It was an eventful week! We were in Huaráz to start the week, doing interviews and the zone conference there. President Rios was really nice and took us to a neighboring city, Carhuaz, to taste the famous ice cream. It honestly didn't meet my expectations after ALL I had heard about it, but it was tasty nonetheless haha. The highlights of those trips are honestly the meals; we ate lunch on the way up and the way back in a little restaurant on the beach called "Costa Azul." It's completely unnoticeable but President always eats there while making the Huaráz trip, and again, it was also really good! A little meal called "Chicarron de pescado." On the way back we stopped to do interviews in Chimbote and I was in the Bellamar church building for the last time! I was able to stop by a few converts in Bellamar before coming back to Trujillo, and even though only one was home, it was still good to be back and at least knock on their doors again!
That Wednesday night, Laura passed her baptismal interview! There was a huge amount of opposition between the interview and baptismal service, and we were almost ready to call it off because of external forces making her life pretty difficult! However, she told us she wanted to do it anyway, and after praying with her the morning of her baptism, she even told us she was feeling the same excitement she had felt before! President Rios attended the baptism and gave a little 5 minute message of encouragement to the two recent converts, and I played the piano on a super-improvised "He Sent His Son." The Relief Society president had the confidence to just jump up there and pop out a solo without it even being on the program, so props to her on that one haha!
We played soccer with the Trujillo North Mission office this morning. Their president is gone on temporary leave for his health, so they have Elder Wilson Calderon serving as interim-president type of deal. He's a past mission president and current seventy, and was right out there on the court playing with us!
I love John 10. I was reading a bit this past week about sheep and the good shepherd. At one point, the Savior says, "Ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep," I bet there are many people who think or assume that they are one of His sheep, when maybe in reality they aren't! What are the characteristics of one of the Redeemer's sheep??
- "The sheep hear his voice"
- "The sheep follow him"
- "They know his voice"
- "A stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers."
- "I...am known of mine."
It's an interesting list to me! The real sheep of Christ hear his voice by dedicating time to the study of the scriptures and general conference talks, attending church meetings and listening to leaders' counsel, following promptings of Holy Ghost, etc. They follow Him through baptism, emulating his example, partaking of the sacrament, loving and trusting Him, and doing His work, amidst other things. They know His voice and recognize that the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price contain His word just as does the Bible! They also recognize and act upon the impressions of the Holy Ghost. They don't follow strangers, nor do they know their voice. They don't dedicate too much time to needless things; they don't heed the voices in the great and spacious building; they aren't carried about be trends in fashion or style; they avoid any thing that will diminish their faith in the Savior. They know the Savior! They have a correct understanding of Him, His work, His gospel, His church, and His plan! I want to be one of His sheep!! After identifying the qualities of the sheep, my invitation might be to study John 10 and look at the qualities and actions of the shepherd! It makes for yet another interesting list! My favorite is this: "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand."
Well, I love you all! Have a wonderful week!!
Elder Tanner Hart