Hey there ravid readers and rabid fans!
This week was certainly one that will go down in not only my own personal history, but the family history of two families, and the world!
I say the world, becausewe had a worldwide missionary training broadcast from Salt Lake city to every missionary! Over 75,000 of us! It was the first time that they had ever done this, and it was amazing to see it and realize that we were all there as a huge army of God, learning to help our fellow brothers and sisters know that Jesus lived and died just for them. It was a great experience.
Then we came home that night, making out trip total to see the conference over 9 hours in a bus....
But the next day was amazing! We started filing the font at so that it would be ready. And setting everything up in the church. Practicing the specail musical number, making programs, etc... It was a very full day. We almost didnt have time to eat anything. WE eventually had lunch with Karen and Mauricio (one of the men who was going to be baptized that night). Karen, his wife had as a surprise flown in two of thier best friends fro Santiago, and they are both members, Hugo, the husband flew in so that he could baptize Mauricio. It was a really cool experience for both of them.
Everyone started arriving at about, and that is when we knew all the stress was worth it. It was a beautiful little moment. We took a mountain of photos (the best three are attatched, and I will send another email with the ¨after¨ photos), and the the baptism began.
The wives of José and Mauricio, (Viviana and Karen) gave beautiful talks about the principle of baptism and the Holy Ghost that made everyone cry, including the Branch President. And then we did our special musical number. Karen couldnt even sing through some of it because she was crying so hard. But after that moment, we all adjorned to the teeny room where the font was and prepared to watch baptisms.
Mauricio went first and he was super nervous. But as soon as he was in the font, all of that seemed to melt away. Hugo said the prayer, and he went under the water and back up without a hiccup. We quickly ran to meet him as he came out of the font, and he was just smiling from ear to ear. He didnt really know what he was feeling though. When we asked him how he felt, he just looked kind of dumbfounded, and said, ¨Wet¨. It was pretty funny.
And then it was José´s turn. President Santelices is sort of short, and José is pretty tall. So the image at first was a teeny bit funny. But when he started praying, you could almost see the authority that he held. And then José went down as well. And when he came out he was smiling more than I had ever seen him smile before (and he is a smiley person). President only told him one thinge before they got out of the font, ¨Now is the time to be happy¨. And boy did he tak that to heart. I couldnt even get a good picture of him because he was moving around so much and crying and kissing his wife and crying some more. It was also very special.
And when everyone was dried off and the font was draining, we went back and listened to them bear a quick testimony. Mauricio spoke of how he was very skeptical about everything church related before one of the lessons that we had with him. We had gone over and watched the Joseph Smith movie. The full length one. And then right after the dramatic ending with his death in Carthage, we watched Jeffery R. Holland bear his testimony of Joseph and Hyrum. We stopped after that, and we gave two very simple testimonies that we knew all of this was true, and we left. He said that after that moment he knew that it must be true. Because two men would not blaspheme before God in the very hour of thier deaths. It was a very humble telling of how a man of science and logic, learned to trust his own feelings a little more.
José also bore a beautiful testimony about how his whole world was his wife. How she was not only someone that he loved deeply. But how she was the person who brought him the gospel. He was crying, and his wife was crying, and we were just all crying. It looked like we all had been baptized.
The confirmations yesterday were just as beautiful. THey both showed up a little early and they were wearing white shirts, ties, slacks, and dress shoes. And then after songs and prayer, they both were confirmed members of the church, recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost, and were also given beautiful blessings. They both walked away from church yesterday as the newest members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I am so blessed and privledged to be a missionary. To be a part of the lifes of these wonderful people. I know that I am right where I am supposed to be doing what I need to be doing. Life if beautiful, and i am so glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of José and Mauricio´s lives.
I love you all. I know that this church is the only church that has all of the restored gospel and I know that God loves each and every one of his children. That´s right. Even you.
Thanks for everything!