Long time no see eh? Sorry about not sending a letter the past week, there was a holiday or something like that. I also didn't feel like bothering the good people at Best Buy anymore so we just played board games and stuff instead. Plus Elder Cordova has intense board games that last half of the day so we kept pretty busy.
It's hard to think that January is coming to an end already! Thankfully there hasn't been hardly any snow here, that has been a great blessing for us. But it has been bitterly cold here. However, despite the cold we had an amazing week!
Jelyan got baptized! This has been such an awesome miracle in her life as well as in ours. She has changed so much since we first found her on the street (which was E. Christensen's first week in the mission field by the way). She has overcome so many obstacles and progressed so much. It has truly strengthened my testimony of the converting power of the gospel, especially through the Book of Mormon. We noticed that up until she started reading the Book of Mormon on her own, she was just kind of progressing little by little but not by much. Then almost overnight everything changed. She started reading on the way to work (using the gospel library app) and started progressing like crazy. She began to understand the doctrine better and feel the Holy Ghost more in her life. She was happier and could feel the difference when she kept the commandments versus when she didn't.
Now she is on fire and we are hoping to get her a calling in the next couple of weeks. A tender moment for me personally was after her baptismal service. Amid the confusion of people conversing and eating refreshments (we're in Lawrence so of course there are refreshments!) I went up to Jelyan and congratulated her on the baptism. She replied saying,"Thank you for bringing me here." That short sentence carried so much truth and conviction in it that I was taken aback. She understood that her baptism was more than just a requisite for the kingdom of God, but rather that she was entering into the fold of Christ. She was becoming a part of the kingdom of God here on earth, which is only an extension of the Heavenly Kingdom. Needless to say, I was greatly impressed by her inspired comment. No doubt it was spoken by the Holy Ghost.
Something that I have come to understand greatly during my mission is the spiritual progression of the individual. Many times, if not always, we want the answers and results immediately. We want to know how to put the entire puzzle together instead of seeing how each little piece fits in with the others. But unfortunately for some of us patience is a Godly virtue that is needed to fulfill the commandment given in 3 Nephi 12:48. I have realized that we control how fast we progress but that progression is nonetheless gradual. We have to go piece by piece until we finish the entire puzzle.
Now a bigger problem that people have is that they may see a piece of the puzzle that doesn't fit in with the pieces that they have presently and therefore regard it as an error. Or they look at the new piece and decide that neither that piece nor the pieces they have are correct and throw out all of them. They lose sight of the eternal goal and forget the architect that created the puzzle. We need to know that we won't understand everything when we want to and that just because we don't understand it doesn't mean it isn't correct or of God. People think I understand the gospel or the church perfectly, but I don't. I don't understand all that much. But what I do understand I know to be true and I love it. I cherish it and will not throw it out if a weird piece comes into play.
I hope that we all can hold onto those things that we love and look for a better understanding of the things of God. I love you all and miss you, now go out and be a missionary!
Wolverines! (Our district war cry)
Elder Ty Resendez