Monday, March 27, 2017

Coconut tree forest

Hi everyone,

This week was filled with miracles! But first off last week we had a fun P day. We went to a place called Baker's Hill which is a big hill a few minutes from our house. Going up the hill there are tons of mansions and lots of them have security guards! It's super crazy and the view is awesome. At the top of the hill they have a big garden place along with a famous bakery. So basically we just bought cookies and walked around looking at different birds, animals, flowers, statues, art stuff, and even some nice cacti! haha.

But literally we saw so many investigators make some huge jumps. One of them being sister Angie Morata. She has been an investigator of ours for awhile but has never been to church. She has been reading the Book of Mormon a little bit though and really understands our lessons. Quick learner and always has good insights when we ask what she's learning. We were having a hard time understanding why she wouldn't go to church and what was kinda holding her back. So we both thought it would be good to really focus on the Book of Mormon. I had the simple idea to ask her if she has prayed yet to ask God if it's true. She said no! We've told her to do this before but I guess we only followed up on the reading part, not the praying as well. We asked her again to do so and when we returned Saturday night we followed up and she said she prayed. We asked how she felt as she prayed and she said as she prayed a thought came into her mind of her in white clothes! It was super cool. If I've learned anything out here it's how powerful the Book of Mormon really is. Yesterday she was at church for the first time!

Cesar had a birthday on Tuesday! We grabbed a cake at a nearby bakery and brought it with us to our lesson with him. He started crying when we came he's so nice. After we sang we asked him to make a wish and he just went into this huge prayer for his family. We're still kinda trying to help him break some habits from his last church haha. But it was actually a really cool prayer. He really wants to be baptized and follow Christ. It's been a huge roller coaster with him the past few months! Every lesson is so cool. A few days later we returned and found out he relapsed again with drinking so we taught the Atonement. He promised us right there he would never drink again. In his closing prayer he asked God to truly help him, he said he's just a man and he needed His help in order to overcome his addiction. He always thanks God in his prayer too for sending His servants to help him out. He told us also during the lesson that neighbors tell him how they notice how much he's changed ever since those guys in white shirts have started visiting him. That's the best part of being a missionary. Seeing others literally being changed by Christ's Atonement and gospel.

Friday all the missionaries got a text from President Ostler. It said "Elders and Sisters, thank you for serving the Lord faithfully. Tonight when I was praying I felt that the Lord will bless us with many more baptisms if we will pray in faith. 4 times every day have a special companionship prayer for baptisms. Promise the Lord that you will do everything in your power to baptize. Plead and ask for Him to send miracles. Then go out with faith. Open your mouth, teach with the spirit, ask for referrals. Give your 100%. I promise the Lord is waiting to bless you if you will do your part." So this week we've really been praying with more faith to receive miracles in our area. Sure enough that very morning we started the special prayers we saw tons of cool things. The first guy we talked to, the trike driver to get us over into our area was actually a less active who lives in the Sisters area. We had a super cool convo with him as he drove us to an area, especially when we asked him how he felt when he was baptized years ago. His wife hasn't been baptized yet but he said he wanted to meet with missionaries again. When we got into the area we went to the Abastas home. We haven't been to this family's house for over a month since the main progressing investigator there moved to Narra for his work. But as we stopped by we saw him there! Turns out he had just gotten home the day before and we returned there right at the perfect time! We taught Wilfred again and had a cool lesson. After that we continued up the main road to the Balena family- we had met and taught them for the first time two days earlier. They literally live in a coconut tree forest I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. As far as you can see it's just coconut trees and a few mango trees it's soo cool. When we showed up Joshua (17 years oldl) got a huge smile on his face and told us he had read the whole pamphlet we gave him! The three of us are already like best friends haha -he's the nicest kid. After we taught him and his parents he told us "alright lets go hunt for some mangos." He took us into their forest of trees and picked us some fresh mangos to go home with!

Basically tons of miracles started happening after we started praying in faith to our Father in heaven as a companionship more often. It helped me realize the importance of prayer. We had met a lady named Apolania on a multicab a few weeks ago and she started coming back to my head a ton. One morning we decided to go find her and sure enough she was ready to listen. She had also read the whole pamphlet we gave her and had lots of questions! She has 11 kids but we only taught her last lesson. Religion is very important to her and she said return back anytime!

In Alma 13:28 it says, "But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering." I challenge you all to really strive to have meaningful prayers from your heart. We show our humility and trust in God when we turn to Him first and show our faith that He can accomplish our desires for ourselves and others. He will help you through the Holy Ghost and I know you will feel His presence more in your lives.

Have a good week! Elder Reber :)

Back in the early days with Elder Carter his MTC companion in front of the Provo Temple.

We had a great day meeting Elder Lambert and his family. He gave a wonderful Homecoming address where we were able to hear fun stories of his experiences there along with sharing a wonderful testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel. He left us with a challenge for young and old to get out and prepare to serve missions.  We are so grateful for Elder Lambert and the positive influence he had on Parker. 

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