January 26, 2010
Bon Tarde Amigonan i mi Famia!
Con Ta Bai ku Boso? Ta Bon?
Hey guys! It's been a little while since I have gotten to email you and today I am very thankful that I am able to be here emailing you! I know that it is a day late but I have a good excuse. Yesterday was like Aruba's 4th of July. They celebrated their independence from the Netherlands. As missionaries we work on holidays because that is the best time to find people at home. It was good though. I am just sorry that I didn't tell you last week that I would be emailing a day late. That's OK though I know that you don't care. hahah! Sorry.
Anyways, for those of you who are wondering, they don't do fireworks and stuff here for that holiday. I know that they go crazy with their flags though. Last night Elder Roggeman and I accidentally tracted in the neighborhood where they were doing the 5k, it was funny. The runners were all a little jealous of our bikes, but it was still good.
This past week was really good for Elder Roggeman and I. I hope that it was the same
for all of you. It sounds like there is still a lot of snow back there and that it is still cold.
Here it feels like summer still and actually this week the heat worked against us. Last pday our bikes basically fell apart. It took them 3 days to fix them and so for the first few work days of our week we had no bikes. We had to walk everywhere. Walking is not bad. I actually like it best. The only problem was that we ended up getting really dehydrated and really weak.
We accomplished the numbers and goals that we wanted to this week and so it was totally worth it. But when Wednesday night rolled around neither Elder Roggeman nor I
were in a condition where we could keep pushing ourselves to the limit. Luckily we had planned to go to the ward activity with a member and his friend. While at the activity one of the ward members asked if we wanted a priesthood blessing. I was so thankful.
It hadn't really passed my mind to ask the brethren for a blessing but it was the exact thing that I needed. When they laid their hands upon my head I could just feel a calming peaceful feeling come over me. I knew that I would be healed and that this sickness that I had would go away. We woke up the next morning and I felt as good as new. There is no doubt in my mind that I ended up being saved from a huge sinus infection and cold because of a priesthood blessing. How grateful I am that our Heavenly Father has given us His power to use to bless the lives of one another. This experience this week has helped me to realize that this truly is the only true and living church of God on the Earth today.
Not only did I get to be on the receiving end of priesthood blessings this week but Elder Roggeman and I also had the really cool opportunity to have a night full of blessings. On Saturday our recent convert Aileen passed by and informed us that her sister was in the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital it turned out that she was in a lot worse condition then we had expected. She had been moved to the ICU and had just undergone emergency surgery. We went into the ICU to give her the blessing. At first the mom didn't want us too. We had the old branch president there with us and he was able to help be the words and influence to soften her heart. And next it was time to convince the nurses. Luckily the Lord softened the hearts of the nurses and we were able to lay our hands upon her head in this little ICU room. I had the opportunity to give the blessing and I will never forget the experience that I had and the feelings that were felt.
I still don't know what the outcome of her situation will be but there is one thing that I know for sure . . . the Lord truly loves and knows each one of His children perfectly! It was so amazing.
This past week has been a little discouraging for me. I have been here in Aruba for
almost 10 weeks now and we really haven't seen our area grow to be where we want it to be. I don't know if I told you this but Elder Bednar visited Puerto Rico Saturday. We weren't able to attend the meeting that he had with the missionaries. He told a story about when he went to give a guy a blessing in the hospital. This newly married and recently returned missionary had been diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer and was dying. Elder Bednar went into the hospital room and asked him before the blessing if he had the "faith not to be healed." He meant that if Elder Bednar sent him onto the next life, did the young man have the faith that it was the thing the Lord wanted for him.
We don't know the end of the story because Elder Bednar didn't tell us the result. But the principle still applies. I have especially felt that this week. The Lord loves us and we are His children. Among the things that I have felt and learned this week is that He loves us. He wants to help us and bless us. He won't always give us what we want. But he will always give us what we need.
I love you guys so much and I hope that all is going well back home! You are all in my prayers. I hope you know how much you all mean to me!
It's good to hear that the BYU basketball team is doing so well. I hope they keep on
rolling on! That would be sweet if they have a dream season! Go Colts too. I hope
Austin Collie continues to do great. It seems to be that he is "livin right" on and off the field ;) hahahahah! (Don't hate me Utah fans).
Love you guys! Have a fantastic week! Say "hi" to the snow for me!