Sunday, December 7, 2014

November 3, 2014

Yes the baptisms happened! Here is what happened with our family. I believe I already sent the names and talked about the situation of their family. The father is away and probably won’t get back until January. So we baptized the mother and the two older children. 

Before her baptism, the mother bore her testimony to our little branch on Sunday. She is going to be converted to this gospel. And I’m so glad to have become a part of their lives. I’m so grateful that the Lord chose to use ME to bring them to him, and to be the means by which their lives are blessed, and I can’t wait to touch more hearts like this! The change that we have seen in them is immense. I’m so proud of the dad, too. He’s off looking for work but he’s reading the Book of Mormon every day. He hasn’t had the opportunity to attend church where he is. He went once, and the sister missionaries didn’t let him in, because he has tattoos. I was absolutely furious. But don’t worry, they got corrected by their own mission president, because where the dad is right now isn’t in my mission. But yeah, he’s doing great and will be baptized too! 

A lot of the youth here want to go on missions, but they’re all recent converts, so they all have 8 months or more that they have to wait before they can go. If they do go then this place will be fine. They will have 3 or 4 returned missionaries to strengthen them in a few years. 

Oh yeah! This is the last week of my training. So next Tuesday, I will be a full fledged missionary. And Elder G is going home. He is the leader of my district. He’s returning to Guatemala tomorrow! He has successfully completed his 2 years, and I’m so grateful he was my first district leader. I have learned so much from him and he has changed who I am through his words and example. He’s going home a week early because of visa troubles. So this week, I may be in a trio with elders K and P. That should be fun.

Also, I finished the Book of Mormon again yesterday! My first complete read through while on my mission! Every time that I read it, the truth is reinforced to me. I’m so glad to have it! Definitely, my favorite book in the world. I don’t have much time, but next week I will explain what makes the Book of Mormon and the Bible different and why we need the Book of Mormon too. Also I never really noticed it before, but I LOVE Ether 12:4. It’s probably my favorite scripture in Ether 12 right now, which is saying a lot. (love Ether). Oh, and I understand verse 27 now, how he can make our weak things strong. Mom, remember when I didn’t?

I don’t know if I said this last week, but I read in the Book of Mormon, near the end, I think in Ether or Mormon, signs will follow those that believe. And it said one of them was that they would lay hands upon the sick and they would recover. Another was that they would speak in different tongues. We shared that scripture with the mother of the little kid we blessed and she just broke down and cried. It’s so cool to be able to see... well…. my own signs that I believe! It fortifies my faith a lot more than any others, doing these things MYSELF, not reading about them, or hearing about others doing them.

Being here in Tuxtla has taught me VERY rapidly the value of a good education. The reason for the poverty here is the utter lack of education. When I get home, I will be studying VERY hard, so as to be able to actually teach my kids the way mom taught me, and to be able to help people like these, who have nothing. If I want to help them after the mission, I have to have the means to do so.

I have definitely been prepared for this place specifically. Not everyone could do this. Sometimes I feel I have been prepared specifically for Tuxtla Sur, Baxcaxbaltepec. (Two shoulder surgeries in high school, losing a very promising high school wrestling career and half my senior football season to injuries, among other things.) I know a lot about what failure feels like, a lot about how sometimes it looks like no progress is being made, all that.

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