The Spirit is strong amidst all the addictions and vices the people of Clorinda fight with day after day. Yesterday we had an awesome consejo with Presidente Heyman and President Fernandez of the Resistencia Stake. Our spirits are fired up and our goals and aspirations are well focused. Lately, we’ve been receiving loads of training as to how to be effective leaders and how to set goals, have plans, and follow through with those plans to have success and keep moving forward. Currently, as a mission, we have an average of 80-100 baptisms every month. The area presidency has now raised their expectations and within the next three years, we must raise the average to 200 per month. At times I feel like I’m working for a powerful corporation, but it’s awesome. There’s so many things the mission is teaching me.
This week was highlighted by tragedy. One of our recent converts, Adrian, had a crisis. The poor guy has been fighting so hard these past four years to correct his life. His wife had been his guide and inspiration, however over the past few months, the lady has began to destroy him with insults and threats, offering him every drug that has been his weakness, going against everything the church stands for, and to top it all off, she left him this week to hook up with one of her old army boyfriends. I hate Satan.
Thursday he took us to the radio. As we were driving, this big, tough, proud, tattooed city guy broke down in tears. She’s been destroying him and he told us everything. His testimony is so strong that he wants to follow the Lord through everything, but at this point, he’s straight up told us he doesn’t have any more desires to live. He’s got three kids and they’re the only thing keeping him alive and going. We got to the radio, I left him my scriptures and told him to find a quiet place to calm down and read Doctrine and Covenants 122, and we got out of the car and started to walk to the radio station. I walked maybe 15 meters and the Spirit wouldn’t let me go any further. I turned around and ran back to Adrian to find him falling apart and sobbing into his steering wheel. It was heartbreaking. As soon as I sat in the passenger seat and put my arm around his shoulder to console him, he buried his head into my shoulder crying “Elder, help me!”
Nothing is so devastating as seeing a grown man in utter devastation. I asked him if he knew any place we could go to be alone and in peace, him. My companion and I began driving but without direction, so I told him to take us to the chapel. We got there, and immediately the spirit told me to give him a blessing. I have never felt the power of the priesthood flow so strongly as it did in that blessing. I can’t remember the words I used, but I do know with absolute certainty that the Savior, as he suffered for us in Gethsemane, saw each and every one of us individually. He suffered for us individually. I know it.
The night went on, we calmed down Adrian, and he bore testimony to us of the parable of the shepherd who left the ninety and nine to go after the one. He couldn’t believe we left the radio, and hundreds of listeners, to help him, but he understood perfectly why. More importantly, he understood who it was that guided us to do so.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a representative of my Savior, Jesus Christ. There is no vice or pain he cannot help us overcome. Cocaine and heroin are destroyers of the senses, and ultimately, of many lives, here in Clorinda, but the Savior can help even those entangled in their grappling snare regain hope.
I am a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I love Him.
I will serve Him to the end.
Elder Steven Reid Walker