I'll be serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 18 months in the Ecuador Quito Mission. I'm leaving my family, friends, and familiar surroundings behind to teach the message I have to share to bring others closer to Christ and help families be together for eternity.
This week, Fernando and Patricia were baptized!!! Such a great week, but with a lot of little to dos to get everything organized good for the baptism, but it all worked out great, and it was a very wonderful service and the spirit was really present.
Us with Fernando, in his white shirt and pant :)
Fernando was super excited and nervous all week, but just really was looking forward to be able to be clean. There was a baptism in the ward this week for a little 8 year old, so we invited Fernando to come and see what a baptism is like, he loved it! He really enjoyed it and I know that it helped him to be a little less nervous for his own baptism, knowing how a baptism worked. Then in the baptism, he was able to bring his mom, who we hadn`t met yet, and she really seemed to enjoy herself, this week we are going to be able to meet with her and get to know her as well. After he was baptized he said "I feel blessed." Hearing that just made my heart happy, he is such a humble and sincere person with a ton of desire to follow God and he just wanted to change, and when he said that I knew he had been able to make that change and came to know God on a whole new level, and really felt the effects of the Savior`s atonement for us. Yesterday after he was confirmed we asked him how he felt about everything and he said he felt great, also he was super excited when we reminded him that the gift of the spirit helps him to overcome temptations. He is great, and is heading in a great dirrection.
Us with Patricia, in her white gown :)
Patricia, disappeared on us this week, and we weren`t able to find or talk with her much. But, we had an appointment planned for friday night to finish up the lessons and to keep up her excitement for her baptism. She told us that she was going to come to the baptism of the kid in our ward, but didn`t show up. Then we tried calling her afterwards and it went straight to voicemail.. we were super anxious to talk with her and we were worried that she was getting scared or something that she was avoiding us to not get baptized. At that point Hna Bench was getting super worried, and so we went and found a room and knelt down and said a prayer for Patricia to find her and to help her to progress to her baptism for the next day. As we were praying I felt a bunch of peace and I knew the Lord was aware of Patricia and of us as well. Right afterwards we called her, and she answered right away! She said that she was on her way down and that she would be there in 10 minutes. Seriously was a testimony to me of the love of God. He loves Patricia and also wanted her to be baptized, also He loves me and Hna Bench and was able to comfort us in a time when we were worried for Patricia. I am grateful for prayers and for answers to prayers as well. We were able to visit with her, finish her lessons, and keep her excitement for the next day. She loved her baptism and just looked super happy and content. Afterwards we asked her how she felt and she said that she felt really good, and just couldn`t stop smiling. She also told us that she felt great after her confirmation and is really a great person, I love her so much!
I really love both of these wonderful people, and I am grateful for the chance God gave me and Hna Bench to work with them and to guide them along this path. I am so grateful for their examples and I have been able to learn so much from them. I know that they are headed along the right path and we are going to focus on strengthening them to help them to keep going down the right path and always have the Spirit with them.
Baptisms always remind me very clearly of my purpose as a missionary. The people as they come out of the waters of baptism are full of light and joy, and that is the effects of being with God and after baptism they are right there with Him. I know that every little thing we do as missionaries when sharing the gospel, brings everyone that much closer to God and to His kingdom. I hope to give it my all these next 2 weeks to more fully fulfill my purpose as a missionary.
I love you all!!
Con mucho amor,
This is me with a giant book of mormon we found in our church, while waiting for the font to drain.
It had pages and everything! It also weighed quite a bit.