Natalie In Panama – Week 54 – In Which She Has Doors Open

So, no photos this week. My camera’s memory card is having some problems. It lost some of my pictures from Gualaca, and isn’t showing some pictures it does have on the computer. I’m not sure what happened. It may have gotten a bit of a virus.

My cord to the camera got squished a few weeks back and I couldn’t fix it so I’ve been putting the memory card right into the computers. I think that’s why I have the problem. Also were trying a new internet place today and the computers are old. I’ll try to send some pictures next week.

So, this week was a bit hard to get work done. We had Rescate (rescue) on Tuesday, which means the whole zone in one area working for a day and then zone conference which was all day.

The Rescate was in the area of the sister leaders. We did divisions with the zetta ellas (Zone Leaders) during it. I went with Hermana Mills and we got to teach a less active and her sister who is not a member. We taught them about the Book of Mormon. The problem is that the sister started talking about how she didn’t believe in The Book of Mormon, and the menos activa (less active) just verbally jumped on her. She was telling her how she had to believe in it and that the church of her sister was completely man made. I know we believe that, but you don’t have to attack your family about it. We stepped in and smoothed things over. I mean the sister may not believe in The Book of Mormon, but that doesn’t mean she’s a bad person or doesn’t love God.

I feel that a lot of times as missionaries we have to smooth the things that members say. We try to teach in a manner that the person comes to the answer or conclusion for themselves. Like we always say, we are not here to convince people, we are here to help people be converted – meaning help people come to the conclusion for themselves.

Zone conference was great. It was long, as it took all day, but we had fun. I got to meet Elder Ah Sue. His sister Amanda was in the single ward when I was there. Bishop Bramwell told him to keep an eye out for me.  He and Pula did a number with Elder Hinckley. Ah Sue and Pula sang love at home in Samoan, Spanish, and English. Elder Hinckley played the guitar for them. It was awesome.

There were some other great numbers.  They should be on the mission blog next week. The different teachings were important, but, to be honest, we were nervous because we were going to teach a workshop. They called us Sunday and asked us to teach a workshop on how to bring investigators to church. We taught in 2 groups of about 40 people. We only had 15-20 minutes. We focused on how it’s important that the members invite and bring the investigators. Also, it’s important to give the members a specific assignment to help them do those things. We also talked about how some members don’t know how to do these things, so it’s important that we teach them how to do it, and that we stress why it’s so important. If someone is brought by a member to church and befriended by the members, that person is so much more likely to be baptized and stay active.

The workshop seemed to go well, and then we played games. We ended up playing one where you tie balloons around your ankles and then try to pop other people’s balloons. Then, we ended up playing soccer in the rain.

As for actual lessons this week –

We did have some great breakthrough with 2 of our investigators. One is Bob. We taught him Leccion 2 (Lesson 2) up until the Three Degrees of Glory on Thursday. Then, we taught him on Saturday and finished Leccion 2. We also talked about The Authority. It was great. We had members with us, the Swalm family. The Hermana was super direct, so that helped a ton.  Bob finally understood that his baptisms before were not valid, and that he needs to be baptized with the proper authority to enter into the Reino Celestial (Celestial Kingdom). He told us he’s 80% sure that this is the truth. He’s just afraid to pray and ask, because he knows that it will change everything he has done in his life. It’s the first breakthrough he’s really had.

Then we taught Juan. He’s the Bram’s neighbor. He told us that he knows that what we’re teaching is the truth, but he hasn’t softened his heart or gained the courage to be baptized yet. We taught him about family history work, and it made perfect sense to him. He came to church, and I feel that it won’t be too long till he’s baptized. He even tells us himself that he will be baptized, but that he needs time to accept being baptized. Part of his problem is his wife is super sick. She cries in pain a lot and is in a hospital bed. We talked to him about blessings, but he hasn’t given us the answer yet if she wants one.

We also worked on finding some menos activos (less actives), and what was great is that on Sunday the assistencia (assistance) was higher than normal. Hopefully, if we keep working like, this the branch will grow again. I think next change we will have some baptisms. That will be great because the branch hasn’t had any baptisms in almost a year. I hope we get to break that and bring some hope and life to this area.

I’m glad to know everyone is doing good.

I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Love,

Natalie

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