Wednesday, March 17, 2010

persistence pays...

Dear Family,

I hope that all of you are doing well and enjoying the springtime over there. I think that the season we call spring does not exist here. It became very hot and sultry rather quickly, I am not sure that the weather here is much different than Chennai. But luckily the heat only adds to the fire of the work that our zone is experiencing.

This week was sad in that we lost a few of the families we were working with. Sister Lakshmi and her family were compelled to discontinue their investigation by the father. His name is Ramakrishna, their family is pure Hindu and it seems that he got scared because of some opposition they were facing. So he asked us not to come back anymore. Those other sisters, the ones we found because they had the picture of Jesus Christ outside their door, also dropped off. Their Father decided to harden his heart and insisted that we never return to his home. Elder Ward and I felt very bad. It really hurt when these families asked us not to come back. I have realized that my hurt was not because I felt that they didn’t like me or anything. It was because they were not willing to accept the message of the restored gospel. In 3 Nephi it talks about the 3 nephites and how they would not suffer- save it be sorrow for the sins of the world. In these experiences I am beginning to understand what that phrase means.

Don’t worry though! All is not lost. We have been working with Pushpa’s mother recently. She does not speak much English and at first we didn’t take her seriously. She is Roman Catholic and told us that she wouldn’t come to our church. But she would always tease her neighbors and tell them that they should come to our church. Then out of nowhere she decided to start coming to our church. I guess she saw the changes in her daughter prompted her to do it, but she has been coming to church the past three weeks. She knows it is true. Yesterday she told us that her parents and other family members were hassling her and telling her not to leave their church. She told them that she had been attending that church since she was a little girl and had never felt the spirit. She proceeded to tell them that she had never felt the influence of the spirit more distinctly than when she attended our church. I am learning not to doubt the power of the church commitment.

After church on Sunday we invited a member, Santosh, to go on an exchange with us. We planned to visit about 5 potential families. Each of the families refused us, claiming no interest in Jesus Christ. Santosh said the following. “Man, I always thought that missionary work was easy, but now I realize that it is hard!” Anyway he had the faith to stick with us to visit the last potential. It was a non-member referral we had received a few days before. Her name was Divya and she was there at her home and willing to let us in. It just so happened that she was extremely prepared to receive the message. She was so interested and Elder Ward and I were blown away by her understanding and desire to learn. We gave her the soft baptismal commitment and she accepted! It was nice for Santosh to see the how missionary work really is. How faith and diligence really do produce miracles. We felt very blessed.

I love you all. Have a good week!
Elder Tuscano

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