Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Elder Alonso testified that we are true messengers

Jan 30, 2012

Dear Family,

This week was great! It has been really long, though.

We had Specialized Training on Tuesday. (It is a different name for a Zone Conference) So that was awesome! It is always awesome to hear from President and Sister Gelwix.

Wednesday was tough because we hadn't had any true proselyting days since Saturday, so it was a bit tough to get back into the swing of things. We are also doing a lot of finding right now, and finding is the toughest part of this work.

Thursday, we helped some members move. That was good.

Friday, we did weekly planning and Stake Correlation, which took a long time. It was frustrating. Then, Elder Mangum had a Baptismal Interview at the Stake Center. We spent the evening flying around on our bikes so as to avoid being late, but it was futile.

Saturday, more finding and following up on Potential Investigators.

Sunday, Modesto Stake Conference. Presiding: Elder Jose Alonso of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Also, President and Sister Gelwix spoke as well as the 1st Counselor and Assistant to the Matron of the Oakland Temple.

President Gelwix spoke on how the members can help the missionaries, he invited them to invite us over to their homes to share a short 20-25 minute message on Faith and Testimony called the ATM (Awake the Members). He was his usual, firecracker-like self. I think some of the members were surprised.

Then, Elder Alonso gets up, and asks the Missionaries to come forward. We were going to sing.

We were all confused. What on earth are we going to be singing?

We sang "I am a Child of God," then, Elder Alonso testified that we are true messengers and that every day, we go out and talk to people.

"Every day, people: Ignore them. Reject them. Lie to them. You have been invited to have these messengers over to your homes to share in their spirit. Are you going to Ignore them? Reject them? Lie to them?"

He then talked about the blessings of missionary work and going to the temple; in his native tongue, Spanish. (It almost had more feeling when told by the translator) He concluded with the story of Cooper, a 4-year old, who, while with his mother at the bus stop; somehow got free and ran out into the road. He was subsequently struck by a truck driven by a 17 year-old male without a license and died.

They were in the same Stake.

The boy panicked and drove home, told his mother what had occurred and locked himself into his room. Crying.

The police came and began the legal process.

The parents of Cooper began funeral arrangements.

Both grieved.

The Stake President decided to have a meeting of Cooper's Parents and the parents of the 17 year old as well as the 17 year old. (The parents were liable since they let him use the truck.)

Cooper's Parents arrived first. (They had decided not to press charges)

Then, the boy and his parents arrived. The father of Cooper stood up.

He walked straight at the boy.

He looked him in the eye.

He placed his hand on the boy's shoulder.

He told the boy, "I forgive you, and I love you."

Then, the Mother of Cooper stood.

She walked to the boy and took his head in her hands, looked him in the eye and said," I forgive you."

They told of how their grief had been swallowed up in the Atonement of Christ. There was already one family that had to deal with that grief and they did not need two. The father told of how he had been prepared for this incident by attending the temple with increasing regularity over the past six months.

It was truly an amazing story. I love it. It truly shows how temple attendance blesses our lives. Also, how the Atonement is real and works.

Elder Alonso bore his testimony and sat down. The meeting closed.

No one came up to talk to us.

In consequence, we are going to be working on gaining the trust of the members over the next few weeks. Any ideas?

That was my week.

We are at a Zone Activity. We played glow in the dark Dodgeball vs. Modesto North Zone.

This is truly the Lord's work. I love it and I love you. I know the atonement is real. I know it works! I know the Church is true.

We have not played any rugby.

Dad, you have become quite the furniture maker! That is awesome.

I laughed at Colby's antics.

Love you all!

Elder Coles

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