Clark Manwaring is serving a Full-Time Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in The Colombia Barranquilla Mission.
"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." Alma 26:12
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Go to the Rescue
The road to Las Piedras.
This is a fried stuffed potato, they are delicious!
My companion after tasting Noni Juice.
My pants that were waaay to big for me before my mission.
Me with a Loro in a Family home evening yesterday!
This week really has been great! Elder Effio continues to progress leaps and bounds, and we are really good friends here in the mission, which is awesome because I haven't had a whole lotta luck with companions until him! We visited a Recent Convert named Maria and we had Family home evening there. They have a big forest for a back yard so we had a fire, I brought cookies and soda, and we had a great message prepared. Well news spread like a wildfire that the Mormons were in the neighborhood, and that they had food. Where Maria lives it is extremely poor, so food is short in these houses. A group of about 30-40 kids from the neighborhood showed up. These kids were very skinny, some malnourished, and their clothes were pretty worn. They are from a very backwards culture where it is acceptable and encouraged to yell, swear, and all that. So we did the family home evening, but it was so irreverent that we could not even say one word. My companion got so frustrated that he refused to talk or help me out when I asked. I controlled the situation saying that I was going to throw the cookies into the fire of everyone who talked out of turn, and it worked! They were quiet! It was pretty funny because we have another convert named Francisco who taught a small lesson to all the kids about how to pray. He started with a question "how many of you kids love God?" "ME!!!" all of them replied. "Good, now shut up and listen to what I have to say." is what he said next. I was almost crying because I was laughing so hard. It was a very costeño way of saying Pay Attencion :)
Also I wanted to see if you can send me the recipe for the chocolate caramel crackers. I have been craving them badly, and wanting to make them for Family Home Evening here. Ava is so cute, with her cute hair and the things she likes to do, and say!
This week we did not visit a single investigator, not even one. We searched out as many Less Actives as we could. President Monson has asked us to "Go to the Rescue", and we took it very literally this week, as we found about 25-30 less actives, and found out what has been holding them back for so long. One lady named Luzmerry hadn't gone to church in about 10 years, and we found her house by accident, searching for another less active. We gave a small, but very powerful lesson. She said that she was feeling the spirit again while we taught...but that it was not her time to come back to the church. I told her that we do not choose our "time" to do anything in the Church. If it were different, God would not have picked a 14 year old boy to be the Prophet of the Restauracion. He would not pick 18 year old young men to serve missions. He would not allow normal people with obvious flaws to run the only true and living church on the face of the Earth. He picks these people because he understands their potential to grow every day. I told her that Christ remembers and keeps watch over his sheep, that he carefully plans the way he will bring them back to his fold. She was very emotional, and it was a beautiful experience. We taught her and her daughter the Restauracion later in the week. Her daughter accepted a baptismal date AND...(drumroll please)...THEY CAME TO CHURCH THIS SUNDAY! ¡Que Felicidad! And they loved every minute of it!
Among other Less Actives we met a woman who wont go to church because she blesses the sacrament in her own house, a woman who is a pastor in another church that teaches some gospel principles in her church, about 6 women who left the church because of one lady in the church, one that thought he had to pay tithing every Sunday even when he didn't have work, a woman who said that the bishop stopped giving them food after 2 or 3 years of living off the Bishops Store House and she didn't want to get a job, and others who simply didn't get visited by missionaries or members. But we had 16 Less Actives come to church, and 10 investigators. And I taught the Gospel Doctrine class for the first time, it was awesome!
Anyways, I love you all and pray for your success in everything! Have a great week filled with the Spirit, and get to know the neighbors with the missionaries.