to Elder Jones on how to fix that. Elder Jones is the kind of person who isn't a huge fan of taking the initiative to tell Elder Gamez that they needed to contact. I told him I wasn't either, but when we know we need to do something and it's essential to our survival as missionaries, we're going to do it whether our companion wants to or not.
A few days later, I called Elder Jones and Elder Gamez because I needed some information on something, and they told me that they were having some difficulties and really needed my help. Without hesitation, Elder Niro and I walked over to there house, and we had a group therapy session of sorts. I got down to the bottom of things, and (following the Spirit) gave them some tips I thought would help. We then left and hoped for the best.
The next time I called them, I asked Elder Jones how they were doing, and to my utter relief (and slight surprise), he told me things were going a lot better. When I took their numbers, they had 15 new investigators for the week (as compared to their 3/4 in past weeks) and a new baptismal date set! I absolutely couldn't believe it! I really was able to make a difference in the lives of the other missionaries in my district! I'm sure I've helped other missionaries in different ways before, but this was the first time where I could really see a clear difference in the performance of my compatriots, and it really strengthened my testimony on the importance of a leadership position in the mission field. In their time of trouble, they asked me for help, trusting that I would be able to give it to them. I really had to be ready to help them, as I wasn't expecting them to need me as they did.
I felt like I could relate this to us not only as members of the church, but as citizens in general. We always need to be ready, willing, and able to help any and every person in need when they need it. It especially applies to our priesthood responsibilities. We never really know when someone will need a blessing or saw us in a dream and needs our help. If we're not ready/worthy to help them, then what? We will have failed that person in their time of need. We must always live worthily to do whatever thing the Lord or our fellow man calls upon us to do. I haven't the slightest idea how He will use me next to help someone else, but until then, I'll live worthily to do it.
Iré y haré,
Well this week was... rather strange. I wasn't sure if I was going to have changes or not, so I was telling people it was possible that I wouldn't be there for the next appointment. There were a few investigators that I just didn't even bother telling, but for our more promising investigators (like 3 people), I let them know. We're actually taking care of some new missionaries tonight because of the changes and such, and we have the best new missionary prank EVER planned. First, we're going to pick up a member (one of the young men) and tell the new missionaries we're going to visit a reference he gave us. Then we're going to head out towards the Camacho family. On the way there, one of the other young men will be pretending to be texting or something on his cell phone, and we'll tell one of the new missionaries to contact him. We'll tell him that we're actually headed to a lesson right now if he wants to join us, and he'll say yes.
When we enter the home of the Camacho family, they're going to pretend to be investigators (they're going to take down their pictures of the temple and such for the night and everything), and we're going to start a lesson. In the lesson, we'll proceed to give them every single invitation that we have as missionaries in very rapid succession, and they're going to say yes to every single one. We even talked to Hermano Camacho, and he's going to say that he had a dream where he "saw a pilar of light," and you know the rest. It's going to be the BEST!!! I'm sure the new missionaries will realize rather quickly that it's not a real lesson, but we'll see how it goes. They're new, so I'm hoping they won't know the difference. It's a little mean, but we're gonna have so much fun with it. Then afterwards, we're going to have a big Family Home Evening with them... because I have changes.
Yes, for the first time in my six months here in the mission field, I have changes. I have no idea where I'll be going or what's going to happen, but I'm super excited to find out tomorrow in the changes meeting. I'm also super nervous to find out... In my entire mission, I've only known Valle Dorado and the members/investigators here. Now I'm off to an entirely different world in who-knows-where to find completely new people to teach and baptize. Super crazy stuff going down in these next few days, but as the classic hymn says, "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord." And that's exactly what I plan to do. I'll write next week on where I am, what I'm doing, and how the prank went.
Iré y haré,
Can't find the blog post for this week but as soon as I do I will post it :)
This week has been extra okay; I might even go so far as to say above average. I'm starting to get to know the area of Presas a little bit better (I managed to get a hold of a giant map of the area), and we have some investigators that are really progressing. We've been trying hard to mention a baptismal date and church attendance in every single lesson, and for that, we had 3 people accept a date to be baptized this week! Elder Niro and I continue working hard and finding new people to teach.On the downside, for the first time in my mission, the companionships in my district are having some... issues. Supposedly one missionary who has about 15 months in the mission and is the senior companion to an Elder with 7 isn't doing the things he's supposed to be. Fortunately, his companion expressed his concerns to me, so I can see what we can/need to do about it, but I seriously have no idea what to do about it! I've never had this happen before! I'm sure it won't be the last time, though, so I've turned to my zone leaders and the Lord for advice. We're going to their house to study with them tomorrow and see what we can do. Elder Galo (our zone leader) recommended a heart-to-heart with him, so we'll see how that goes.
As for my spiritual experiences for the week, I wanted to relay the story of one of our investigators who accepted a baptismal date. Two of the accepted dates are the brother and father of a part-member family. We met with them both last Tuesday, and upon extending the very direct and fearless invitation to be baptized the 18th of July, the father accepted. Oh my goodness, you should have seen the smile on their 12-year-old daughter's face when her father accepted the date! I just about cried when I saw that smile. As we left that lesson, I simply couldn't stop thinking about how utterly happy it made their daughter to know that their family would be united within the bonds of the gospel, and that their entire family would be able to be together for time and all eternity through the great and marvelous blessings of the gospel. That's why I'm here. Not to find people to baptize. To find families to bring into the fold of God, and to unite them forever. It is for that reason that iré y haré.
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This blog is edited by Elder Groesbeck's amazing, beautiful, younger sister Aubrie. I will post any update I get. Enjoy :)