Monday, January 21, 2013

Jan. 14 Service and Love

Dear family,

Thanks for the letters. Mom, I sometimes don´t understand your Idaho jerga. Cameron, write more detail. Dad Ryan and Emily, write one!

Marissa - I remember you writing me about a reference that you sent from Barcalona to Cochabamba. Well, I was talking to a new Elder (his area is the main part of the city) he was telling me how it´s hard to find new people and they mostly get references, even one from Barcelona. I made him repeat that sentence again. Well, I´m not sure if this is the person you sent but is her name Maria Celeste Ibarra? If so, she already has a baptism date in a couple weeks. Write me.

So this letter, I´m going to ask for advice. I just really need some help with this area. There´s a ton of work to do and I can´t do it all. Last night, we had a good talk with a member that fed us dinner. She has a lot of faith, loves to fast and goes to the temple often, and has a stong testimony of the BoM and the church. However, she´s tired of this branch and all the other few members. She wants to attend this other church next to her house that is growing rapidly because everyone´s nice, they have activities every week, fast together, there´s a lot of young people, and there´s no hatred amongst them. Or she´ll just go 30 min to the next closest ward. She thanks us for our hard work, but thinks that it´s in vain because the members have always been like this and unless they change, this branch will never progress.

It´s very sad, but true. She´s not the first person that has told us this. I want to leave this area way stronger than I´ve found it, but it might be too late. I´m just now figuring out all of the problems that this area has had. There are almost 300 members. There was a time when more than 120 came. Now, about 40 come. Investigators are turned off because they already know how the members are and they don´t want to be like that. I don´t know what more I can do. Ideas? Serve more, love more?

I was reading the King Benjamin´s discourse. ch.4 really hit me. Sometimes we judge the people begging for something and we justify it saying that they put themselves it that position, or if they really wanted to change they could.
But aren´t we all beggers? Don´t we all rely on that same God who gave us life, food each day, our basic necesities? All of us being sinners, don´t we beg for forgiveness? Don´t judge, you´re just as bad. Love.

-Elder Walker

(with all this love, I should put a peace sign)

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