Dear Mom and Dad,
I am staying in Barrio O´Higgins for another change! I am really quite excited, this next change will be pretty incredible, I am sure. That means I am staying together with Elder B, of the cheesy jokes and awesome conversion story. The zone as a whole is hardly changing at all--only three out of eighteen elders are leaving, which is hardly anything! But, one of those three is Elder U, my Canadian friend whose mother knows Mom through the missionary mom´s list. He will be missed.
Cool story about member missionary work. We watched a church movie with two friends of the Gospel Principles teacher, they both enjoyed it and I think we´ll start teaching them when the teacher gets back from vacation in two weeks. However, one of these friends just had a nephew pass away. Smart, talented kid of 24, sad story. Hermana R, the teacher, was talking to us about the tragedy before her friends arrived, and we recommended that she share with him a conference talk, "The Songs they Could Not Sing," about tragedies and people who die young. She shared this talk with him, and he used it in the funeral address he gave. All from a borrowed Ensign.
Another cool story from the Ensign that´s a little more internal. All of my past life I´ve been pretty ni allí (ni allí means apathetic or uncaring) about family history work. I had always assumed I would get involved in it when I was old and retired, but that for the foreseeable future I would serve by going to the temple and being a good member missionary. A few days ago I was thinking about how I hope and pray that my investigators will do certain things--read the Book of Mormon, pray to ask if it is true, go to church, get baptized--and how there are other things that God hopes I will do all of my life--regularly go to the temple, magnify my calling, read the scriptures and pray with my family, etc. Then I read an Ensign article about family history, and how this generation has all of the technological skills to do amazing family history work. While reading I decided that, even though it doesn´t excite me hugely right now, God probably hopes that I will do family history work--Him and several thousand ancestors who want to be a forever family, too. I decided I would be involved in family history started from right when I get back.
Then I decided that I always need to make the Ensign a part of my gospel study. If I had never read that Ensign article, how long would it have taken for me to come to this realization? How many ancestors would have had to wait months or years more for their saving work to be done?
Final story for the week, A. We just barely started teaching her about two weeks ago, she came to church last week, and she continues to awe and amaze me with her miraculous faith. We taught a lesson to her this week that played out like the ideal of every lesson we ever teach--she answered all of our questions like an MTC teacher, and always asked just the right question to keep the lesson flowing in the right direction. A few days ago she said that she wanted to learn more about the living prophets so she could know how to follow them better, and she is as set--or more so--on getting baptized the 3 of March than we are. A is amazing, and God is amazing. I´m so grateful to be a missionary, to be here "with a front row seat to the biggest miracle on earth" (an MTC staff member said that a few times), working for the salvation of God´s children.
Elder Jason Ray