Tuesday, January 30, 2018

JANUARY 30, 2018

Well, this week I have transfers!

So I finished training Elder do Carmo, from Brasil, and now I am going to be with, Elder Portillo, from Corrientes, Argentina. He has been serving for four and a half months in the mission. We are in the area Nogal, the richest part of Bogotá, and the hardest area in my mission. I had to say goodbye again to my life, to all the people I knew, and packed my bags from 10 pm til 1 am on Sunday, then on Monday, at 10:45 am, my bus left from Bucaramanga, and we got to Bogotá at about 9:20 pm. So it was a pretty long day of traveling. 

In Cumbre, last week we had some crazy miracles happen. We found seventeen new investigators, and a lot of people who live pretty close to the chapel and who are willing to come to church. During my last lesson in Bucaramanga, we got a reference from a less active who I re-actived. The family tells us, yeah we don't trust in religions but we have always wanted to find a church. The less active told them, when I asked, what called your attention to the church? Their answer was that nobody receives money for what they do. 
Like it says in 2 Nephi 26:31 --
But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.

Of all the people I met there, my favorite family is The Corzo family. The less actives that I re-actived. Their son will be baptized the 24 of February, but I'm leaving them in good hands.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true Church of Christ. And I just pray to the Lord to give me the chance to keep on serving. It doesn't matter if it is in the easiest or the hardest place, because the Lord is who directs this work. It isn't a work of any ordinary man. I am just a humble worker of the Lord in his vineyard. I love being a missionary.

Elder Tracy

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

JANUARY 22, 2018

JANUARY 22, 2018

We had a pretty interesting contact this week that I would like to start with.

We were walking, and I said Buenas! to a guy sitting down.  He said, Hola hermano.  Como me le va!  So we contacted him, and he told us he was siting down to cool off, because he was very angry.  We asked why.  The single Pastor of his church (single as in no wife) went to his house, and took his wife out to lunch and to eat ice cream.  He had been sitting waiting for them for two hours.  The pastor had said they would get there at 2 pm for example and they still hadn't arrived at 4 pm.  So that will be a pretty good future investigator.

We found another family that I had contacted a long time ago.  We finally got an appointment with them.  It is a family of six, but the Mom and Dad refuse to talk to each other.  So we taught the Dad and the four kids about the Book of Mormon.  The oldest children came to church this week, but the Dad had to work.

Last experience.  We got a reference from Elder Ardila in October of a woman, Elena Patricia.  We had went to her house very fifteen days, more or less to see if we could find her and we invite her to every baptism in the district and other activities.  Well, she couldn't for whatever reason for that whole time.  Yesterday, Sunday, we went and knocked on her door.  Her brother came out.  We said we came for Elena.  He said she wan't home.  We just asked if we could talk with him. (He's in the third floor of the house) and he tossed us the keys and we went up.  That is a lot of trust to just throw the keys to people you have never seen or met before.  But he was really paying attention, and right after the first prayer, Elena walked in to the lesson also.  They both were very receptive and we scheduled return appointment for Friday afternoon.

So it will probably be my last week in the area because we will have transfers Sunday.  Next time I'll be writing I'll be from a new part of COLOMBIA!

My testimony that I would like to share this week is that I know the Book of Mormon is true.  The Holy Spirit testifies to anyone who seeks the truth. 

In the last two paragraphs of the introduction of the Book of Mormon, it reads:

We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)

Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah.
Elder Connor Tracy

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

JANUARY 2, 2018

JANUARY 2, 2018

It’s been a year since you guys have heard from me. Just want to tell you guys that I am doing well, and still alive down here in Bucaramanga, Colombia.

So to let you guys in a bit, as a missionary we visit people. People who show that they are interested by reading, praying, and coming to church are the people we keep visiting.  And the people who always will listen to us or talk but never keep their compromises, they are the ones that waste the Lord’s time, and mine! So we focus on people who are willing to learn and to change. 

This week, we went around to all of those people, and invited them to be baptized, those that progress. So we went from having a family of five who said yes to being baptized, to now having them, and a family of three and four other people that are just solitary to be baptized. Which makes a huge difference. Because now they aren’t just reading, or listening, but they are progressing toward their entrance to eternal life. They aren’t just enjoying talking to a gringo and a brasiilian, but they are moving toward Christ.

My testimony this week is about baptism.

2 Nephi  31:10-13.

10 And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?
11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.
12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.

13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
I love the gospel, and for that reason I have followed Jesús Christ, and I was baptized. And I know help others to follow the Savior of the world. Like Mormon says, in 

3 Nephi 5:13

13 Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

Elder Tracy

JANUARY 8, 2018

This week I have seen the hand of the Lord in my life, and I have recognized his guidance. When I first started my mission, I remember saying that I felt like I hadn't received any guidance, but as I go more and more throughout the mission, I look at certain people, and the spirit constrains me to talk to them.  Or I look at certain roads, and I feel I should not wander down them. Things like this let me know that my Father in Heaven loves me.

