Elder Carter's Argentinian Mission

for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – all comments sent to Jared!

Rule #37: You can’t do it alone!

April18

As each great week passes by, another fantastic one comes!  I am starting to see a pattern emerging!  I love being a missionary!  We received yet another miracle this week.  It came after lots of hard work but was definitely worth it.

I would love to say that the hard work was needed . . . but it was actually unnecessary*.  We started the week like any other week.  We were excited and had a clean slate.  We wanted to achieve all of our goals and diligently set off.

The first five days passed by and we searched every single day for people to teach.  We knocked for hours and all we had to show for it was a couple of investigators.  We were devastated.  We had gone through all of the actions that we (in our own strength and knowledge) knew how to do, yet we could only achieve a quarter of our weekly goal.

I didn’t know what we were missing.  We worked hard . . . we were obedient . . . we knew the best approaches . . . yet it still wasn’t working.  Finally it hit me!  We never asked for help!  It seemed like something that was so simple!  Something that I had been doing my whole mission, and yet this week I decided to go out with my own strength.

We decided to pray.  We stopped in the street and asked our Heavenly Father where we should go.  Afterward, we stopped and listened to the whisperings of the Spirit.  Do you want to know the truth?  I didn’t hear any voices and nothing came to mind.

I turned to my companion and asked where we should go.  He pointed down the street and said, “Let’s try that house on the corner of the next block.”  We went and knocked the house.  The father opened the door and we could see his entire family behind him.  We presented ourselves and asked if we could come in.  He said that he wanted to hear from us but we came a bit late because he was leaving.  He asked us to come by at another time and we set up the appointment.  As we were walking away from the house, I saw a door on another corner a little ways up the hill.  I wanted to go there next and asked my companion if it was okay.  He agreed and off we went.  As we neared the door my heart sank.  It wasn’t a home at all . . . it was a business.  I said that we should knock the next door down.  We went over and clapped the door.  As we were waiting, a teenage boy came out of the business that we had just skipped over.  He asked us if we wanted to talk to him and we explained that we would love that.  He took us into his family’s business and we asked if the rest of his family was there.  They came out and we taught them about Joseph Smith.

We continued praying for direction and continued having the same success.  Much of it took effort on our part, but the load was much lighter.  That small miracle opened my eyes.  I never realized how much God was supporting us as we worked!  When we decided to trust in ourselves, our work went up in smoke.  When we worked with His help, we found those who were prepared to hear us as we worked diligently to find them.

I know that our Heavenly Father wants to help us in everything that we are doing.  We still need to work, but the scriptures make it clear that we should plead for help in all of our labors – spiritual and temporal.  Heavenly Father wants our success more then we do.  It is hard to imagine, but I know that it is true.  We just need to do our part and he will make up the rest if we ask and trust in Him.

I hope that you all have a great week!  I love you all so much!  Thank you all so much for all of your letters, support, and prayers.  Stay strong!

Love,
Elder Carter

*Here I say that our work was “unnecessary”.  That is because of the way we worked not the work itself.  It is always necessary to show our faith through our works before we can expect a miracle.  The difference here is that we were working alone instead of with the help of the Lord.  Although we can labor alone, it normally turns up fruitless and frustrates us and our Father in Heaven.

Chijra Hike
P.S.  Here is a picture from our hike today.  We hiked up a trail above our apartment and we could see all of San Salvador de Jujuy.  Behind us is Centro and some of the rest of the city.  Pictured are (back, left to right) Luis, Elder Carrillo, Elder Kingsford, Me, Elder Singer, German, (and in front) Fernanda with her daughter Viki (like my mom!).

posted under Pictures, Weekly Letters

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