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Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 21 - Hard work pays off

Another week in San Jose in the books! Right now we only have 1 progressing investigator and he is 9 years old and really should have been baptized when he was 8 but there was miss-communication about the word of wisdom so we are teaching him now. He is a stud, and probably knows more about the gospel than any other 9 year old in the world. He knows details about the Plan of Salvation that I didn't even know til I came out on my mission haha. 

We worked really hard this week and it paid off with 14 new investigators! The down side is that even with an increase in numbers, the only numbers that really count (church attendance) were low again. There's nothing worse than a person looking you dead in the eyes and saying they'll go to church on Sunday and then looking around all sacrament meeting to no avail. The sad part is they aren't just letting us down, its that they are letting the Lord down and that failure to progress is a victory only to the adversary. I think we will try even more so this week to focus on eliminating the middle man. What I mean by this is focusing more on connecting the investigator directly to Christ rather than constantly developing a teaching pattern in which the investigator feels like they come to us, and then we go to the Lord on their behalf. I think any strong active member needs to be able to receive answers directly from Heavenly Father and have enough faith to stand alone at times. And developing that kind of faith doesn't come through convincing and explaining with opinions and doctrines, but rather through the Spirit only. Sometimes I feel like the Spirit isn't really in our lessons because it is all about proving and convincing those we're teaching that it is correct. Instead of simply getting out of the way and allowing the Spirit to do the real work. 

My Tagalog has gotten a lot better over the last couple weeks, though I'm still so far from fluent I'm convinced its going to take another 5 months. Thats ok though I can teach most the lessons well enough that people can understand the point I am trying to get across. Learning a new language has taught me so much about relying on the Spirit to teach I really feel like that was one of the reason I was sent to the Philippines. It has been an extremely difficult, and at times frustrating, experience to be unable to speak and teach the things that are directly on my mind and in my heart. However, it has been such a humbling experience as well to know that while well constructed sentences and intelligent gospel insights may appear to be the most successful in convincing arguments, only true conversion comes through the Holy Ghost. And fortunately for missionaries and members world wide, the Holy Ghost can bare testimony of ANY truth concerning Christ. No matter how poor the grammar or how unadorned the vocabulary might be. Which means we should not ever be afraid to share the gospel with those around us, considering that in refraining from opening our mouths we are really only refraining the Spirit of God. We have no right to do this or to deny those around us the privilege of feeling the Spirit bare testimony. As long as we are worthy and willing, the Lord and the Spirit will accomplish this work through us as the mouthpiece. 

Buhay pa,
Elder Krueger T

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