"Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah."

Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:8

Thursday, February 2, 2012

18 Months: The Gospel of Jesus Christ Blesses Families

This is for my brother who loves all things Japanese, my two
uncles who served missions in Japan, and my Aunt Miyuki.

With Elder Dilworth, Elder Nelson, and Elder Lemus.
Hey guys,

Well, the time has come. For me, the last big marker in terms of time (except for the big 24 month marker) is over. This last Saturday I hit 18 months of being a missionary. This is a big milestone for me because it means I have completed now the time of a sister missionary. In other words, if I was a girl I would be coming home in 2 weeks. But, since I am not a girl that means I've got 6 months left. In short: I am no longer a sister missionary, but a REAL MANLY ELDER. 

We've been out 18 months already??????
So anyways, Elder Lemus and I are feeling pretty manly because we both hit 18 months the same day. It's really a weird thought...weird that a year ago I was celebrating my 6 month marker in Tukuru with my companion, Elder Lopez. Pretty much exactly a year ago is when I got sent to Yalijux...I'm kind of hoping that after a year of having entered that I'll get to go back this next change to an area like Yalijux. We'll see what the Lord wants. 

This week was another miraculous week for our investigators Danilo and Reina. We were working to get them married and baptized but unfortunately we needed to go pick up the Central American newspaper where their marriage was published from the capital. Somehow, Reina was able to find the money to go down herself. But, Satan was trying especially hard this week to tear them apart. They got in a fight and ended up pretty much not talking for a few days. They told us that they weren't sure anymore if they were even going to get married. We kept going with them but it was hard to keep the Spirit there. Luckily my companion felt the impression to talk about forgiveness and that calmed things down a bit but they said they still weren't sure. Saturday night we decided we needed to fast again for them so we started fasting after dinner. Sunday we went to their house and brought them to church. We made them sit together in church and then had the investigator's class with our mission leader which (not so coincidetally) happened to be about marriage. Our branch mission leader was really great with them and helped to lighten things up between them and shared with them a lot of good scriptures and experiences. After church they told us they were decided to get married this Friday. But, just to make sure that everything would work out well, we had a movie night with them that night in the church. We watched a movie called "On the Way Home" which is really good because it talks about a family and all of the changes that they made to get ready for baptism and shows the memories of the parents fighting a lot and stuff so it was really motivating for them. They left the church holding hands and happy and we were able to sleep peacefully. Thank you SO much to you guys to for praying for them too. If it weren't for our prayers for them, they might have been overcome by Satan's influence. This week I gained 2 strong testimonies. 1) Satan fights unceasingly against all families everywhere, and exerts ALL of his forces to destroy them. And 2) that God also fights unceasingly with all of His strength FOR families. When we turn to Him and when we base our families and our family life on the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, God blesses us and he becomes our sheild against the devil and his forces. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, when applied and practiced in life BLESSES FAMILIES. I know that with all my heart. Mostly because our family has been so blessed for trying to live together the principles of the Gospel. Thanks for being such an amazing family. We've been focusing a LOT of families lately and I feel kind of like we have the words "marriage counselors" stamped on our foreheads haha. It's a good thing because we get to help people solve their relationship problems but YIKES it makes me kind of scared to get married!  It's surprising how much you learn on a mission about marriage and marriage relationships.

Other interesting/ fun things that happened this week:

Thursday we went up to this mountain to go do service for one of our most promising investigators, Bonifacio. He lives on the side of this small mountain. We went to go cut up broccoli with him and put in in bags. It was fun.

Ok well my computer shut down and cut off what I was writing and I don't have time to write it again. But I'll write more and send more pictures next week. Sorry there's no time for personal comments but I love you all tons! Talk to you next week!

Elder Norton

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