Another week, another bunch of crazy things to write about. First off, we had a pupusa eating contest this week. 3 of the 6 elders in our district participated. We each had a stack of 20 pupusas to try to eat. None of us could finish. I maxed out at 14, beating my companion by half of a pupusa. Elder Frey won with 16. It was a fun experience, but I'm never ever doing that again unless I think I can win!
This last week we have learned the importance of working with members. One day we went to teach a few lessons with a member and ended up getting 10 references in 2 hours, and we also found 2 new investigators. There are a couple of people in the branch here who know almost everyone in town. Those two are such a blessing to us!
We also had a crazy contrast between two days this week. On Friday we had what I call a "trial of your faith" kind of day. We had a short work day because we had gone to do a service project right after lunch. We didn't get to work until 3:30pm, so we were counting on our set appointments for us to have people to teach. Every single one of our appointments fell through. And the backup appointments fell through. We walked from one side of our area to the other, and nobody answered their door. We got home at the end of the day absolutely exhausted, and with no results from our efforts.
In our planning that night we decided to set our goals for the next day high, and to change up what we were going to do. We had a goal from the Assistants to the Mission President to have a day last week with 7 new investigators. Saturday was the day we picked to work for that goal. We prayed Friday night and Saturday morning for assistance with that goal. And we had the best day of work we've had in weeks! We taught 7 lessons and found 6 new investigators, and another 9 references.
The lesson to be learned here is that prayer works. Some of you already know that. Some of you may have doubts, or may not believe in prayer. I would be failing in my duty as a missionary if I didn't bear testimony of the power of prayer. I know that it works. I've watched it work in my life, and in the life of others. You may not get the answer you want. You may not get your answer the way you want to get it. But you will always get the answer that you need, in the way that you need it, if you have the faith to receive an answer and act on it.
Now you're probably wondering what the title of the email is about. It is about a miracle. We have an investigator named Cristian (see photo below). He's 22 years old, and is paraplegic from a spinal cord injury. About a month and a half ago, he asked for a blessing of healing. He had the faith to ask people who have the authority to bless in the name of Jesus Christ to bless him. My companion, Elder Hood, gave the blessing. He didn't promise healing, but he was directed by the Spirit to promise Cristian that he would be able to walk again. This week, we watched that blessing be fulfilled. Cristian has a set of leg braces that go high enough onto his hips that he can stand, and he can walk with a walker. His steps are ungraceful and unbalanced, but he can walk. He has been praying, and so have we, for the last two months for this blessing to be fulfilled. It has. Not in a grand manner that would negate the need for faith, but in a way that demonstrates that the Lord fulfills his promises while still requiring us to have faith.
Elder Colton West
El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission
|Cristian, standing! (center)|
|A mountain of pupusas|
Lots of people here have these little parakeets. Most of them are nice.
This one got scared by the flash of my camera and pooped on my shirt.