As requested by my mother, I will take this time to let you in on some more details of what it is really like to be a missionary with simple experiences during the day with your companion.
So, here goes:
Elder Hernandez and I get up. It's still dark out. Still hot. Get ready. Study. Gets more hot. Perfect. Go outside. Sun. Walk to lessons saying hi to everyone and stopping people as much as possible and talking to them.
That is a bit of a weeding out process to try to find people that are willing to at least do a little bit of what you ask them to do (read the scriptures, pray, go to church). Eventually you find someone who at least says they might. Go to their house. Three examples from this week.
Eulalia (Lala). Mother of 3 teenage girls. Catholic Primary teacher. "I believe in the Bible nothing else, but talk to me." We talk to her quite a bit and she almost denies just about everything. We repeat everything EXTRA slow and get her to agree that, yes, indeed, prophets are important. We read from the Bible a bit, she says, "Oh, that's neat." We say the same thing even more clearly and more dircect from the Book of Mormon..."I don't get it." Not the first person to act dumb... Wrote in my journal, "Ignorance is one of Satan's strongest links to hell." She ended up denying it all and told us she would never ask God about our church in prayer. To top it off she is the first person to tell me that Joseph Smith was actually an apostate Catholic...
Paulino. 60 year old man. Retired Presbyterian Missionary/Singer. Stroke affected his throat. Now converted Dentist without patients. Said hi to him and he seemed to not have anyone else to talk to. Said he already had a Book of Mormon. Randomly stops our conversation to sing a worldly song he wrote about Jesus as everyone passes by on the main road. We try to talk more so he doesn't try to sing again. He sings again. Leave him some reading assignments in the Book of Mormon and go back the next day. He read! He said he believes it! We challenge him to follow his testimony and get baptized. He stops us and tells us in a slow stern tone: "I will never change my religion." We ask, "Not even if God told you that what we are saying to you is true?" With a blank stare he replies, "No." So, before he starts singing again, we try to get out and not waste too much more time.
Janet and Eduardo. Recently married. Daughter of 2 months. Leave a Family Proclamation to the World with her and set an appointment to go back to her house when her husband is home. Go back the next day. Get chairs out. Sit down. The husband says: "I have nothing to say to you. I recieve you as human beings with the education that my parents taught me, but I will hear nothing about your religion." Ok... Well, "Is there anything we can do for you?" To which he replies, "I think it's better if you just leave."
And, so now I would assume you know why I don't share many stories of what we do. But when you do find someone that is interested and willing like we have with two others, there is nothing better than seeing them excell and seeing the power of God work in them and their families.
I think the best think that we can learn from this is to see that if God really did tell you to change something, would you do it? Would you be willing to follow? I will say one thing, if you do not read the scriptures, you are not a follower of Christ, you are a follower of someone else. Trust not what you may hear, trust rather what you know and what you have felt.
"Don't compare yourself with other christians, compare yourself with Christ; he is the only one you follow."
So, take the time in your life to let the Lord soften your hearts that you may be willing always to do all that he would ask of you. Only then can you be confident that the Lord is on your side.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?