This has been a great week. We have been working hard. I feel really blessed because I was able to see Hermana Males! On Tuesday we went all the way across Cochabamba to teach in a Zone meeting. It happened to be Hermana Males’ Zone and she had no idea we were coming. It was a fun surprise and her face was priceless. It was so good to see her after 4 months. Then on Saturday we had exchanges with her and her companion. Hermana Males came here to my area with me. It was so fun. She is becoming an incredible missionary. She talks to everyone, she is obedient, and she knows how to teach with the spirit. I don’t know how I was so blessed to train her.
So, while we were on our exchanges we were teaching an older lady, named Maria, outside of her tienda. While we were teaching, another lady came up to us dressed in a skirt and a sun hat. Who else dresses like we do besides.... a Jehovah’s Witness. What a great surprise. She sat down right between Hermana Males and I. She told us that she has also been teaching Maria. We welcomed her right in and we continued to teach. At first I was a little nervous, but then I thought to myself, “why?”. I am a called and chosen missionary of the Lord Jesus Christ. I thought of the story in the Book of Mormon when Alma, his sons and the brothers of Mosiah went to the land of the Zoramites. When they arrived they found the people had misunderstood the teachings of the Lord. They were worshipping in a way so different from how the Lord had commanded. Alma and those with him took on the daunting task of correcting them in their wickedness and changing their hearts. They taught humility and reminded them of the true meaning of the scriptures. These missionaries were firm and filled with the spirit. In that moment I knew their experiences had become my own and it was my turn to teach as they did. I began to ask this lady about herself and her life, just like I have done with everyone I’ve met for the past 17 months. She began to ask me about my life and I began to share. As we continued she started arguing gospel principles. She started asking questions such as, “Where in the Bible does it say…..?” Those questions could have gone on for hours. Instead Hermana Males and me directed our attention to the hermana whom we had come to visit. She looked at us and told us that she is confused about which church is true, because there are so many, and they all seem to teach different principles. And at that moment it was very evident how true her statement was. We felt impressed to speak of prayer. We asked the Jehovah’s Witness if she would open her Bible and read Santiago 1:5 (I don’t remember his name in English at this moment). She read it aloud and for a moment even began teaching with us the importance of prayer. I was a little caught off guard. We shared our testimonies that prayer is the answer. God is our loving father; He will answer us if we seek him. We are not here to talk badly of other churches, to persuade unjustly. We are simply here as representatives of Jesus Christ to help people use their agency the way the Lord intended and to act for themselves in receiving answers. None of us can endure on borrowed light, we must have our own. That Jehovah’s Witness may have wondered how we as "Mormon Missionaries" have such great success. I hope she received an answer that afternoon. There was nothing for her to argue, it is basic truth that we all need no matter to what church we belong. We ended with a prayer and left, but only to the next house where we had another lesson. :)
I don’t know if I handled that situation the way the Lord would have if he were here, I hope so. It’s always a thought that runs through my mind at the end of everyday. But, I have received so much comfort in the words spoken by Elder Holland, when he said, "The great thing about the gospel is that we get credit for trying even if we don’t always succeed." I am trying to serve as the Lord would have me do. I still have much to learn. I have often felt the burden that there is so little time to learn so much, what a heavy feeling that is. But, I feel as though Elder Holland was speaking to me. He gave me the comfort in knowing that the Lord will do wonders with me whether here in Bolivia or at home.
I love you, I pray for you and I hope the very best for each of you.
Love, Hermana Lomax
|My daughter in the mission, Hermana Males.|
|Peanut Butter & Oreos!|
|I was finally able to get Paola to take a picture with me. :)|