Hey Everyone! =D
I was a little bugged that yet again this change I was going to have to wait until Wednesday to write you all, but it was for a good reason as Monday was Zona Amatitlan`s combined Zone Conference with the two coastal zones. We had a great experience and were given a lot of new instruction in order to achieve a few new goals that President Baldwin has set for the Mission Guatemala City Central for the coming year. To fill you all in on the biggest change/goal he has set for us, I`ll have to give you a little bit of background. The Central Mission, for the last 6-8 years has had a pretty steady legacy of success in baptisms to the amount of about 1000-1100 baptisms per year. President Baldwin has received the spiritual impression that it is time to change that even trend. He has based his new expectations on the scriptoral account of the Sons of Mosiah and their success among their brothers, the Lamanites. I don't have the scripture reference on hand, but there is a verse in Mosiah that talks about the fruits of the labor of the Sons of Mosiah. They, through their faith on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and their hard labors were able to baptize THOUSANDS among the Lamanites, the same people who I have the opportunity to teach today in Guatemala. President Baldwin wants us, as a mission, to meet that standard. Instead of baptizing ONE thousand per year, in the year 2010, President Baldwin wants to work towards a goal of reaching 2010 baptisms, effectively doubling our success as a mission. We were all very excited and even a little bit nervous about this goal, but the general consensus is that we CAN and we MUST reach this goal. I`ve learned through my studies that one of the main purposes of the Missionary Work as a whole is to speedily prepare the world for the Second Coming of Christ. That calls for a steady, exponential increase in the world-wide baptism rate and success in the missions of the Church. We cannot be content with holding strong at 1000 souls a year. We MUST do better, especially if we would like to see the face of the Savior return to His Earth before our bodies are laid to wait, in the grave, for the Resurrection. So there ya go, the great work of MY personal mission is to help my field of proselyting reach the goal of baptizing THOUSANDS. President Baldwin has assured us that if each companionship, each month, will baptize one family of souls, we will all reach this beautiful goal. You asked me to recount to you a little miracle that I`ve seen in my mission this week, but I found that THIS miracle is much too grand to be classified as ¨little¨. =P
I know in my heart that this is the Lord`s will and I will do my very best to bring it to pass. As a preparatory month of practice and learning, this month of October, Elder Child and I hope to baptize TWO families. The Lopez Family is progressing wonderfully. They came to church this week and loved it. The only challenges that they face is finding work for Hno. Otto, getting Sunday off for their Mother, and keeping the Word of Wisdom. I say ¨their ONLY¨ challenges because I now know that through faith (which they all have =P) truly ALL things are easily possible. MY faith is growing with theirs. I hope YOUR faith can grow with mine. And I hope that ALL our faith will help bring to pass the finishing of this great work. This Church will fill the Earth, and Christ will reign personally thereon. I am sure of it. The only thing that I can do is work as hard as I can to help it come to pass in MY lifetime (which I would love to see, rather badly)! =D
I was so excited to hear about all the family news and to know that, although we all pass through trials of faith and strength, my family can and WILL come out on top of it all, and before rejoicing in themselves, recognize the Hand of our Heavenly Father in all things. Keep working on making your perspective eternal, because we really are a Forever Family. I`ve entered the Mountain of the Lord, the Holy Temple, and I know for certain that my family was sealed by the only authority powerful to do so in this world, the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ. I am more and more grateful each day for the moment that I knelt at a Temple altar across from my parents and my sister, and we were locked together, our futures and lives intricately intertwined for eternity. I still remember that moment every-so-clearly and I hope that all these families I teach and baptize in Guatemala will have the same opportunity after being faithful and sufficiently strong to endure and enter the doors of the Temple worthily. Unfortunately I know that many people will and always have used their free agency to choose the opposite path, but I know that through faith we can acheive all things. I love you all and hope to hear from you soon. I have sent a handwritten letter to my family, which should get to you in a couple weeks. I hope you enjoy it, and feel free to type it up and post it for all to see. =) Pictures are coming soon too, so get excited. About 230 are on their way for your veiwing pleasure. =D
Next week is changes and I hope that I will not have to change my companion OR my area, but God`s will be done and not my own. This means that it`s possible that I wont be able to write again until next Wednesday. However, if you hear from me on Monday, it means that I got my wish and I have stayed exactly where I want to be, La Sonora for another 6 weeks. I hope to hear all sorts of quirky, fun, or serious news next week, so keep me posted. I love you and miss you every day. Take care. Until next week...
-Elder Preston William Tucker