Arizona Mesa Mission Address

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011

Dear Family,
I hope Dad had an awesome Father's Day.  Did you guys do anything special?

The coolest thing that happened this past week is that Antonia (Eddie's future spouse and my past investigator) had her baby girl! And the coolest part is that I NAMED HER!!!!  Her name is Michelle Michala Muniz.   I remember my last day in Paradise Valley we were talking to them about the names they were thinking of using for the baby, and none of them rolled off the tongue right, if you know what I mean...  So I suggested Michelle and Michala which I like as names and thought they sounded good with Muniz as a last name.  I was surprised when Antonia told me to write them down and give them to her.  I did, of course, and didn't think much of it until Elder Pierson told me a week before she was supposed to have the baby that she was actually going to use the names I gave her.  I got a call on the night of June 18th from my old Ward Missionary, Hermana Mora, telling me that she had given birth and that she gave the baby the names I suggested, which is pretty sweet.  I am going to give them a call later today and congratulate them.

In regard to the work, we are almost completely prepared for Amparo and her granddaughter, Rocio's, baptism this upcoming Saturday.  Amparo is awesome and comes to all of the church events and everything.  I think there will be a good turnout at her baptism because her granddaughter will be baptized at the same service.  And even more fortunate for us, she has a lot of friends and family that live in the same apartment complex, some of which, are not members but come to church activities every once and a while.  We are going to try and get all of them to come -- it shouldn't be too hard, especially if Amparo does it.

We picked up a new investigator this week who is one of the member's friends they brought to the Father's Day activity, the church meetings, and Family Home Evening.  He and Hermana Batrez seemed to get along or at least know each other so we will try and take advantage of that when we plan appointments with him.

I was reading in the scriptures this week and found a scripture in Mosiah 27 verse 14 that struck me quite powerfully.  It made me think of the role of my faith as a missionary and also the role your faith plays as parents in raising your children.  In this instance in Mosiah, we read the first account describing the conversion of Alma and the Son's of Mosiah that was sparked by the appearance of an angel.  This scripture tells us some of the angel's words when he appeared unto these sinners attempting to destroy the church of God:
14. And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath aheard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.
After reading this scripture I realized how important it is that I have faith that the Lord provide my investigators with opportunities and guidance that will lead them to repent and accept the truthfulness of the restored gospel.  We will always need to choose for ourselves, and by that I mean my investigators and those to whom I extend commitments, to put forth effort and take advantage of the oppotunities that God provides us.  And we know that it was the small and simple confirmations of the Spirit and the love of Christ that converted Alma and his brethren, not the appearance of an angel.  I know that I am not completely incompetant as a missionary but at times I catch myself not necessarily having faith in, but assuming, that the Devil will do something to distract my investigators or diminish their faith so they do not spiritually progress.  I need to have faith that the Lord will provide a way for them just like he did for Nephi (1 Nephi 3:7*)  and keep that faith even when they fall short.
Something pretty interesting is that there is a new missionary, fresh out of the MTC named Chris Haslam -- he knows my cousin, Levi.
Thanks for everything.  Hope all is well with the fam. in NC (and LV).  Send me some pics!
Elder Kinney

*1 Nephi 3:7
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

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