September 23, 2014
We've had an incredible amount of miracles this week. The biggest has been the progress of la familia Gamez, a family we've been teaching. The fact that we found them at all was a miracle (they live far out of the way in a tiny aldea), and I know that the Lord has been preparing them for quite some time. I have never enjoyed teaching someone so much. Maybe it's such a great experience to visit them because I can see how we're not just teaching them lessons, we're inviting them to come unto Christ, repent, and be baptized by someone who possesses the correct authority. The husband was a total alcoholic but has stopped drinking. The family has grown much closer to each other and all are progressing together in the gospel. It really is a great blessing to be able to apply the power and authority of our calling to help. We've experienced many other miracles with them in the past two weeks: the family showing up on time to church despite other commitments they had which could have kept them from attending, a son who we hadn't been able to teach the Word of Wisdom being inspired to stop disobeying that commandment without any intervention on our part, the family having the papers they need to get married, etc. It has been a great experience, one of the highlights of my mission. This and other great things that have been going on in our area have made me wonder why we're being so blessed right now. The sisters in Calvario, for example, are also working very hard but are suffering quite a bit. They haven't had a single investigator attending in 3 weeks, while we have and average of more than 9 a week during this change. I have to assume that The Lord knows what He's doing when he sends us trials and when he makes things a little bit easier for us. I'll enjoy the easy times while there here and try to learn and be grateful during the trials.
Also, it looks like the website we use to send our weekly letters to our mission president has added a weather widget that lets us see the 5 day forecast for our area. Doesn't help that much. It says that every day will have a high of 65 and most days will have a low of 55 with rain everyday... Good old Patzicia.
Hope you all are doing well. Love you all (and all your letters, as always),
September 30, 2014
This was truly an incredible week, one of the best in my mission. The highlight was the baptism of the Gamez Hernandez family. On Saturday we had a wedding for their daughter and son in law, Isabela and Ronal (they were living together but weren't married) and the next day we had their baptismal service. All 6 members of the family were baptized and I was blessed to be able to perform the ordinance for all 6. I've completed families by baptizing the non-member husband or wife, but this was the first time I've ever baptized a complete family, including their children. It was such an incredible blessing, as well as one of my goals for the mission. However, it certainly didn't come easily. The Adversary did everything he could to stop their spiritual progression. We had problems with the papers, problems with the lawyers, and the day of the wedding, the dad, Alejandro ran out of gas twice and locked his keys in the car. Still, despite the opposition, we pulled everything off without a hitch. It's been so great to see them progress, from the time we contacted them while they were walking home to now. I loved going over the baptismal questions with the family and hearing them recount how much their lives have changed and how many blessings they've received as they have repented. The dad was a total alcoholic and the son drank and smoked as well, but the Lord had been preparing them for quite a while and when we arrived they were very willing to do the Lord's will and were remarkable receptive to the Spirit. They're definitely my favorite converts I have thus far. I love that family so much. This experience has motivated me even more to work hard, to do everything I can to find those people who is ready to accept the Gospel. I know there are more families like la familia Gamez Hernandez out there and I am excited to find them.
In all, I'm very happy, but also a little sad, because this Wednesday I've got changes and will be leaving Patzicia after 6 months of serving there. When I arrived here I certainly didn't imagine how much I would grow to love this area. Sure, It's been incredibly hard, but I’ve learned and grown a lot and was able to finish my time here with this incredible blessing.
And some photos:
and the wedding
At their wedding reception we were treted like kings. It felt like we were explorers visiting a tribe in the jungle. The brought us out a special table and a bunch of food, including tamalitos, which are incredible
Alejandro and Lucriecia's granddaughters
The wedding again, with us and the branch president as well (you can tell we're in Zaragoza by the way they're dressed. Just look at that mustache)