Sunday, July 27, 2014

Semana 26 in Punchana (July 14th, 2014)

Hello my dear sweet family and friends!!

This week was full of its own little adventures and challenges, one thing I love about being a missionary. Every day has exactly the same schedule but can be completely different. On Tuesday night it rained a ton (weird, I know) and we got soaking wet and all houses in Iquitos flooded.  We're on the second floor but somehow water manages to get up there too.  For service on wednesday we helped out a house that is lower set and had water up to our knees. We bailed buckets and buckets and buckets out  until it was completely dry. Miracles.
Like I said my companion Hermana Lozano is the best, she's so smart and knows our area and all the people so well even though she has only one more week here in Punchana than I do. Our ward is suffering a bit as far as attendance goes but we're doing our best to help out and our bishop is awesome. Like for real, it was his birthday on Friday and we ran into him that night with one of his counselors visiting less active members....can you say consecrated bishop? 
Wow, so also I had a work visit (interchanges) with my sister training leader (and friend) Hermana Linford. It was super fun and she is the best, for real. Learned a lot and it's always good to learn from other people.  
This week we ran into some challenges with some of our investigators that are preparing for baptism.  It ended with some dropped and postponed baptismal dates and lots of prayers.  But the cool thing I`ve noticed about myself is that when these things happen now, I don't get discouraged like I used to. You just have to move forward, trusting in the Lord with a 24-hour smile and everything will be ok. If I'm really here to help these people, I will be patient with them and help them to meet their goals, not get frustrated when they aren`t up to par with my expectations.  Patience and longsuffering, that's what it takes.
Also can we laugh for a second about how hard it is being a missionary in South America during the world cup? (especially when Germany scores 2 points against Argentina.....)  But we're glad that's over now, it should mean a whole lot less dropped appointments and aimless walking until the end of every game.
This week I listened to a talk by Elder Bednar called ''In the Strength of the Lord''. Before listening to It, I actually had had a specific question in my mind regarding the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I was testifying in a lesson the other day that  we learn Alma 7 that Jesus suffered and died for not only our sins but also our physical and emotional pains and our temptations. But then I realized that I myself wasnt really sure as to why. Like I get that we cant return to live with God without redemption of our sins, someone had to pay the debt, and so he paid the debt of our sins for us. But that doesn`t explain the second part--theres no scripture that says we can't return to live with God if we have experienced pain and temptation.  But I came to a conclusion that the atonement has three parts. In the talk by Elder Bednar he teaches us that the atonement both cleanses us from sin, and strengthens us to be a little bit better---even when we are already good!  So what I came up with is that  the atonement Jesus Christ comprises of three things:

1. He was resurrected
2. He suffered for our sins
3. He suffered for our temptations and our pains-- both physical and emotional

And he suffered these three things for three different purposes
1. So that we could be one day resurrected
2. So that we can be cleansed of our sins
3. So that we can be strengthened to not sin more/be more like HIM

So what is our responsibility in all of this? Where do we come in?
This is what I came up with, what we need to do:
1. To be resurrected: NOTHING. This one's a freebee for everyone. Every child of God who dies is gonna be resurrected through the mercy of Christ
2. To be cleansed: We've got to repent. He paid the debt, but that doesnt take away our personal responsibility to repent and change our hearts-
3. To be strengthened through temptation and pain: Well, all we really need to do to get help is ask for it! If we sincerely ask him to widen our obviously limited capacities, He will give us the capacity to do so much more than we could have with only sheer grit and self control.

I think we often take for granted or forget this third part. He truly was tempted and felt all of our pains and all we have to do is ask for that help, but ask in the right way. We don't ask to change our circumstances, we ask for increased capacity and strength to be our own agents and change our own circumstances. I know this is something I always KNEW, but now I really understand and am applying in my life. Gee whiz I love the gospel. Im a nerd. bye.

Hermana Benyo

I guess it was something I always knew but never really UNDERSTOOD until now. Like that has happened to me so many times. I realized that he suffered

1. Bella Vista
2. All of our appointments fell through during the world cup final yesterday but on the bright side we did find this monkey

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