This last week was pretty crazy. We had our mission audit this past week! The church’s policy for international missions is to audit every three years, so this was the first audit that has been done for the Santa Fe mission! The area auditor advised me the day beforehand (Wednesday) that the next day, Thursday, we would need to be in the office at 9am so that we could perform a financial audit of the mission. I have to admit, I got a little stressed. As part of an audit, we go through all of the financial processes in the mission, how we do payments, how we file receipts, how we manage budgets, how we maintain security, etc. Thursday, the area auditor came, along with the area controller, who is basically the head of finance and security for the area. The controller, Hno. Palmieri, had a meeting with Presidente, and the auditor, Hno. Martinez, met with me. We started at 9, and without breaking finished at about 2pm, with Presidente and Hno. Palmieri joining us for the last part. The two of them then headed over to Facilities Management for the afternoon, and then Hno. Martinez came back in the evening to finish reviewing a couple other processes. Luckily, after all was said and done, they were happy with the way we are running the mission and the organization we have, and gave us a couple of pointers to help us improve in a couple of areas. It was a very positive experience, and I learned a lot. As I was thinking a little bit afterwards, I felt grateful that I was prepared. After they informed me that they were coming the next day, I spent a lot of time making sure everything was in order, that the office was clean and organized, etc. But I realized as I went that all the preparation necessary for an audit is much more than can be done in one day. It’s months and even years of work. If I hadn’t been prepared beforehand there is no way that I could have done everything that I needed to do in just one day. It wasn’t possible. And then I started applying that to the plan of salvation, especially as we think about the parables of the talents and the 10 virgins. As we go through our lives, we can either prepare ourselves, or not. The gospel teaches us that every moment is part of our preparation time to meet our Heavenly Father again.
“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.” Alma 34:32
As President Nelson quoted President George Albert Smith in his talk from last October, “we are not here to while away the hours of this life and then pass to a sphere of exaltation; but we are here to qualify ourselves day by day for the positions that our Father expects us to fill hereafter.”
One day, a day that we don’t know, Jesus Christ will come, and we will be held accountable in that moment for all that we have done and how we have kept our stewardships. All of our lives’ manila folders and filing cabinets will be opened and examined, and how we have lived our lives will determine the rest of eternity. It’s so important that we not waste a moment, but that we always align our priorities and do the things that are most important, the things with greatest value. That way, when the day comes, we will be ready. Our testimonies will be strong, and our faith will burn bright.
Saturday we had a capilla abierta here in Rural again. We had a great experience going out and doing visits in the morning. Elder Carrion and I went out with Hno. Arriola, and we went and visited an hermana, Hna. Monzón. We invited her to the capilla abierta, and then asked her if there was anyone that she knew that we could invite. She said she had some friends and cousins that lived nearby that we could invite. We asked, her, do you want to come with us and invite them? And she said, sure! So we went with here to at least 5 houses, inviting her friends and family. It was so great to see the members getting more involved, and to see the power that comes when members participate in missionary work. I am fairly certain that if we had knocked on those doors contacting, they would have said no, but since we went with a member who already knew them, who invited them to the activity and then introduced them to the missionaries, we had a great way to find new people that we might not have been able to find otherwise. It was an uplifting, rewarding experience.
Something that I have come to learn in the mission is that hard work in a good cause brings so much satisfaction. And the greatest cause of all is the work of salvation, the work of the Lord. As I give myself and my will to Him, as I literally lose myself in His work and will, I am so satisfied and happy. As Ezra Taft Benson teaches, and as quoted in Preach My Gospel:
“I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”
I love the mission, and am so grateful for the wonderful opportunity that I have to serve the Lord 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is no better way that we can spend our time than serving the Lord. I would invite you all to find some way this week that you can increase the time you spend serving God. Even if it’s only 15 minutes, I promise that you will be blessed, and you will notice it.
May we each continue ever serving our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ!
|Me and Hno Omar Martinez, the area auditor|
|Elder Carrion, Hmo Martinez, and me|
|These are the Prince of Peace pass along cards. Elder Carrion and I started this last week, and our goal is to hand out a whole box this week before Easter. :)|
|Us going out with Hno Arriola to do visits on Saturday!|
|Me with our Easter Principe de Paz banners|
|Elder Parker and Elder Ortega (los asistentes) dress in white for capilla abierta|
|Me and Elder Orgill with our purple ties for Fast Sunday!|
|Thanks for the little package mom! And everyone who wrote on the cards. :)|