August 26, 2014

Why I Am Serving a Mission (Week 11)

I had the amazing opportunity yesterday to watch one of my investigators enter the waters of Baptism.  What a wonderful day!  Well, I will first talk about saturday.  Saturday night, we talked to Patricio about Faith, Repentance, and the importance of keeping commandments.  As we were talking about Faith and Repentance, tears just started streaming down his face-- and at first I was thinking.....oh no, he still has some mistakes he has to clear up before he can get baptized....but soon after he had the biggest smile on his face.  Patricio has had some difficulties in the past, and witnessing the pure joy on his face when talking about repentance and the power of the atonement was such a wonderful thing to see.  I can't put into words how powerful it was to see the joy on his face!  At the end of our lesson, he said in his prayer "Padre, gracias por esta oportunidad a cambiar y empezar una vida nueva".....Heavenly Father, thank you for this opportunity to change and start a new life.  After his prayer we all just sat there for about 10 minutes in silence, and he was just balling and had the biggest smile on his face with his hands at his mouth--almost in shock because he was so happy with his decision to be baptized.

Yesterday's baptismal service was perfect.  Little backgound info:  Patricio's fam started looking into the church 5 years ago-- his mom and younger brother got baptized a year ago and his younger sister is still not baptized.  Patricio's mom is so animated and full of wonderful energy, and words don't describe how happy she was yesterday to watch her 18 year old son get baptized.  Hermana Batalla, me, and the 2 elders in our ward also sang the duet of Un Oración de Un Niño (A child's prayer) and it was so so beautiful!  Patricio, his siblings, and mom and everyone at the baptism was tearey eyed.  Patricio had the chance to say a few words after his baptism, and He began to talk about this 5 year journey he has had investigating the church, and how profound his answer was when he knew for himself that this church was true.  He explained that when he was in the water in the baptismal font, he was overcome with feelings of joy, and when he was fully immersed in the water he opened his eyes and saw the most profound light he had ever seen, and he kinda laughed and said that he was smiling under the water and felt a bit awkward hahaha.  When he came out of the water he was crying and smiling and hugging Raul who baptized him.

Patricio with Raul and His wife, a couple in our ward
I have so many more things to say about this wonderful event with Patricio, but the most important aspect I wanna focus on is how real and powerful the Atonement of Jesus Christ is.  This was the first time where I witnessed first hand how much joy repentance can bring someone.  Like....I can't explain how true and real the atonement is haha!!  Christ suffered for all of our pains, sins, and burdens in our life,and when we have a humble heart and go through that process of asking for is life changing. When we are baptized we are fully cleansed and are able to return to live with our Heavenly Father again.  We are currently teaching his younger sister Dana (14 years old) and we are eagerly waiting for her to get baptized so that their whole family can go and be sealed in the temple for all eternity.  Baptism isn't the end point- it is the beginning of a new life, and the most important thing for our investigators to understand is that it is acontinuous uphill journey.  But an uphill journey full of blessings and love from our Heavenly Father if we keep his commandments. So yes, having the opportunity to be here at this point in Patricio's life was an honor, and It brings me so much joy to picture other investigators I will get to see enter the waters of baptism.  This week it really hit me how powerful my calling is as a missionary, and how life changing this message is to people.  I am serving a mission because I know without a doubt that through Faith in Jesus Christ we have strength to do all things, and that through his atonement we can be made clean.
 us missionaries here in Sada Vidrio :)
"And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins...I cried within my heart:  O Jesus, the son of God, have mercy on me...And now behold when I thought this, I could remember my pains now more...Yea my soul was filled with joy as exceeding was my pain!" Alma 36:17-21

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.  Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the words of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus sayeth the father:  Ye shall have eternal life" 2 Nephi 31:20

Other weekly highlights:  MOM I GOT YOUR PACKAGE!! :) and sara wilson I got your letter!!  Mail takes about 3 weeks to get to me....and Monterrey is pretty reliable with mail so yay!  Just remember to put Jesus Stickers on the seams of the package so people don't cut into them... hahaha.  Tuesday I switched companions for the day and went to a different area which was fun!  I'll have an intercambio every 6 was really fun teaching different investigators with a new companion for the day.  This week I also had a pretty painful ear ache, but I got meds so i'm all good now haha :)  and I've been rockin' some pretty sweet spiderman bandaids and my blisters are healed!

Hm...what else...we are teaching a few new families which is exciting so hopefully they progress.  My spanish is coming along!  I can understand about 70% of what is being said to me, and it gets easier each day to say what I want to say.  The people here ask did you learn to speak spanish?  and my response is....well, I have no choice but to solely listen and speak spanish all day long so with that and my many many prayers I am being blessed to learn it haha!!  God really does listen to our prayers. It's so clear to feel the difference in my comfort level right now compared to the first few weeks here in Mexico.  Yes it's still hard, but not nearly as stressful.

Some pics from this week:

Sweet Sol and her dog who is probably dying in the heat... hahaha

an investigator gave us a bunch of clothes.... hahaha

Love and miss you all!! and i'd just like to end by saying......Becca are you seriously in high school and Jordan how are you a Senior???!!!!  How are you both so old.....

C O N  A M O R
hermana riches

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