Monday, August 19, 2013
Don't count the sheep in your sleep
This week Hermana and I totally rocked our menos activo and inactivo ward member visits. It has come to an absolute shock to me of how many members are no longer active in the church here in Depatamental. We have a list of over 700 members in our sector and only about 90 of them are in church every Sunday. That’s less than 10 percent! So we have our work cut out for us here, which is actually a blessing in disguise as we have been able to get to know so many people who need our help. Elder Viñas of the seventy came to speak to us this week and told us of the sad reality of the church membership here in our mission. I know that numbers don’t matter so much, but just to give you guys an idea- here in the tiny Santiago Sur mission there are 33,561 people that have been baptized into the church. Out of all of those people there are only 3,243 members who are active and less than half who have gone to the temple to take out their endowments. It is so sad to me to see all of these lost sheep, yet realizing this it makes me understand how important my purpose is as an instrument in the hands of the Lord. The Lord needs me to help Chile step up their game. This is a work of helping people to endure to the end just as much as it is to help people receive the blessings of baptism and repentance.
One of my very favorite miracles that happened this week was meeting Juan Francisco-and inactive member for over 5 years. When we knocked on his door he told us that he was really busy and that he didn’t want anything to do with the church anymore. He began to deny everything that he learned in his whole life of being a member and he told us that the church ruined his life. Ouch. It kind of made me mad when he was saying all of these things because I knew that he was just hurt, that he didn’t actually believe anything that he was saying. Just as he was about to shut the door on us we asked him if at one point in his life, if he once had a testimony of the Book of Mormon. And that is when he cracked. The spirit brought to remembrance of the testimony and joy that he once had. He broke down in tears explaining that he made a big mistake while he was serving in a leadership position in the church and it caused him to lose a lot of trust in some members as well as his wife. He told us that he wanted to return to church and that at times he tried, but he just didn’t feel worthy enough or that his wife would blame him. We immediately stated talking to Juan about the power of the Atonement and the reality of Christ’s love for him, that it is infinite. How it allows us to change and heal us from heavy burdens and pains. At first he didn’t understand and he kept on telling us that he sinned too much or that he wasn’t worthy, but in all of these moments I felt with every fiber of my body the LOVE that Jesus Christ had for him. I couldn’t even hold back my tears and I felt so strongly 1) The love that Christ has for Juan and 2) The reality of the Atonement. I felt that if Christ was there physically that he would have been crying for Juan, hoping and praying that he would use repentance in his life and allow Him to take the burdens that Juan was suffering from. By the end of our time with Juan, he told us that he knew that the Book of Mormon was true and that he knew that he needed to get back on track with his relationship with Christ. He knew that he needed to pray for his wife to have her heart softened. He also told us that he was going to start letting Christ help in the repentance process. It was a literal change within 45 minutes. That was the power of the spirit of God. I am excited to go back with him this week and see how this change is affecting his days and week.
Spring is on the Horizon. Hermana Leavitt and I got to leave the house without our jackets a couple days this week. And I am so excited for the sun to be a part of my everyday life again. Seriously people, I have been so deprived, I have gone through two winters in a row. I've never been so grateful to sweat. Ha ha. Gross.
xoxo, Hermana North
Picture 1: Obsessed with this tile door
Picture 2: Totally envied this dog taking a nap in the sun. ha ha.
Picture 2: The toy cart. It plays a song and all of the little kids run outside to buy a new toy.
Cutest thing I've ever seen
Picture 3: Gorgeous Sunsets