Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Stick it Out

This past week with Elder Cummings has been great in many ways! We have been having such a great time together and our past week was filled with great lessons! I don´t remember laughing so much and feeling so with anyone else in a while like we have been the past couple of days. At one point this past week we were literally on the ground crying because we were laughing so hard. I had to sprint to the bathroom so I didn't pee my pants! You all are probably wondering what we were laughing at. Well, the funny thing is that we don´t even know ourselves. I think it is a combination of being way exhausted, the heat, working hard, reading lots, and having the spirit strong. He and I are definitely a great companionship and we have already had so many fun, funny, great, and spiritual experiences together. However it was a little bit of a challenging week at the same time because he has been dealing with health problems and struggling with the decision of whether or not to go home or stay and finish his mission. Last Thursday we had to go get a check up in the hospital for him and were there all morning. But he seems to be doing okay and is a trooper because we have been working hard everyday and don't normally have to take time to stop or go back home or anything like that. He was really wanting to just give in and throw in the towel, but at the same time wanted to stay. So he called president on Friday. I really didn't want him to go home and was fighting for him to stay and trying to pump him up and help him with this hard decision so I fasted and prayed long and hard for him to either get better and not need to go home at all, or for him to get a strong and firm answer to stay. President gave him permission to call his family. He doesn't live or talk with his biological family, but he lived with his bishop before his mission and calls them his family.  So they talked for a long while and it was an answer to our prayers because they gave him the exact advice that he needed. His (adopted I guess you could say) dad/bishop was super loving and supportive, but gave it to him strong. He told my comp that he has had the toughest life he has seen anyone go through and that the fact that he is where he is today is amazing. But that when things tend to get hard, in the past he just ran from the problems and struggles. So he told my comp to just stick it out, rely on and trust the Lord, and to just hang in there and keep doing great things out here. His (adopted) mom said some powerful, inspiring things to him as well and it just really pumped him up to stay out here and keep going. I am so thankful for that. It would have broke my heart to see him go home, or rather,quit. Especially because I know how tempting it is to just give up or run from difficulties when things get hard. I cant say I know what he is going through exactly because I am not in his shoes nor do I have his illness. But I have a very strong testimony that when we are serving God diligently and obediently and giving it all, especially when it is incredibly hard to, He will bless us. He will strengthen us. He will get us through the trial. The greater the sacrifice and hardship, the greater the blessing. I know that Elder Cummings still has 5 months in him to serve these great people, especially the ones that need HIM in particular. I know he will be blessed for enduring these great challenges. And I know he will be okay. We can get through whatever problem, difficulty, or situation if we so CHOOSE to do so. And we don't have to do it alone. Heavenly Father will never put us through something we cannot handle. If he gives us a task at hand, He will provide a way for us to accomplish it. If we are assigned to serve for two years, He will provide a way for us to serve two full years. When times get hard, don't give up. Don´t run. Put your faith and trust in the Lord. He will deliver you.

In other news, our area is just jam packed with inactive members. We find more and more everyday. The challenge is finding or getting them to remember the awesomeness of the church and feelings of the spirit and love of Christ. We have 5 baptism dates as of right now, but I refuse to baptize them until I know for sure they will be strong in the church forever and not just for a time. We have enough inactive people here, we don´t need to be adding to the fire. Our progressing family who we have a baptism date with is struggling a bit and I would really appreciate your prayers for them. As well as our 16 year old friend Christopher who is preparing to be baptized on the 11th of July as well.

Elder Cummings and I have made a goal of reading at least 15 pages of the Book of Mormon in Spanish everyday with each other in order to finish the Book of Mormon completely before we end this transfer. It is way hard because we have to manage our time very well. And a bit tiring. But as we do it, I can feel the spirit stronger in our companionship and my knowledge of the scriptures and gospel of Jesus Christ expanding. 

I love you all. I love this work, as hard and frustrating as it may be at times. And I am especially thankful for the answered prayers and received blessings from my Father in Heaven this past week.
Our day at the beach as a zone!


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