This past week was very special! We had a baptism which was amazing, and is an amazing story! Her name is Monica, and we have been teaching her for about a month. She is a single mom that lives with her 2 daughters, one has 7, the other has 11 years. She is awesome. From day 1 she always kept her commitments and she was always super excited to learn about the Gospel! But Tuesday of last week, we went to her house and we talked about baptism, and prior to this she was not very convinced at all that she should be baptized. We talked about the importance of baptism and she began to cry and she told us a story. She said "Last weekend, my grandson was in the hospital, because he burned himself in a fire, and I was just praying that all would be okay, and all of the sudden I began to hear your voices and I remembered all that you guys have taught me, and the scriptures, and that I needed to be baptized, and in that moment, I knew I needed to be baptized!" I was shocked, I just told her wow in all my time here in Argentina, I have never taught someone that recieved their answer in that way..I was blown away! I thought it was incredible that she recognized that as her answer, and she said "I don't even feel like I need to pray to know that I need to get baptized because the Lord already gave me my answer, When can I get baptized?" I was like, well we actually are planning on this Saturday...She said "Perfect! I'm ready." And she was baptized, and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and has entered in through the door of repentance and baptism. It was an incredible service!
After her baptism, we had what is called a "Capilla Abierta," which is like an open house is what it is in english, I think. My comp and I got stationed at the baptismal font, because I mean, that's home :). We challenged almost every single person that walked through the door to be baptized, and almost all of them accepted, but there are a lot of course that don't live in our area, so we will see how it all goes! It was very special bearing testimony of the forgiving power of the Lord, and His gospel. There are pictures that go with it! It was a great activity!
I have accepted the challenge that President Nelson gave us in conference to study every single reference to the Savior in the scriptures. He said that after he did that, "he was a changed man." And honestly, that is just incredible because I met him and I feel like he is perfect! Looking him in the eyes you see something different about him, and all the apostles I am sure, they are on another level.
That being said, we had a meeting with him yesterday, for that reason I am writing you all today. I loved all the talks, but the ones that stood out to me the most were the ones by President Nelson and his wife. I will start with Sister Nelson.
She said 3 things that I will never forget-
1. In these 2 years, you are receiving a training to be a disciple for the rest of your life.
2. A mission is obedience training.
3. What do you know that you never want to forget?
I have dwelled a lot upon these 3 things, and realize that for me they are all intertwined and related! The mission is indeed a training on obedience so that I may learn what the Lord really expects of me, and how I can be a true disciple the rest of my life. And one thing I never want to forget is that. The knowledge that has changed my life forever for obedience and knowing what it is that the Lord expects of me as His disciple...for my whole entire life!
Now, I want to talk about President Nelson´s talk..I realized a lot of things..First off, I want to say sorry for falling asleep in seminary a lot my freshman year to Sister Carper and Sister Wiscombe, because he explained to us the lineage from Abraham to Ephraim like he was reading scripture, with all the meanings of every name, tribe, and how they came to be, everything! It was super intense and I was left in awe! He explained to us that the Abrahamic covenant and promise was given to him for his obedience and willingness to follow the Lord and sacrifice his son. And then explained everything, using Hebrew terms and explaining in such a simple way, and I was thinking..okay this is so impressive that he knows all of this perfectly, but what is he coming to?
At the very end of his talk, he explained that the root of Ephraim meant "gathering" in Hebrew, and that we, sitting in the room with him are the elect, preserved for 4000 years to fulfill a prophecy that was made 4000 years ago, being foreordained to labor in the most important time in all of the history of the world.
1 Nephi 15:18-
Wherefore, our father hath not spoken of our seed alone, but also of all the house of Israel, pointing to the covenant which should be fulfilled in the latter days; which covenant the Lord made to our father Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
He said, "you guys have no idea how special you are", and left us with an apostolic blessing, and finished his talk.
I was sitting there flabbergasted...I was without words. It was incredible. It is hard for me to explain in an email, but the point is that we are the elect of the Lord, and much more is expected of us!
I know that Christ lives, that he died, was resurrected, and is at the head of this church!
I love you all!
|Elder Sureda and I traveling to the meeting with President Nelson|
|Office Elders reunited (Elders Stagg and Lyon)|
|Early morning before traveling to Buenos Aires|
|Monica's Baptism Day on Saturday, April 15th|
|Monica's Baptism with Elder Sureda|
|Open House after the baptism on Saturday|
|Easter Sunday with Hernan and Elder Sureda|
|Our Easter gifts from Hernan (big chocolate eggs)|