May 24, 2010 (baptisms)
Wow, it's been another amazing week here in Diego de Almagro! Where do I start with miracles? I guess I'll start with the pictures that I'm sending. Some are with Pablo, the son of Marcela who was baptized this weekend. She wants him to be a missionary, so we took pictures of him with my missionary tag. He looks like an awesome future missionary!
I'm also sending pictures of the day we went to El Salvador to teach our investigator there. It's about 1 hour away from Diego de Almagro in bus, but it's really pretty. Last week, when it rained here, it snowed like crazy in El Salvador! Sadly, it all melted by the time we went up, but there is still snow in the hills, and it looks really pretty! Our investigator in El Salvador is doing really great! She's going to be baptized soon because she has a really strong testimony and loves reading in the Book of Mormon -- she can feel the spirit as we teach and as she reads and prays. That's pretty much what we love to hear as missionaries! She only has to make a few changes in her life, and this could be very difficult. This coming week, we will talk about those changes and help her find the strength to overcome a few challenges in her life.
Marcela was baptized! Her baptismal service was beautiful. I really loved the sweet spirit that was there with us. The district president, Elder Dinamarca, also attended with us, and his comments at the baptism were beautiful. After Marcela was baptized, I was able to confirm her a member of the church on Sunday, and she is going to be a strong and faithful member! She went teaching with us the same day as her confirmation, and her testimony was just glowing.
Along with the baptismal service, many miracles came about. I'm sending what I sent to my mission president so you can see some of the great miracles that accompanied our work here. I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father always provides opportunities to help and bless our fellow man. Our job is to be prepared for when those opportunities come to us.
We have been teaching a family for quite some time. Manuel and Monica Segura Ángel have two daughters, Valeria (15 years old) and Jeraly (6 years old). They are great investigators that fell into a huge financial crisis and began losing faith in Christ. We have been teaching them, and they have felt the power of the Atonement in their lives. However, they've always been very timid and never wanted to do TOO much. They never went to church and only really read and prayed. But we were patient because they were receptive and always happy to receive visits from the missionaries. Well, one thing led to another, and this beautiful family felt the need to attend a baptismal service to see what it was like. They felt the spirit very strong when Elder Dinamarca was speaking (our district president, a couple missionary here in this area), and they committed to going to church. At church, Manuel shared a heartfelt testimony of the church, saying that he felt that there was always an empty space in his heart. He said that he felt that space being filled right there in church. He then said that he wanted to be a member of the church.
So, last night was just amazing as we went to their house and talked about baptism. They all committed to being baptized on June 19th, so it'll be an awesome day! We just have to make sure they keep their commitments... It'll be the first complete family that I've baptized in my mission! I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who hears our prayers and blesses his children. We even shared about tithing yesterday, a little hesitantly because of their financial crisis, but Manuel happily accepted the invitation to live the law of tithing after baptism. Yay!!
So basically, I'm loving the mission right now and I know that the Lord is blessing us abundantly. I hope that all is well at home! Thank you for all of your support and love. I can feel it lifting me when I come across difficulties and trials in the mission. I know that our Heavenly Father is a God of miracles and that He hears and answers our prayers as we strive to understand and do His will. This is His church -- I love being a missionary!
Tengo mucho gusto al escribirle hoy y contarle de los muchos milagros que han sucedido en nuestra pequeña rama aquí en Diego de Almagro. Élder Howard y yo hemos trabajado mucho, y vimos grandes milagros del Señor, una cadena de oportunidades. Sólo estoy agradecido que pudimos ser instrumentos en las manos del Señor para la salvación de nuestros hermanos aquí en este pueblito.
Los milagros empezaron hace 3 años cuando Marcela Gómez no quiso bautizarse. Ella vive aquí en Diego con su hijo Pablo. Pablo se bautizó en 2007, pero Marcela nunca tuvo las ganas de bautizarse, aunque tenía un testimonio. Cuando nosotros pasamos por la casa, ella dijo a mi compañero: "Cuando los vi, sentí que ustedes eran los misioneros que me iban a bautizar". Y, este fin de semana, ella siguió el sentimiento que tenía y se bautizó. Era un gran milagro pasar por la casa mientras buscábamos antiguos investigadores.
Pero, este milagro era sólo el comienzo de mucho más. Hemos estado compartiendo con una familia, la familia Segura Ángel, por mucho tiempo. Pero nunca ha ido a la iglesia, y el progreso era muy lento. Pero, ¡había progreso! Decidimos tener paciencia, y por fin ellos sintieron la necesidad de conocer más la iglesia. Les invitamos al bautismo de Marcela, y ellos dijeron que irían si su hija se mejorara de un gripe que se le dio. Yo sentí que debía ofrecer una bendición y explicarles que sólo podía funcionar si había fe. Ellos expresaron su fe, y dimos la bendición. La hija se sintió mejor inmediatamente. Debido a este pequeño milagro, ellos fueron al servicio bautismal.
