This life is full of so many highs and lows, spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally… it’s no wonder we are all results of our surroundings. We never know what life has to offer us. First off, I apologize for not advising you last week that I’d be writing Tuesday. We had leadership training in Resistencia yesterday and after 16 hours of bus travel, a day full of spiritual highs, and renewed spiritual energy, I’m back in Puerto Rico and ready to work. We know the chosen are out there and waiting. It’s always so interesting to see the statistics of the mission and see how we are progressing. The vision of the Presidency of the church is that as a whole, we duplicate the number of baptisms. The goal of the mission is to meet that goal within three years, with 33% more converts every year. Halfway through the year and really just getting started, we were informed yesterday that we have achieved 22% up to the present moment. We are truly blessed, we are learning how to teach better, how to work harder and more diligently, and he Lord is guiding us to his chosen children. It’s not a numbers game, as every number we use represents a very important child of God. It motivates us to keep improving.
Emotionally, the week has been rough. We went to visit a less active sister who had been traveling the country searching for medical help for her newborn son, born with a hole in his heart and downs syndrome, and the little guy didn’t make it. He passed on after twenty struggled days and we got to the house just as they were having the open casket. I had never seen a dead body up to that moment. Honestly it was quite surreal. It made me think about Grandma, but above all it really felt like he was just sleeping or as President Monson said in the most recent conference, it seemed as if he had gone to another room. This life simply cannot be the end. It wouldn’t make sense. Lucky for us, we know it’s not and we know what to do to prepare ourselves for what comes next.
As summer arrives to the northern hemisphere, so do the Dear John’s in the southern. Elders left and right are losing their girlfriends and it’s really quite devastating. An Elder in such a depressed state can’t work effectively and we’re really quite concerned for some of them… They say you can’t live by shared light, and sadly enough it seems like a few elders have come to the mission riding on the testimony of their girlfriend. Note to all future missionaries: It’s okay to have a girlfriend on the mission if she’s not a distraction or the reason for you being there. I chose not to and am grateful for it. As they say, if your girlfriend doesn’t wait for you, your wife will haha.
We’ve got new investigators here and there, new things to keep us excited, and now, even more motivation to keep working harder with a powerful training and moving testimonies. Share your testimony with someone today, both will be uplifted. The righteous examples of our fellow servants can give us more strength to carry on in this world of sin than one might believe.
This is the Lord’s work. No mortal hand can impede it. I love it and am so grateful to be a part of it. These shouldn’t be the best two years of my life, but they will be the best two years for my life.
Elder Steven Reid Walker