[Email dated 11.23.14]
I am disappointed that I didn’t get any creative spider stories, I guess you’ll just have to make it up on the spot. [His father did send him one, by the way, which causes us to question whether he actually reads ALL of our emails?]
I'm still not sure, but this will likely be my last email that I send home. If I do send anything next week, it will likely be short.
This week we went to Pucallpa for the last time and I got to see a couple of people while out there, including all of the five whose baptism I missed because I got an emergency change to the offices the week of their baptism. It was really cool to get to see them, especially the G* family. I had met them in January right when I got to my area in centenario [the New Year, I’m guessing]. N* was my pensionist [she helps the missionaries with laundry and meals] and M* is her husband who had recently gotten out of prison. N* had been attending church for two years without being baptized. M* was a cool guy, but he wanted absolutely nothing to do with the church or the gospel. He agreed to get married so that N* could get baptized and she did, but he still didn’t want anything to do with the church. He was just too hardened. Now, N* is probably the most faithful member that I have met. She was constantly fasting and praying for her husband and we could truly tell that her true desire was that her husband would accept the gospel and be with the family in church. When we went to teach them, he wouldn't answer us or really have any intent to do anything with what we taught. Then around the beginning of June, he started listening to us. We actually got to teach him and he started answering our questions. He started to pray, read the Book of Mormon and then he was going to church. Then, there was an activity in the church and it was the strangest thing. He started volunteering to help in the activity and take responsibility for things that nobody had asked him to do. It is something really so small but really was amazing to see here, especially from someone who isn’t even a member. Then, he told us that he wanted to be baptized and short time after he accepted a date. He was constantly in church and really was doing it all with just the help of his family. N* would cry quite often when we went over to teach because she was just so happy. It was a complete change. Because of the faith and diligence of this man’s wife, his heart was softened and he accepted the gospel. She is currently the Relief Society President and I do not know if M* has a calling, but I do know that he hasn't missed a Sunday in church in a while. It really is a miracle. I was leaving the Stake Center [a church building which also serves as a the regional center] on Thursday night and they were out front on the moto talking and I got to say goodbye to them along with a few other people. Then the thing that surprised me (and really never would have expected) is that M* started to kind of tear up. This is the guy who less than one year ago had gotten out of prison, was bitter at the world and showed zero real emotion. It was crazy. I kinda couldn't take it in all at that moment, but really it is so amazing to see how much one person can change in such a short period of time and basically all because of the love, faith and diligence of someone who loves him. I can't really explain everything that was going on inside me at that point, but it was a really great moment.
These last 2 years have been full of experiences like this one. A lot of happy ones and a lot of sad ones. There has to be opposition in all things. There are families that I have seen come into the Gospel and there are families that I have seen fall out of it. There are even families that I have seen come in, fall out and come back into the Gospel. The Lord is always working. I cannot stay here, they really won't let me. Also, I believe that my parents won't let me do it either at this point, but what I have noticed recently is that this work will always continue because the Lord himself is He that does it. "I am able to do mine own work" (2 Nephi 27:20-21). He will always work miracles with his children "God has not ceased to be a God of miracles" (Mormon 9:15). Although my part in this mission is coming to a close, the work is never over. I may not be here, but that is not what is important. What is important is that the Lord is working here and that those who still need the help will receive that help in a miraculous way. I have seen the hand of the Lord in this work and He will never take His hand out of it. This is the Church of Jesus Christ, the only one with the fullness of His Gospel and the only one that has what we need to come unto Christ and to come unto salvation. I don't think I truly understood anything about this Gospel when I came out here but now, the little that I do know is that Christ lives and He has atoned for our sins. "I say unto you that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent" (Mosiah 3:17). I have learned of the ways to truly come unto Him and helped others to put those things in practice, I have seen the real effect that it has and the real importance that it has for the family. There really is nothing more important than living the gospel as a family, after all, that is our purpose here.
When I came out here, I came with a type of goal, maybe not the most specific goal, but by all means, a goal. I don't know that I even really understood my goal. It's based on one of my favorite scriptures : “Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." I wanted to really just understand this feeling that Ammon had. We can tell that he had had great success from his attitude, but that he recognized that he didn't do any of it. That is what I have really come to understand. I, of my own strength cannot do anything to help these people, other than allow them to really receive the help from our Lord Jesus Christ.
There was a family that was baptized in March of 2013 that is another family that is really special to me. A few months after I left the area, they started to have a lot of problems as a family and then they separated. I had had a few missionaries let me know what was going on with the family and I was really sad about it. I saw the wife at a Stake Conference [a regional conference] and she hadn't had contact with the husband for a few months at that point and I just felt completely helpless. That was about 2 months ago. Last week, I was on my way to the offices in a motokar at night and I heard someone yell from behind me "ELDER PEACOCK!" I turned and I saw the dad driving a motokar with his wife and all 4 of their children on the moto with him. They were all smiling and looked so happy. I cannot describe how I felt to see them together again. It was probably one of the best moments of my mission. I'm sure they still have a lot to work out, but just to see them together so happy for those 2 seconds, was amazing. I could do nothing, but I didn't have to because the Lord feels an even deeper love for them than I do and he will never leave them alone. He will never leave anyone alone.
"And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: that he lives!"
"Yo sé que nada soy; en cuanto a mi fuerza, soy debil; por tanto no me jactaré de mi mismo, sino que me gloriaré en mi Dios, porque con su fuerza puedo hacer todas las cosas!"