I´m pleased to announce that I played the piano a lot better this week than the last. I´m attributing 10 percent of the success to being less nervous because it was the second time, 10 percent to the hymns (they were easier than the first week), and 80 percent to divine help.
In other news, I´ve started teaching English classes again. This week we had a nice turnout, 2 members, one inactive member, and one investigator. This week we are going to start pumping out advertisements and taping them up everywhere they will stick, so I´m hoping a lot more people go in the coming weeks! Here we are doing the English classes in the stake center, which is smack in the center of Quillota, so there should be a lot more people there than in El Mirador.
We had a great zone counsel this week with President K, he talked a lot about the vision for the work. We need to work a lot harder to find people to teach, the elect, those who are ready to receive us. He said that as a mission, we are good teachers but not so good finders. I feel really excited to go out and find people now--it also helps that finding is generally a really wonderful experience, it is one of the moments where I can best see the hand of the Lord operating in my life.
There is a young man (23 years old) in our ward that we are teaching a bit, inviting him to serve a mission. This last week we had a really honest and sincere discussion, and he almost said several times that he would go on a mission. He was very careful never to commit himself to anything, but still, I can see progress there... he talked about how, if we all understood the gospel and the atonement as we should, we wouldn´t have problems keeping the commandments. But, since we are so imperfect, we keep messing up. He then understood how perfectly that applies to his need to go on a mission it was a nice moment.
We taught F and A, the couple that is going to get married, about the temple this week. They liked it a lot, and I think it will provide them with a firm foundation, a reason to keep on going, through F´s baptism and beyond. We also went out running with F one day this week, I did pretty well running--thank you, soccer in El Mirador, for getting me in shape--but when we did abs, I almost died. Lets just say I´ve got room for improvement.
In a lesson with JC, we were talking about the spirit that he feels every time he shares with us and reads the Book of Mormon. He said something like this: "this is like the first time I fell in love. I could tell that I was falling in love, but I didn´t want to admit it, didn´t want to admit it, then suddenly, boom--I was in love. I can feel that same sensation, like I know that this is true, but I still don´t want to admit it. But don´t worry, one of these days It´ll just click, and I´ll decide to join the church." Wow.
I have been thinking a lot about obedience to the commandments in the last few days--kind of in the same stream of thought as our conversation with O. One thing that really gets me, and always has, is when other people do not keep the commandments even though they know better. Thinking about how to help these people this week, I had two thoughts. First, I need to be as obedient as I can be. I can´t be a hypocrite, and pretend to be better than I really am. Second, I need to learn how to radiate the joy and peace that come from obedience, so that other people see me, see my obedience, and think, "huh, that whole ´keep the commandments´ deal looks like fun." Or, I need to let my light so shine before men, that they may see my good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven (that was cool--I hadn´t made that connection with the scripture until just now).
But, I really do know, keeping the commandments is the only way to go. I think in my life I´ve tried obedience and I´ve tried almost-obedience, and when I am almost (but not quite, because I don´t particularly feel like doing everything God says) obedient, I just feel something lacking, something mission, I feel sadder, less satisfied. But, in those wonderful moments when I feel like I am living my life exactly like God wants it to be... well, those are beautiful moments.
Viviendo el sueño,
Elder Jason Ray