Last big email of the mission - May 25 2015
I have to write a double email this week because I didnt write last week. These last two weeks have been really full of awesome happenings. Last week was the week of the family. IT is a tradition here in latin america, I dont know about there in the states, but the church really capitolized this week because of the focus we have in the family and helping families become eternal and happy. Every day in the church we had an activity. Wednesday, my companion and I were in charge and we taught about how to protect our families from the attacks of Satan in a turbelant world like the one we live in today. we read efesios 6, and then organized the members and investigators into 4 teams, and then each one made their own set of armor in a competition. It was a great success and everyone had a great time and learned a good lesson.
On Friday, there was a stake wide activity that was really cool. The leaders of the stake invited all of the major officials of the governement and other leading positions, including the leaders of other churches, and had a presentation about the family and its importance in society. They showed several little skits about the programs that the church uses to strengthen the family like scripture study, family nights, and family prayer etc.
They had this part where they explained the doctrine of baptisms for the dead and the vicarious temple work that we do for our ancestors to help them leave spiritual prision and go to paradise and be able to be saved (1 cor 15:29 1 pedro 3:18-19 1pedro 4:6) and I felt the spirit really strong. I know for myself that this doctrine is true and I believe that it is one of my favorite doctrines of the church.
YES WE MORMONS BAPTIZE FOR THE DEAD.
no, we dont dig out corpses drag them to rivers and baptize them. come on.
but we do perform baptisms FOR AND IN BEHALF OF those family members that have died WITHOUT the ability or opportunity to accept a valid baptism in this life by the power of the restored priesthood of Jesus Christ. That is a glorious doctrine because it explains that God is not a respector of persons. He taught that all men must be born of water and of spirit to enter into the kingdom of God (john 3:5), so that means that jonny who grew up and died on an island where he never learned the gospel is not condemned for not doing something that he never even knew or had the chance to do! Someone can, in a holy temple, be baptized in the place of him, and he, in the spirit world, can accept of reject that baptism. Every single human soul that has lived or is living or will live will have the opportunity to accept or reject the saving ordinances of the gospel of jesus christ such as baptisms for the dead.
No. other. church. teaches. this doctrine.
This week we have helped recent converts do family history and have helped converts prepare 11 names to bring to the temple to have the work done for them.
Anyways, the spirit was very strong and testified to everyone who was paying attention to the truthfulness of temple work. Because the activity was of the whole stake, I was also able to see several recent converts that I was able to teach and baptize from La Sarrosa, including my favorite family ever, The Archaga family, as well as miguel tome, who is preparing for a mission this year and is in charge of family history now in ward. Also, I saw my mission son Elder Navas, who was my companion in la Sarrosa. This was very special to me because it meant alot to see that these people are still active in the church and are enduring to the end. I felt a joy equal to or greater than they joy I felt baptizing them seeing them enduring to the end. It was also cool because these people have been sharing their testimonies and have in turn brought other people into the church to be baptized. Miguel, has baptized two of his brothers, The archaga family has baptized their 21 yr old niece, and other converts have also been the means of bringing more of their family to the gospel. What joy to see some of the fruits of my work and what gratitude to God for letting me teach these people. Truly he did all the work.
What else... Oh yeah. So my companion one day this week stuck his hand in his shoes before putting them on and yelled and I look over and this big tarantula just crawls out of his shoe and starts running around our house. There is really only one thing to do when this happens, other than curling up in a ball sobbing and pleading for mercy.
Grab the bug spray, OFF, and aggressively soak the wild tarantula in OFF. as it slips and slides around, grab a match, light it, throw match in slow motion at tarantula, and watch it explode.
This is the only way to effectively kill a tarantula. Trust me.
There were many other amazing experiences that we have had these weeks, including many miracles here in the field. We are seeing Gods hand in the work even in spite of the adversity that there always is.
I love you all!