April 13, 2009 (Easter week)
My Easter week was filled with lots of work and even more miracles. And I loved it! Sorry that I don't have any pictures this week; I forgot to tell you that a couple of the pictures I sent last week (of the red bumps on my arm) are from when I got bit by a few fleas. I don't know how that happened, but they sure did itch! You can probably see from the picture that my arm got pretty swelled up. But don't worry, the bites are all healed by now, and I will be more careful not to touch any nasty dogs.
Oh man, where can I start explaining all of the miracles that I witnessed this week in the mission? My companion and I have been focusing on achieveing the focus of the mission, to purify our own lives in order to teach with power and authority. I saw many miracles as we did so. The first amazing experience is with a goal that we had to set baptismal dates this week. Since we found 16 new investigators the week before, we decided to pray over who could accept a baptismal date, and then we focused specifically on these people. First, we passed by the house of Silvia and her daughter Ivania. We taught, and as we taught the spirit testified of the truth and guided our words. I testified about priesthood keys that are in the Earth to seal our families together forever, though I didn't know much about their family. As I testified, Silvia told me that her husband, the father of Ivania, died some years ago. We taught about the temple, and then we gave them the baptismal challenge for the 2nd of May, and with a huge smile, Silivia and her daughter Ivania looked at each other and then at us, and they confidently said, "Yes!" Wow, what an experience! I'm so grateful that my Heavenly Father guided us to this family that was prepared to receive the gospel and that He guided our words to help them receive it whole-heartedly.
We also had the chance to teach a girl named Ayleen, and she too accepted a baptismal date for the 24th of this month and wants me to baptize her! And, what a blessing it was to see that every single one of our investigators attended church with us yesterday! Yesterday, I also had to give my first talk in Sacrament Meeting on missionary work among the members. It went really well. I also taught our gospel principles class about the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Another amazing experience this week is when we stopped by the house of Alberto. We found Alberto just talking to people in the street. We learned that he attended BYU in 1981 and was considered a "dry mormon." He is amazing, but he was reluctant to let us in his house. Finally, we convinced him by speaking in English. So, we had our first lesson in English, and in our lesson we learned that Alberto had attended church every week at BYU, and he even attended the Tuesday devotionals! He knows the church is true, but he told us that his family is devoutely Catholic, and they don't want anything to do with the "Mormons." We taught and testified again about the families and the importance of a valid baptism, using the talk of President Uchtdorf "Faith of our Fathers." It was an amazing experience, and the spirit testified strongly. At the end, Alberto told us he wants to be baptized, but he doesn't want to abandon his family. We have an appointment to teach him again this Thursday, so I just pray that everything will go well! I am hoping that we can share with his family this week also.
Well, that's just a few of the miracles of being a missionary. I love this great work! I don't have much more time to write, but I sure do hope you all know how much I love you! You are in my prayers every day. I'll try to send more pictures this coming week.
I love you! Happy Easter!