October 20, 2010
Good Morning Family and Friends!
Thank you so much for your emails and your letters this week. We walked home one night this past week and we opened up the mailbox - and the letters just started flowing out! It was so full! (hahah) Thank you so much for all of your love and support. You have no idea how much that means to me!
I forgot something in my email last week, and I feel ashamed to have to say it, but mom HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!
I love you so much mom. And I am so thankful for all that you do! I am sorry that it's a week late but I know that you will forgive me :) I hope that you had an incredible birthday and that everything is going well! I love you mom!
In my email last week I mentioned that we were anticipating the baptism of a good sister and her family on last Saturday. We went over on Wednesday night to put the final touches on the baptismal plans with the family. While we were there, she described an unfortunate and rather large mess that has been going on in their lives. She has a son the age of 7 and he has been having problems with one of the teachers at his school. She has been basically been abusing the poor kid and treating him very roughly. Anyways, she went to visit her and this teacher had already been found guilty of child abuse. But she was still working in the school! Anyways, she had to take the case to the police and eventually to the courts in order to be able to do anything because no one else was helping her. She was so tied up with all of that going on her life, and having to run around and get of the psychology and lawyer stuff done, we moved the baptism to this weekend. So . . . in other words, the baptism did not happen last week, but it is going to happen this week.
It was a rough night for her as she explained all of it to us, But throughout the whole experience she kept saying "God is good. He hasn't left me behind. God is Good." She talked about how God had been blessing her every step of the way by putting people in her path that could help her. We were able to have the member who was with us give her a priesthood blessing. The spirit of peace in the room and in the faces of both her and her son was incredible. It was such an amazing experience to be able to see her recognize the hand of the Lord in all that is going on. She knew that even though she was going through a very rough experience with all of this, that God would take care of her. She is so faithful and so ready for baptism. We are so excited for her to finally be able to take this next step in her life and get moving on to the temple.
Last night we visited her with some of her member friends. She was able to just vent to them about all that was going on and it was so neat to be able to see that brotherhood and friendship that she has already created with the members. We asked her how she was feeling about baptism and she told us, "I cannot wait another week. I need that extra help in my life right now. I will not wait another week. It has to be this Saturday. This is what I need." The kids had the same feeling and so on this Saturday they are all going to be entering the waters of baptism together and we are so excited for what is about to take place.
On Sunday night we went back to teach the new family we found last week. They don't live in Ponce but told us that they are here every weekend. It turns out that they weren't here every weekend. We were a little discouraged because we were so looking forward to being able to talk with them. As we turned around and started making our way back, Elder Turner and I had the feeling that we needed to yell out at one of the houses. We yelled out and the thickest Puerto Rican left tackle that I have ever seen walked out and started talking to us. He has a family of four. And this gentle giant changed our lives.
We talked to him for a little bit about bikes and as we sat down to start the lesson, Elder Turner and I had a plan of what we were going to teach. But as we ended the opening prayer, I had an overwhelming feeling come over me that we needed to share something else. We started talking about the keys to the priesthood and the sealing power. This led perfectly into the restoration. He was loving every minute of it. He told us that he was studying to become a catholic priest. He was almost done but he said he got fed up with all of the false traditions that he found within the church. He told us a story about an elephant and he told us this is how he saw the churches in our day.
A good showman once took an elephant to an island full of blind people. When they landed on the island everyone on the island came to feel the elephant. They all had a great time feeling the giant creature and eventually the showman had to leave, along with his elephant. After he left the island the residents began to talk about what they had just experienced. They tried to describe and explain the creature that they had just touched, but everyone had a different opinion about what the elephant was. An elephant is a big long skinny thing that moves. No, an elephant is a big scaly trunk-type thing. No, an elephant is a smooth rock. Nobody could agree on what the elephant was because they all felt different parts of the elephant.
We were both shocked about the story because it connected exactly to the apostasy and the restoration of the gospel. We talked to him about how that happened and how God had called a prophet to restore the whole elephant back on the earth. He was so amazed and excited he kept asking us how he could know that it was true. We told him about the Book of Mormon and he said that he was so excited to know if this is what he had been waiting for his entire life. "I am going to read it tonight." he said. "I want to know if this is finally the whole truth, and not just the thing closest to the truth."
The spirit in the cita was absolutely incredible. We were all being lifted up together. I felt such a closeness to him. I knew that what we were teaching him is what we had promised to teach him in the pre-existence. And to think that we almost didn't teach it. After the lesson I told Elder Turner about what I felt after the prayer and he said that he had felt the exact same thing.
I know that God knows us. I know that he wants the best for every one of His children. He reaches out to us just as he did to this man and all we have to do is grab hold and follow His lead.
I know that this is His true church that it was restored through a true prophet. Joseph smith was one to whom the whole elephant was revealed (the complete gospel of Jesus Christ) and I am so thankful for that. We are so blessed to have all of the knowledge that we have and not just bits and pieces. Christ is our Savior! This is God's plan and families can truly be together forever. This man began to taste of that miracle this past Sunday and soon he is going to be able to participate and taste of the entire thing! What a blessing it is to be a part of this great work!
I love you all so much and I hope you know how much I appreciate your love and your support and your prayers.
WE ARE doing a great and important work, and I am loving every minute of it! I hope that you are too!
I wish you the best in your week ahead! Remember to read and pray! :)
All of the Love that I can Give