Friday, May 6, 2016

W.W.M.S (What Would Mom Say) (week 23)

First let me tell you about my week and then I'll explain the title of my email. 

Bueno. Entonces. This week Elder Rojas and I killed it. We met a new family named Lorena and Maxi. They were a reference and they are golden. They came with us to mutual and we taught them the Restoration and Plan of Salvation. Lorena asks the best questions and she is studying the church so much and already has been studying Relief Society on LDS.Org and studying all the other books of scripture. Maxi has already read, in the first week, to chapter 18 of Nephi. What a capo! And he also really hit it off with Franko and Enzo. Enzo is about to be baptized this next weekend and Franko (my first convert in the mission field)!! Awesome stuff. 
Something cool happened to me and Elder Rojas yesterday. We decided to work in our Yellow and Orange zone which is a really hard part of our area. We call it the deadzone because there is not a lot of work done there. It's hard to contact people there and people have a little more money or are more wealthy in those areas. And for some reason this greatly effects the work in those areas. I much prefer the poorer part of villa Tesei, even though it's more dangerous. But The people are just so humble and nice. But we made a decision that we would dedicate a sunday there. So we did! We made some plans for this past Sunday and at about 7:30 all of our plans fell through. hahahaha. As expected, but hey, what can you do! But as you will see, "our" plans are not always "Heavenly Father's" plans. So we should never get discouraged. He is always guiding the ship. So we tried looking for someone we had contacted the other day to see if we could get a second lesson with her that day, we weren't able to find her. So as we're walking around, we see this guy working at a kiosk and we start talking to him. And We had a fairly good conversation, as well. And then some people interrupted our conversation to buy something from the kiosk and they were also very friendly and nice and not what I had expected for this area. That's what I get for prejudging this area and the people in it!!! So we finished our conversation with this man and left a pamphlet and continued on. We then tried to look for this random girl from the ward that the bishopric wanted us to go by and visit.  The problem with this plan of ours was that 1. I wasn't really sure what her name was 2. we weren't sure at all why we were going and 3. I had no idea where she lived haha! I know my mom is rolling her eyes right now because all three of those things are "classic Ren moves". Anyway, we still moved forward and hoped Heavenly Father would guide our steps. We started walking down this one street and I suddenly remembered that we had a reference on this street and we could try contacting them. I stopped for a moment as this thought hit me and then I realized something else! We had stopped in front of a house that I recognized because I had contacted it with my previous comp, Elder Ortolano about a month ago. So, I thought, hmm...maybe we're suppose to ask these people where the contact we were looking for lives. So we went up to the house and I had about a 1 out of 10 on the hope scale that we would get an answer. But then a man came out and I recognized him as one of the people we had contacted here the other month. We started talking with him and we said we were looking for so and so that lived on this same street. He said he had no idea where that person lived, but then he said "My wife is super sick. Will you come in and see her"?  We said "yes" and entered into his house and met his wife. She was super sick and laying in bed. Two of their friends were there as well and we were just talking warmly with all of them and we asked if we could bless this lady. We asked for olive oil and consecrated it and anointed it. And then we blessed this little hermana. The spirit was strong and it was a sweet experience. Afterwards we taught them a little of the Restoration and they invited us to come back and visit them. For someone looking from the outside in, It was really something random. Some might say that was just weird luck or a coincidence, but I know it was a miracle. Who guides this ship?? I have no doubt who! Our plans fell through for the night because Heavenly Father is aware of ALL his children. We met people at that man's kiosk who were nice and friendly. This helped change our attitudes towards this area, which spurred us on to continue walking. Our bishop asked us to contact this woman, but we didn't know how to find her so we walked, hoping to be guided. We ended up on a street I actually remembered, in front of a house I actually remembered. They opened the door to us and invited us in. And we were able to bless this man's wife, this beloved daughter of our Heavenly Father. Is this random? No. Heavenly Father and our Savior know us all. He loves that sweet little Hermana and her family. We were led to that house to bless and comfort her in her time of need. Of that, I have no doubt. 

