Link to Ether 12:6 (title of this week's letter)
That scripture is an accurate description of this week. It has been difficult. We have had so much success for the last couple of weeks. This week, we've been seeing the very literal application of a Law that every missionary is familiar with: the Pre-Baptism Trials.
The Pre-Baptism Trials (PBTs) go like this: an investigator has been progressing, and has accepted a baptism date. They want to be baptized, they believe (and some already know) that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one true church of Christ on the face of the planet. Up to this point, everything has been going well for the investigator. But as their baptism date approaches, something changes. Like magic, problems start popping up. The circumstances are different for every investigator. Some have family members suddenly turn very negative about them joining the church. Others have personal or family emergencies that make it difficult or nearly impossible to keep meeting with us. Some of them hear or read things that attack the church, and that sows doubt in their mind. Some poor souls pass through multiple PBTs No matter who it is, the PBTs always come.
We've seen the start of the pre-baptism trials with several of our baptism dates in this week. But, as much as the adversary wants to use that to discourage us, to lower our ánimo (translation: spirit or soul), we're not letting that happen. This is why...
There is a corrolary to the Law of the Pre-Baptism Trials, the 1 Corinthians 10:13 Corrolary. In layman's terms, God tries their faith before their baptism, but the trial can always be overcome. He is testing whether these people really want to be baptized or not, not so that He can be sure about it, but so that they are sure about it.
As a missionary it's a bit difficult to see these people go through trials. We really care about our investigators. Some of them are like family to us. But the trials that come are like the refiner's fire. They purge out the little impurities that all of us have, so that we can be better. I know that my investigators will come out of these trials better than they were before. Some of them will choose to stop progressing, but others will keep on moving onward and upward. I can't help but remember the counsel of the Lord to Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer in Doctrine and Covenants 18:15. It is all worth it. All the good, all the bad, and everything in between is worth it, because we are bringing souls unto God
Have a good week!
Elder Colton West
El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission
Editor's Note: Ether 12:6 is Colton's mission scripture that he chose for himself before he left. Every missionary that serves chooses a scripture which is engraved on a plaque a long with their name, their mission name & dates and a picture. The plaque hangs in their home ward building during the time they are gone. It is then presented to them when they return home. I'm so grateful for this week's beautiful testimony of a scripture that is so dear to him. And thankful for such a great letter since the only picture we got this week was of his feet!
|I didn't take many pictures this week. But I did find|
some awesome socks in Walmart, of all places!