Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We had a White out on Saturday!

Received October 27, 2010

Dear Family and Friends.

I am glad to hear that you are snuggled up nice and warm in the house after the huge snow storm that passed through yesterday! And I am also glad to hear that everyone is doing well! I want you to all know how thankful I am for all of the love and support that you are sending my way. You have no idea how much it means to me and how much I appreciate it. I wish I could send you some Ponce heat. This morning at 10:00 it was about 90 degrees. We have transfers today and we took some pictures with some Elders that were leaving so I hope you enjoy.

Anyways, thanks to all of your prayers we received a great blessing this past Saturday. We were able to see Four baptisms in our ward, three of whom were Annette, Giovani, and Shantilly, the family that we have been working with. We also baptized Georgy, the man that Elder Turner and I found on the last contact of the day a couple of weeks ago. Georgy goes to our ward but lives in another area that the other Elders cover, so yeah.

Anyways, the weekend was just spectacular and full of so many miracles. On Saturday morning we had scheduled the baptismal interviews. We were on our way to Annette's house with the other elders to do the interview when we realized that we didn't have another brother with us and it would be impossible to do the interviews without another priesthood holder there. We had to scramble, but the Lord blessed us with an incredible miracle and we were able to get a member to come and be with us. It ended up being a really good experience because we were able to talk with the family before the baptism and share some really sweet feelings and testimonies. We were all so excited for the baptism that afternoon that we couldn't wait!

The baptism was just incredible! We got to sing the primary song about looking for rainbows and the spirit was just incredible. Annette was the first to get baptized. As she came out of the water I could just see such a joy and peace on her face that I hadn't really ever seen before. Its something that she had been looking for her entire life. She has gone through so much and she has been up and down and around through drugs, violence, everything. Her whole entire life all she has ever been searching for is peace, the peace that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings. As we got to witness her baptism on Saturday and her confirmation on Sunday, we saw that peace come into her life. I had a feeling of happiness come over me that I have not felt for a long time!

The most incredible part of the night was after Annette was baptized, she walked to the stairs of the baptism font and watched as her children were also baptized. Her 13 year-old daughter has also gone through a lot in her life. She just broke down in tears the moment she came out of the water. She walked over and hugged her mom in the most loving way that I have ever seen. They just stood together and wept. Then 17 year-old Giovanni was baptized and he went over and joined his family in the embrace. To see them all weep together and to see the joy that had come into their lives is better than anything that I could ever dream of. What we saw was the doctrine of Christ. This was the entire reason that He suffered for us. The family had just taken their first step towards eternal life together, and to see them together in white took me to the temple. They have begun the journey that is going to take them to exaltation and being a forever family! I know the joy that I saw by that baptismal font will only compare to the joy that I will feel in a year when they are sealed together with their deceased father for all eternity. Something as beautiful, as joyful, and as special as the gospel of Jesus Christ is just incredible to me. The ability to be together forever is the whole reason why I am a member of this church. Its the whole reason that I am still here in this mission. What I wouldn't give to be able to see everyone I love take that journey and taste of the joy that we felt, and the joy that we feel, every day! I love my Savior and I love His plan!

Last night we passed by Annette and gave her a new Temples magazine. She was there with her "corillo" her family and her friends, and they were just floored by the temple and the things that that we do there. It was so great and so special to be able to testify to them of those things. I can't wait to get working with their family and friends. This is the plan of God and it changes lives. The Savior talked about how those who listen with their ears, see with their eyes, and understand with their hearts, are those who are good seeds planted in good soil. I think the thing that makes the most sense in my heart is the chance that we have to be together with our families forever. I just don't understand how somebody could not listen to their heart and follow that plan!

In our mission we have something that we call the foundation. It is a group of numbers we report that have come from things that the apostles and prophets have said will help us be the missionaries that we need to be. Its been difficult getting all of the missionaries to get on top of the foundation for these past few transfers. As zone leaders we have been going to different companionships and working with them to help them see how God blesses us when we do what the prophets ask us to do. On Sunday night we ran out to a city called Yauco to help a companionship who just haven't been able to get it. We went out to help them better understand the principle and what we are asked to do to be worthy servants of the Lord. We were blessed on the very last contact we made in trying to comply with what the Lord has asked us to do. We found to a lady named Amber.

Amber is a mother of four who has also been through much in her life. She has been searching her whole life for happiness and has turned to everything looking for it. She has been looking for it in all of the wrong places. She told us that she just got more and more angry as she kept searching for happiness. Eventually she left her family and moved to the states. She said that while she was there she woke up one morning and said that she was sick of hating life. She said that she wanted to find something more. She said that she started to change her attitude about things and to start looking for God.

We ran into her in the parking lot of Walgreen's at about 9:00 that evening. We told her about the atonement of the Savior and the blessings that our Heavenly Father has promised us. She was so happy and told us how thankful she was that God had helped her get out her house that evening. She said that she has been asking for help for so long and knew that we were sent from God to help her. We got her address and it turned out that she lived in another area of the zone. She actually lived about 15 minutes from Yauco, in a city called Guyanilla.

We happened to go to Guyanill on Monday to work with the Elders there. I was able to go with those Elders to visit Amber and her husband. Both of them have the same story. Amber doesn't speak Spanish at all but we were able to get the text of the Book of Mormon on her laptop. We read with her about the doctrine of Christ and about the atonement. They loved the message that we shared and the feelings that we were all feeling together. We invited them to be baptized and they were very receptive to it. It was an incredible experience for me to be able to see just how the Lord blesses us. The elders who have been serving in Guyanilla have been working so hard to do what the Lord has asked them to do. They have been struggling with in terms of finding people prepared for them to teach. But because they had been doing what God has asked us to do in this service, and because the senior Elders were doing what God has asked of us as well, the Lord led us to Amber, and led her to us. He allowed our paths to cross so that someone who has been praying for help and is searching for that blessing of an eternal family could receive His tender mercies. Amber has ears that hear. She feels the spirit. Amber has eyes that see. She can see how the message is going to bless her family. And she has an understanding heart. Her daughter of God spirit is recognizing an eternal truth sent by her Eternal Father and she is acting and willing to follow what he asks.

When we do what God asks of us we are blessed! How true it is! And how true is his love for all of us, His children!

I love you all so much and I am so thankful for the great examples that you are to me of this principle. Thank you for always helping me to do what is right. I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for all of you and all that you have taught me. I am so thankful for that! I love you all and I want you to know tkat I am praying for you every day!

Have an amazing weekend and a Happy Halloween!

Trick or Treat!

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