Monday, November 2, 2015

Only the Penitent Shall Pass

November. It's hard to believe that 2015 is almost over. It's hard to believe that I've been a missionary for the whole year. But alas. Time truly flies.

As all obviously know, Saturday was Halloween. Here in Argentina, they do absolutely zero. It's a real let down. But Hermana Beckstead and I went all out. And when I say that, I mean we dressed up as each other. And this year, I was NOT deathly ill. Thank goodness. But it was pretty funny. Hermana Beckstead wore my oversized grandma dress and floppy sombrero and I wore all red, white, and blue, in classic Beckstead fashion and her leather Indy hat. We even switched name tags... No one got it. Not even Andres. Finally, when we told him we were dressed up, he looked between the two of us and realized that I was wearing Hermana Beckstead's elephant necklace and it gave it all away. We still had fun even though no one made the connection. It doesn't help that there's maybe 2.5 people here who actually remember our names. Haha. That's what I get for being called Hein.
Before Mission: Jenessa as Dr. Who, friend Haley as Snow White
A number of weeks ago, we contacted a house in a richer neighborhood in our area where we don't go very often because it's really hard to get in doors. But upon clapping at one green gate, we were greeted by an old lady with twisty blonde hair. She told us that she was a Jehovah's Witness and that before, she had met with the missionaries a number of times, but they had stopped coming by. She was slightly deaf and wasn't understanding much of what we said to her. It didn't look like it was going to go anywhere. But, for whatever reason, the spirit told us to keep bugging until she let us in. So she did. Immediately after entering the house, another woman, the blonde woman's daughter came rushing up to us, greeting us with besos as per usual.
"We wanted to share a message." we said.
"Oh! Great! Sit down!" she said.

She told us that she had been baptized into the Evangelica church, but that she'd stopped going. We knew immediately that she was who we were there for. She listened intently to our message and even got a little teary eyed when we shared the first vision. It was a great first lesson. She invited us back and we went on our way, beaming. We taught Soledad one more time there at her mom's house. And then, she disappeared. We would frequently pass by the house to see if she was there, but every time we went by, we found it empty. Finally, we went one afternoon and were met by her mother again. She told us that she had moved to another neighborhood, miraculously, still in our area.

When we went to the other house, sure enough, we found Soledad. She was really excited that we had found her. We shared with her the Plan of Salvation and she LOVED it. And when we returned the next time, she told us that she had shared it with her husband. And she always reads what we leave her in the Book of Mormon It's been a cool experience. We're hoping to see more progress with her soon. It's obvious the Lord wanted us to find her.

In regards to the title, I know I tend to make reference to Indiana Jones a lot. But let's be real, it APPLIES. This month, President asked us all to read the Book of Mormon, cover to cover. All of it within this month. We're really excited. We started our reading yesterday and today, we finished day 2, ending with 1 Nephi 16. Our reading today included all the chapters where Nephi sees the destruction of the Nephites, the discovery and colonization of America, and the Restoration of the Gospel. Oh man. Those are some awesome chapters. As I've read the Book of Mormon several times here on the mission, I've come to see those themes that run through the whole 1000 year account of the descendents of Lehi. One of them being pride. As it states in Doctrine and Covenants, the Nephite people fell due to their pride. Over and over again throughout the Book of Mormon, the Nephites fall to their pride. Nephi saw it all. Can you imagine seeing your own descendents being destroyed just because they would not obey? I certainly cannot imagine the type of heartbreak Nephi felt as he witnessed that. And yet, despite it all, he kept obeying. He knew that his posterity wouldn't continue. That is penitence. That is humility. And we KNOW, thanks to the Book of Mormon, that only the penitent man will pass. Only those who come to the Lord with a broken heart and contrite spirit. We must keep striving to be as Nephi was, truly penitent and humble, accepting the will of the Lord even if we don't fully understand it. Hold fast to the iron rod, even when blinded by the mists of darkness. "and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction." 1 Nephi 15:24

I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that by applying the principles we learn from it, we will never be blinded. I know that we must be humble and submissive to the will of the Lord. And as we come to Him with a penitent heart, He will lend us the hand we need to get through.
I love you all. Hope you all have a great first week of November.

Hermana Hein


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