I have been helping a family come back to church, and their children to prepare to be baptized, and serve a mission as well. It has been really sweet with them expressing their feelings of love toward me, and me being able to do the same. It reminds me also of Jesus Christ, when Lazarus died, and the people saying, Oh how he loved him! 

I love the Colombian people. And it has been a pleasure to have served here for this time. And I feel sad to know that this year I'm gone! Only seven months left to serve.

2nd Nephi 2:6-7

 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.
 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

Elder Tracy

JANUARY 15, 2018

JANUARY 15, 2018

This week, I testify about the leaders we have in the Mission and in our Wards, and in our lives (like parents). I have learned a lot about being a leader here in the Mission. I feel like everybody wants to be a leader at home, but there are just some things that stop us. Or that make you a leader but through fear or pressure. But what I've learned and what I've felt is it's just how the scriptures say, that a leader has to be a good shepherd. 

John 10:11-18
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

I know that Jesus is our good shepherd, and a great experience I had this week really focuses on that. 

We had a open house in our chapel like two months ago. We were planning, and we had an idea to do a Family Home Evening with some members, and to invite people around the neighborhood to it. One of these was called Magali. She was a reference from the open house. We called her to invite, and she said yes! She said, "I would love to fill myself with the word of god tonight. I need to."  And so we came by at 7 pm, it was at 8 pm, to just drop off some soda to let it get cold in the freezer, and we found her outside waiting since then, and told us she was gonna be there on the dot. We came back and she had waited there for one hour outside. We got in, did the Family Home Evening; and at the end she burst into tears, and told us she had been praying and praying to God, but hadn't received an answer. Had went to every church and tried to learn the truth, but hadn't felt anything. And so she asked, "How do I need to pray to get an answer?"  Well. . . It was pretty sweet, and at the end she told us that she recognized us as an answer from God. 

The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I know he loves us.

Elder Tracy

Monday, December 18, 2017

DECEMBER 18, 2017

This week came transfers, but I stayed in La Cumbre Area, Bucaramanga, Colombia.

Elder Blair got sent back to Suba which is pretty crazy, he was my Zone Leader here. And my new Zone Leader is Elder Aguilar, my companion from back in Bogotá like a year ago. Pretty crazy.

This week was pretty cool. We had eight people come to church, and we met a dude named Juan Flores. Juan Flores has a lot of desires to change his life,and he says that he had a pretty bad life before but he wants to change. We met up with him, and taught him about the Restoration. He went to church and he is a pretty cool dude. Drives a taxi, does jewelry, he does electricity, he does it all.

This week we got a new Ward Mission Leader, which is somebody who lives where I live. He is in charge of helping us with our mission work. His name is Ernesto Rodriguez, from Guayaquil, Ecuador. So we are gonna start working smarter and not harder in this next month.

Christmas is coming pretty close and I love the season. In the mission it is not so much about spending time with the family, or buying the best gift, but I am giving literally everything I have. All of my time and my talents I'm giving to these people so they can receive eternal life. A little bit like Mormon, from the Book Of Mormon found in
3 Nephi 5:13.

Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

I know that my Savior was born, and He came into this earth to save it!  

2 Nephi 2:6. 

Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.

I feel his spirit strongly in this season, and I know that he wants all the ends of the earth to come unto him, and the best way to do that is to  #LightTheWorld . IF you guys haven't started the initiative yet, it is golden. Go to Mormon.org to figure out how you can help others feel the light that Christ shined into this world. 

John 8:12.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Elder Connor Tracy

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

DECEMBER 11, 2017

Well I've been a bad dude and haven't been writing like I should.

So these last few weeks have been pretty good. I hit fifteen months in two days, so I'm feeling pretty blown away. The Time has been chugging along. Here in La Cumbre, Bucaramanga, Colombia, we had people who were supposed to get baptized this Saturday, and last Saturday, but all four of them couldn't get baptized so we just end up without any baptisms this transfer. But we've revived the Ward where we are at and it's going great.

So the Ward also has had some changes. Leaders here in the Ward have been rotated. We are still working hard.

I've been thinking about my behavior also. In the scriptures, there's a part that talks about The Natural man. That he is an enemy to God.

Mosiah 3:19 
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

I have been studying that, and wondering what our purpose here on the earth is. As I was studying, I found one of them! 

Alma 34:30-32
And now, my brethren, I would that, after ye have received so many witnesses, seeing that the holy scriptures testify of these things, ye come forth and bring fruit unto repentance.

Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.

For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

I realized, that we must repent here. We all are unique, and have special parts to play here on the earth.  But our purpose is to Prepare to meet God! Repent. Be Baptized by his proper authority on this earth, and to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by that same authority. 
As an authorized missionary of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I know that I have the same power that Jesus Christ had, but that I am weak. When I think about how I was when I was still at home, I cringe and just try to forget. But I know also that it´s possible to change, and I feel like I've had that chance and that change here in Colombia. God wants us to make those changes here in this life on earth. Through the power of the atonement of his Son, we can do it.
Élder Tracy