I'm starting to feel really old now. But whatever. The misión that I knew at the beginning is not the same misión that I know now.
This week has been fairly good. We've been working more on getting every single área to have many fechas and prepare many of their investigators to be baptized. This week, I had the opportunity to go and do divisions with one of the áreas that don't normally get divisions from Zone Leaders. I went with Elder Mora, from Costa Rica, and we went and put some new fechas there. In the last visit of the night, I will remember that lesson as maybe one of the most powerful and spiritual moments of my misión. I simply shared my testimony and shared the thoughts that I had had about the Book of Mormon and our relationship with God. I have never seen a family pay attention to me or my words like they did.
We had a Stake Conference here as well, which was very special, because President Crapo came. There he shared a story about his father-in-law whose name was Max, who joined the Navy and very quickly noticed that the other boys who had joined the Navy used very bad language to try and appear more manly, etc. Max did not like that, so he talked to the other trainees about it one night and made a bet with them- they had a month to try and correct their language, and if they could do it, Max would make all their beds and clean up after them for a week. Every time they said a curse word they would mark the palm of their hand with a black pen. The other trainees liked the bet, so they accepted.
The first week passed by and many of the boys' hands were absolutely stained black. With the passing days, the boys would help each other to correct their language. Week 2 passed, and they didn't have as many marks. Week 3, even less. At last, the last day of the month came. All the boys presented their hands to Max perfectly clean, except one, whose name was Bob. Bob had his hands shamefully hidden in his pockets, and when the boys asked him how he had done, he pulled his hands out of his pockets, still stained black with marks.
Max won the bet, most of the boys cleaned up their language, and, after the training was finished, they were sent to different ship companies and to the war.
Bob was very affected by the experience of being the only boy who couldn’t stop swearing. After a year passed, the war continued, but the Navy had a reunión so that all those who had trained together could reunite and talk a bit. While at the reunión, Bob saw Max and came running, shouting his name. Max, surprised, gave him a hug and asked him how he was doing. Bob pulled his hands out of his pockets and showed them to Max. There was not one mark left.
"Max, Look! My hands are clean!"
I personally loved that story. We are all here to change some part of our nature to prepare ourselves to meet God. Some may take more time than others, but a true sincerity of heart is what really matters in repentance.
Ask yourselves today, "How strong is your desire to change?" And also ask yourself, "What is the change that God wants me to make?"
Love you lots!
Elder Jeffrey Reed