Al mismo tiempo, Élder y Hermana Dinamarca sintieron que debían apoyar a Marcela en su bautismo y también fueron al servicio. Era muy espiritual, y Élder Dinamarca dio la última palabra. Manuel Segura y su esposa Mónica sintieron fuertemente el Espíritu Santo y se comprometieron a ir a la iglesia. Fueron, sintieron el Espíritu aún más fuerte y expresaron sus deseos de bautizarse y empezar la jornada en el Evangelio de Jesucristo. Manuel dijo: "Antes, fui a muchas iglesias pero siempre sentía un vacío en mi corazón. Ahora, puedo sentir que ese vacío se está llenando". El dijo que quería ser miembro de la iglesia. Esa noche, pusimos una fecha para el 19 de junio, y toda la familia (Manuel, Mónica y su hija Valeria) aceptó con mucha gratitud. Era un gran milagro aquí en esta pequeña rama.
Sé que Dios está con nosotros en esta rama. Está planeando muchas oportunidades para que Sus hijos reciban el Evangelio Restaurado y la Exaltación. Dios empezó a preparar a esta familia hace 3 años cuando Marcela no quiso bautizarse, porque por medio de su bautismo y ejemplo esta hermosa familia sintió el Espíritu penetrar su corazón, y se convirtieron al Evangelio. Se ven mucho más felices, con una fe aumentada. Enseñamos la ley del diezmo ayer, y lo aceptaron con muchas ganas, a pesar de una situación económica muy pesada que tienen.
Sé que ésta es la iglesia verdadera y que literalmente somos representantes del Señor. Y es cierto -- éxito es la intersección de oportunidad y preparación. He ganado un testimonio de eso la semana pasada.
Oro que el Señor nos fortalezca este cambio para seguir con buen ánimo para que cumplamos la meta de 5 bautismos en este trimestre. Sé que hay personas preparadas para recibir la palabra de Dios. Sólo tenemos que estar preparados y seguir el divino patrón que estableció el Señor.
I have much taste when writing today and to tell to him him of the many miracles that have happened in our small branch here in Diego de Almagro. Élder Howard and I have worked much, and saw great miracles of the Gentleman, a chain of opportunities. I am only been thankful that we could here be instruments in the hands of the Gentleman for the salvation of our brothers in this pueblito. The miracles began 3 years ago when Marcela Go'mez did not want to baptize itself. She lives here in Diego with her son Pablo. Pablo baptized itself in 2007, but Marcela never had the desire to baptize itself, although it had a testimony. When we happened through the house, she said companion: " When I saw, I felt that you were the missionaries who went to me to bautizar". And, this weekend, she followed the feeling that it had and it was baptized. It was a great miracle to happen through the house while we looked for old investigators. But, this miracle was only the beginning of much more. We have been sharing with a family, the Safe family Angel, for a long time. But never it has gone to the church, and the progress was very slow. But, there was progress! We decide to have patience, and finally they felt the necessity to know plus the church. We invited to them to the baptism of Marcela, and they said that they would go if her daughter improved of an influenza that occurred him. I felt that I had to offer a blessing and to explain to them that only could work if there were faith. They expressed their faith, and we gave the blessing. The daughter felt better immediately. Due to this small miracle, they went to the baptismal service. At the same time, Élder and Hermana Denmark felt that they had to support to Marcela in his baptism and also went to the service. He was very spiritual, and Élder Denmark gave the last word. Safe Manuel and its Mónica wife felt the Spirit strongly Santo and they were committed to go to the church. They were, they felt the Spirit still more hard and they expressed its desires to baptize themselves and to begin the day in the Gospel de Jesus Christ. Manuel said: " Before, I went to many churches but always it felt an emptiness in my heart. Now, I can feel that emptiness is llenando". It said that it wanted to be member of the church. That night, we put a date for the 19 of June, and all the family (Manuel, Mónica and its Valeria daughter) accepted with much gratitude. It was a great miracle in this small branch here. I know that God is with us in this branch. It is planning many opportunities so that Their children receive the Recovered Gospel and Glorification. God began to prepare to this family 3 years ago when Marcela did not want to baptize itself, because by means of her baptism and example this beautiful family felt the Spirit to penetrate her heart, and they became to the Gospel. They are seen much more happy, with an increased faith. We teach the law of the tithe yesterday, they accepted and it with many desire, in spite of a very heavy situation economic that they have. I know that this one is the true church and that literally we are representing of the Gentleman. And it is certain -- success is the intersection of opportunity and preparation. I have gained a testimony of that the past week. Gold that the Gentleman fortifies east change to us to follow with good spirit so that we fulfill the goal of 5 baptisms in this trimester. I know that there are prepared people to receive the word of God. We only must be preparations and to follow the divine landlord that established the Gentleman.