It has been a truly amazing week here in Diego de Almagro with my companion Elder Howard. We’ve been working really hard to help our little branch and its members. One of the greatest blessings is to work side by side with some of the most amazing leaders of the church. This past weekend, we had a Branch Counsel and President Dinamarca, our District President, came. President (or Elder) Dinamarca is a senior missionary serving with his wife. They’ve been serving missions for a really long time. This is their fourth consecutive mission, and they are just filled with energy and love for the people. As Elder Dinamarca spoke during our Branch Counsel meeting, the spirit was there to edify all of us. It was amazing to see how all of our branch members were just drawn into his presence and could all feel the spirit that he brought to the meeting. We left, excited to start working and serving here in Diego de Almagro. Though we are few, we are strong, and the Lord is with us. I know this is true! :)
This week was literally filled with miracles. The members started working along side of us, and we had one of the best weeks that we’ve ever had here in Diego de Almagro! What has impressed me most is the sweet peace that the spirit brings as we work diligently, striving to serve as Christ would serve if He were here working by our side. And though He may not be in our presence physically, I know that the Spirit is here guiding our steps. I have to admit, being Branch President has been one of my favorite assignments here in the mission. It’s not at all about presiding at meetings or anything like that; it’s about the quality of service I’ve been able to render – not only to investigators but also to the amazing branch members here in Diego de Almagro!
One amazing experience was when the Spirit prompted me to make an appointment to interview a non-active member of the church. I did so, even though I had my doubts that he’d show up to the chapel for the interview. When the day came, to our great surprise and joy, he showed up. At first the interview was a bit slow. He spoke. I listened. As he spoke, I felt the spirit so strong as to overcome my frame, and we began to converse and read in the scriptures. Though I will not say everything that was said between us, at the end of the interview this inactive member told me this (though it was in Spanish): “It’s a bit strange. I came here today with the intention of telling you everything and leaving the church forever. But, I felt the Spirit speak to my soul. I commit to saying my prayers every day. I know it sounds like something so small! But I know that it’s what God wants me to do.” In this moment, I felt an overwhelming feeling of love towards this inactive member – and I know that the Lord had reached out His kind and merciful hand to one of His children in need. After a blessing of comfort and strength, this member left my office smiling through his tears. It was an edifying and spiritual moment, and I know that God reaches out to all of his children in love.
I wish I could express everything I have felt through words in this email. But, I know that this would be impossible. Instead, I want you to know that I know that this church is true. We have the most amazing gift available to mankind: the gift of the Holy Ghost! We can be lead and guided to help those who are in need, and as we see the Lord’s hand in our life and theirs, our joy becomes perfect. God loves his children. We are so blessed to live in a day of miracles!
Well, I don’t have much more time to tell you how amazing the mission is or how much I love you all. I’m looking forward to hearing from you next week! Sorry I don’t have any pictures – I’ve really been slacking off. I guess today I’ll have to take a bunch so I can send them to you next week. :)