For me, this was nothing short of a miracle and a reminder that God is directing the work and every setback or trial has a purpose. It was amazing to me and in reality I still can't really believe that it happened, but it did and I cannot deny it. I am so glad that God directs this work and that He is a God of Miracles. This work is true. 

Now, about my email title.....
Something I have really been focusing on this last month is maturity and love. To be straight forward, its this, every time I do anything lately I think about you mom. I think about what you would say to me. If I ever think about something or am wondering if I should do something or not, I would wonder about you and think to myself "What Would my Mom Say." Whether it's something dumb, like should I say this joke or not? Or if it was...should I listen to this or not? Or should I do this or not? Whenever there is a thought from satan to be disobedient or to do something unworthy of myself, I think of you and what you would tell me if you were standing right next to me. My mind always thinks, "what would mom say"! And I'll tell you what!...It has made my life tremendously easier. I haven't had to worry about whether what I was doing was good or bad because I always knew what my mom would say. "Yes ren, that's okay." or "no ren, thats ridiculous"!! I love it. Thanks mom! You are still my mom even out here. I'm so thankful for you. I'm also so grateful for all the service you had me do before I left for my mission. I know I didn't act like I liked it, but it had a huge impact on my life. Going everyday with you to serve at the child crisis center was so hard and I didn't want to do it most of the time, but I couldn't help but feel grateful for all the blessings I've been given after spending time with those kids who had nothing and no one. I am so blessed. Thanks for making me do that. I love you mom!

So, a month ago my mom said that what she really wanted for Mother's Day was for me to pray about someone I could do extra service for. Something separate from my service as a missionary. She wanted me to look around me, pray about it, and do a random act of service on my own. 
So, I don't know if this is what you had in mind but here we go. I have also been working on my charity and patience. Especially with my comp. My mom doesn't know any of this because I'm the "suffer in silence" kind of guy, but these past couple of months have been really hard with my comp! We have argued A LOT and I have been close to strangling him many times. My patience has been tried A LOT these last 2 transfers, because I was just hoping that one of us would get transferred so I wouldn't have to deal with him anymore. And I have no doubt that he felt the exact same way towards me. I'm stubborn and have many qualities that probably drive my comp crazy! Don't get me wrong though, there were days and sometimes even weeks that it was the complete opposite and we have been closer than any two people can be, but it has been a very slow progression with us.  But, after I read your email a couple of weeks ago about serving someone, I immediately thought of My comp. I didn't even have to pray about it. It came to my mind immediately and I decided to change our companionship. I knew I couldn't change him. But, I COULD change myself!
I was tired of being miserable and angry all the time and I just wanted us to work unified and be happy. So I made the decision to not care about who was right or who wasn't and to stop focusing on the things that bothered me about my comp. Instead, I would just look at the good, important qualities of Elder ****. Basically, I was trying to look at him with Christlike eyes instead of my dumb mortal eyes. As I did this, I saw, in him, a great missionary. I saw someone who has and will do lots of great things in Buenos Aires. And  I saw someone who will do great things in the church in the future. What a difference this has made! We have been such a unified unit lately and missionary work with him has been such a joy, it's unbelievable. 

Something special that happened between us as well is that we were talking one night and he told me that I have been his comp longer than any other companionship throughout his whole mission, by a large amount. He also said that I had had the most patience with him than any other elder he had served with before and though we argued sometimes, he thought we had a really good companionship and that he had learned alot from me about patience and humility. I told him he was a great missionary and a great example for me and I was happy to be his companion. This is something that would've been so hard and nearly impossible for me to say a few weeks ago. But because my mom had challenged me to be of service to someone and Heavenly Father had put it in my heart that I needed to serve and love my companion, right then in that moment, saying those things to Elder ***** was something easy and a pleasure to say and was the truth from my heart. I learned a great lesson. The more you serve someone, the more you grow to love them. When you let go of pride and the natural man and try to see someone like Christ would see them, it's impossible not to have your heart and mind changed...for the better. 

Happy Mother's Day! See you over Skype on Sunday!

Elder Ren Porter

Elder Rojas, Garardo (our recent convert), Nefi (his son), and me

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