This week we've seen lots of ups and downs with Isabel in her personal progression. Monday started out with her having little confidence in herself and having a greater need to increase her faith. In her life, she has never really ever participated in a religion, so this is all new to her and she never really had to do anything "hard" as far as spiritual things are concerned; in other words, she has ever really had to show her faith in the way that she is having to show it now. So it's been quite an experience.
A day later when we went to see how she was doing, she said that we were losing time with her because she wouldn't be able to change. I asked her if she felt that way because she didn't want to continue or if she just thought that it was a hard path to follow. She responded that it was hard. We told her that it is hard, but it isn't impossible.
So we've still been teaching her and she came to church last Sunday too. Now she is down to one cigarette a day when she used to smoke anywhere from six to fifteen a day. She wants to be baptized, but quiting smoking is proving harder than expected.
On Thusday we were walking down the street when we saw a man sitting outside and decided to talk to him. We chatted for a while and started talking more about the Church and eventually he confided in us that his wife had died exactly one month ago that very day. We shared about the plan of salvation and the Book of Mormon.
We set an appointment to see him again to talk about the importance of the Book of Mormon and how it helps us in life to understand what God's plans are for us in the earth. I shared this scripture with him to help him understand,
"For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal" (1 Nephi 14:7)
We talked about how the Book of Mormon offers peace and understanding and how he can apply it in his own life.
On Friday we had a Priesthood conference for all the Priesthood holders in Chiloe, Paraguay, Argentina, and Urugauy that we lead by some seventies and Elder M. Russell Ballard. It went really well and Elder Ballard gave a really good talk that was actually really spiritual and funny at the same time. It was so unexpected to him that the elder next me turned over and asked, "Why is this so casual?"
Elder Ballard was talking about what we are doing with our time and he said, "All of the things that we work so hard to have - the car, the house, the computer - can't go with us when we pass on to the spirit world; I guess that you could put them in the casket with you, but by the time that you resurrect it will already be way outdated anyway. The only thing that we get to take with us is our friends and families if we are sealed to them in the House of the Lord."
P.S. Sorry this is short, we had a meeting yesterday that didn't leave us time to write, so we're in a bit of a hurry today.