LETTERS FROM HOME
Anziano Joshua Pinnock
Mom, this is one of the best letters that you have ever given me. It was a good long size, you talked about home a little bit, and you finished with a great gospel principle. Thank you so much.
This last week has been great for us. We were able to meet with more of our investigators and they are doing great. The best part is that Desmond is being baptized this week so thanks for the prayers and guess what else? He asked me to baptize him so that is the best!
I will actually be able to use those white pants that we bought before my mission with the white tie! He is so happy and we couldn't be happier for him. He is trying super hard to turn his life around and I know that it will happen. He asked us to teach him Italian because he knows that he can't do much in ITALY if he doesn't know ITALIAN. So we have been doing that and even though its slow he is learning so thats good.
We have asked basically every member in the ward who speaks english and who has a big family to come and help out with the baptism so there should be a big turn out with the members which is what he needs most of all right now.
My companion and I have also been able to meet with a lot of people not attending church and we hope that they will have a bigger desire to come to church from here on out.
With that my week has been summed up. We are both just as happy as can be with this baptism and are loving Verona. Its going to be a bittersweet day when I have to leave Verona. Sad because it will be like saying bye to my home again and all the friends that I made here but also happy because I will be able to go to new places and meet new people.
Also I just want to tell you something about what I have noticed. In about all of my prayers, journal entries and talking with members the word "I" has died for the most part. This is what I think one of the best things about the mission is. It makes you think about “we” or “you" and not "I". There are missionaries that use the word "I" a lot but they don't seem to learn as much.
Was thinking last week on the 24th that I am already a fourth of the way done with my mission and it was super strange. I still have a lot more to do but that half a year went super fast. Have a great week. See you all in two…haha…one and a half years. Josh
Part of Laura’s (mom's) letter to her missionaries…
I want to share with you an insight I received lately. We attended a church meeting on Friday night and partaking of the Sacrament was discussed. Each week we: 1) eat in remembrance of the body of Jesus Christ; 2) witness unto God that we are willing to take upon us the name of his son; 3) promise to always remember Him, and; 4) keep his commandments which he hath given, that we may always have his Spirit to be with us.
So if we partake, remember, witness, covenant, and keep his commandments we can have the Spirit to be with us. And the Spirit prompts us to do the right thing. To keep more and more commandments. The ones that are hardest for us. The ones that will keep us progressing the fastest. Because our goal is to become more and more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The speaker asked what did it mean to ‘keep the commandments?’ He was pretty funny and was like 'good for me, I didn't kill anyone today, I kept that commandment’ but because that commandment isn't a challenge for him it isn't the commandment he is being prompted by the Holy Ghost to keep. Maybe for someone else but not for him.
I am like the speaker - killing people isn't a temptation for me so I’m not prompted by the Holy Ghost to keep that commandment. However, I am trying to have meaningful scripture study every day and to complete some goals I’ve made so those are the commandments the Holy Ghost is prompting me to keep.
To take this idea further, today our Sunday School lesson was on returning to live with our Heavenly Father. We should always be moving forward on the path in becoming more like him. It doesn't matter where we are on the path as long as we are actually on the path and moving forward.
Sin stops us from moving forward (If we sin and don’t repent we are damned and the word ‘damn' essentially means ’to stop or hold back’). In Spanish the word ‘sin’ means ‘without’. In other words, if I’m not killing people that’s great but less important to me personally because that’s not the commandment which is difficult for me to keep.
Even though I might be keeping a lot of commandments I still might not be progressing forward. So I am sinning.
Sinning can be the act of living our lives without doing the right things. A sin of omission rather than a sin of commission.
Our Heavenly Father knows each of his children personally and he uses the Holy Ghost to prompt us daily as to the commandments we need to keep which will help us progress.
When I am partaking of the Sacrament every week I am promising to keep the commandments which are specifically mine so that the Spirit can be with me to continue to prompt me in the right direction.
So, listen to the Spirit prompt you. What commandment is specifically yours? Obey that commandment and you will be progressing towards greater joy and eternal life.
Hermana Sarah Pinnock
This week was a solid one! I´m loving it everyday! My new companion is a champ..... and I can´t help but think that I`m so lucky because I´m meeting the most solid humans in the world! We are all so different but our testimonies and willingness to serve the Lord is what is holding us together!
We have some new investigatores who are really solid. The first is Roberto... he is kind of this hippy, long haired, praise Jesus kind of guy. He kills but he accepted a fecha for the 22nd of Feb. I´m worried his spirit is a little too free and he will just kind of float around but for right now our hopes are high and he is loving to learn all that we have to teach.
The second is Nora. She has nine kids and went to church this Sunday and loved it!!! It was the best because everyone in the ward just loved her. The bishop took her into his office to talk and bore his testimony and the relief society president gave her a ride to and from church.
Everyone in this ward is so excited to help and so loving..I´m super lucky!
We do a lot of knocking on doors because we are both new... we get lots of slams but its interesting because it is always in the last hour of working that we find a new investigator.
Heavenly Father really has been carrying us and leading us to some really awesome families!
Yesterday a man invited us in to talk to him and his mother and that was a joke. He turned out to be the priest of a local church and the whole time was trying to trap us but in the end he looked awkward and we looked like two missionaries called by God. It took all my strength to kill him with love instead of just killing him.
Anyways great week but one thing... I was studying the story of the prophet Moses. It´s interesting because when he saw Heavenly Father for the first time and was commanded to go into Egypt he said something along the lines of "how am I supposed to do this? I´m not strong enough." Then Heavenly Father said "fear not for I will be with thee".
I thought it was interesting how Heavenly Father didn't try to give him any kind of confidence boost but instead said that he would be with him. I loved this because honestly I´m not any kind of qualified teacher.... I don't understand Argentines, they don´t understand me, my knowledge is limited, and let’s be honest this list could go on and on but I learned that I really do have a Heavenly Father who loves me tons!... I´m a lucky lucky girl.
Bridging that gap between me and Him is full of the best surprises.... every night when I pray I feel that gap getting smaller... and then I pass out.... and then it´s another day.... and I enjoy it.