Arizona Mesa Mission Address

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 8, 2011

Dear Family,
We got transfer news on Saturday night and I found out I am going to be getting a new companion from Tobasco, Mexico!!  His name is Elder Hernandez and he came out the same day I did.  He didn't speak a any English before entering the MTC, so my Spanish skills are going to be so awesome by the end of our companionship.  I'm am also excited for him to come to this branch because I definitely think it needs a native-speaker, more able to easily relate and communicate with the people.
One really awesome thing that happened this week was a 180-degree turn around of a recent convert/less active/recent move-in member in our branch named brother Barrera.  He moved into the branch a couple weeks ago and came to church two times, but he started having some issues with his testimony (he was baptized 7 months ago).  One day when I was on exchanges with my District Leader, (who doesn't speak any Spanish).  We decided to go and see how Brother Barrera was doing.  By the end of the lesson, he ended up telling us he didn't want to go to church until Russel Pierce (AZ State Senator) was excommunicated and the church had made a new commandment forbidding member-involvement in politics.  I shared with him the Twelfth Article of Faith* and assured him that the latter would never happen.  I also told him he had two much anger and resentment towards Russel Pierce, be he a evil man or not, and that the Lord would not answer his prayers or comfort him until he rid himself of the "spirit of contention".  His wife was there and looked extremely sad that her husband was like this and you could tell she didn't agree with him.  She didn't say much even when I would ask her a question, but I knew she didn't like the decision her husband had made.  We left the lesson with a feeling of dispair kind of looming about us.  My District Leader had a sort of pale, distraught countinence as he didn't understand anything but knew that it wasn't good.  Anyway, Elder Faldmo and I went back at the beginning of this past week and Brother Barrera had experienced a change of heart which came about because of the faith of his wife, who related to us how she had pleaded that the Lord change him.  The coolest part was that he showed up at church on Sunday, super happy having recieved another spiritual confirmation of the truthfulness of the gospel during his scripture reading the night before.  And THEN, he got up in Fast and Testimony Meeting and bore his testimony, which included the decision he had made to dedicate all of his time to missionary work!!!  He doesn't have a job and believes staying at home all of the time is detrimental to his testimony and he needs to be involved in the work of the Lord.  He literally offered to bike around with us ALL DAY and do missionary work.  He really is an interesting and amazing guy.  We'll see the effect that he has on the Catalina Branch!!!
Anyway, I need to go.  Thanks for everything and don't forget about family home evening tonight.
Elder Kinney
*The Articles of Faith
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
12.   We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

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