|Baptism of Jorge, Claudia, Lois, Eric, Oriel, and Daniela. The familia Villela Esqivel:D|
Wow I can't believe it's already my 6th week in the mission field! That means I'll have completed my first transfer period already and I'll be halfway done with my training!! This week has been really busy with the normal missionary agenda, but also we had to plan out a baptism for the family my companion and I have been helping prepare. They were finally married officially last Thursday and so all that was left was to plan out and execute the baptismal service. It was a big burden resting on our shoulders to work everything out, but we had a lot of help and were more than happy to do everything we could to ensure it would be a special occasion. In total there was going to be 6 baptisms of: the parents, Claudia and Jorge, and the children, Lois, Eric, Oriel, and Daniela, so it was quite the scramble to figure out who each of them wanted to baptize them, and also to find enough white clothing since the chapel here doesn't have hardly anything to work with. Luckily, we have 8 missionaries in our ward, so with all their white clothing and a few members as well, we were able to mix and match a full set of white baptismal clothing for the entire family. Since my companion and I came into this area after this family had been taught for quite a few months, they were very close with the last missionaries, so they requested them to do their baptisms, except the father Jorge. He said he wanted one of us to perform his ordinance. We talked it over and decided that I would do the baptism since I haven't had the chance yet and also my companion was going to baptize someone in his last area on Saturday too.
The baptismal service that my companion and I traveled to on Saturday was really cool. The chapel was a lot smaller and so was the ward, but yet there was quite a showing of support. My companion baptized a little girl named Yurit who's father was also baptized that night. It was a very spiritual experience, and I especially appreciated when my companion, Elder Toledano, bore his testimony and shared his love for the people he had served in his last area. It made me realize how blessed I am to have my companion and his kind loving heart as well as his firm testimony and dedication.
The baptismal service of the family Villela Esqivel was yesterday, right after church. I was pretty nervous, but the spirit was very strong and comforted me. After we all got in our whites and took pictures, we had a wonderful service with very spiritual messages and sang songs like "Families Can Be Together Forever" since it was a very family-oriented service. I baptized Jorge first, and I found out the hard way that I had practiced wrong, missing the word "yo", probably because it's an optional word in Spanish so I skipped over it mentally when copying it down to study. Luckily I had two loving missionaries witnessing the ordinance and they kindly corrected me and I said it again with the correct wording and all was well. Then, all the rest of the family were baptized and we ended the service extending welcomes and all came up to give the family hugs and congratulations. Overall, it was a super amazing experience for everyone, and I especially hope that this family will remember it for the rest of their lives and for all eternity. I can't wait for them to be able to be confirmed next week and to continue supporting them and helping them work towards being sealed as a family for eternity in one year!:D
|I made pancakes yesterday!|
|My freezer mug! Yes!!|
|The rest of my birthday purchases. Yum!|
Recently, I have been reading in Mosiah and have learned a lot about repentance. Especially from the stories of Alma, who was a priest of wicked King Noah, his son, and also the sons of Mosiah. When Abinadi preached before King Noah and his priests, Alma recognized him as a prophet of God and stood up for him against the King. I marvel at his courage to stand up for what is right, even to the extent where he lost his high position, wealth, and almost his very life. More than that he followed the counsel of Abinadi and repented of his many sins and wickedness. That required a lot of faith. Then there are the Sons of Mosiah and Alma the Younger who were performing the most abominable of sins, even denying the Holy Spirit and seeking to destroy the Church. Luckily, Alma and Mosiah were strong men of the faith and were praying their hearts out for their troubled sons. Alma and Mosiah's prayers were answered in a wondrous way when an Angel appeared before these young men and told them of their wrong doings and admonished them to stop their wickedness and repent. They eventually all repented of their sins, and what I love about their story is the example they set of true repentance. Not only did they stop their abominations, they had a true change of heart and acted to fix their wrong doings to the best of their abilities. Not only that but as expressed in one of my new favorite scriptures in Mosiah 28:3 "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thought that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." They developed the true desire to bring others unto Christ that they might be saved. This is a wonderful example of repentance in its fullness, bringing oneself in line with the will of God. I hope to learn from their example, especially of their desire to bring about the salvation of others.
I truly am having a wonderful time here. I can feel the growth occurring inside me as I devote all my soul to this mission. The people and culture here are amazing and I love them more and more every day. I recognize that I have many weaknesses, but I know that I can overcome them as I put my trust in the Lord because I'm out here doing His work of salvation.