Monday, August 4, 2014

Just Share It!

¡Hola familia! 

So almost every week I say, "Wow, it’s Monday again."  But this week I really could not believe it, "WOW it IS Monday again!"  (I think this in Spanish of course, because I am pretty sure I think more in Spanish now than English!)  The weeks are flying by and I am realizing how fast a mission really is.  But I am super happy because once a week I get to read your letters and write all of you lovely people! :)

WITH gran felicidad [great happiness] I am here to tell you that Wilson was baptized!!!  After attending over 20 different churches over the past few years, Wilson Nicolas Navarrete Garcìa was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, August 2.  Although in the photos he has the usual Ecuador “tough face” on, he was, no actually IS, beyond happy and explained that he felt like he was going to float up to heaven he felt so clean and just joyful.
Hermana B, Wilson, Bishop Olmedo, Hermana Toledo
After being immersed in the water and coming back up, Wilson stood there in the water overwhelmed with the Spirit and began to cry.  It was a special moment for us as we felt the Spirit and we recognized that he truly knew that he was a child of our Heavenly Father.  Wilson is one of the most humble and selfless men I have ever known.  He is so anxious to get a calling in the church and to serve others.  
We are planning a trip to the temple in Guayaquil in 2 weeks where he will have a chance to do proxy baptisms for some of his deceased relatives.  And guess what?  I will still be here on my mission in August 2015, right before it will be time for me to go home, when Wilson will be able to go to the temple and receive his endowment!  We are also setting Wilson up with a cute single lady in our ward who has never been married and is PERFET for him!  Haha we are playing matchmaker now, so who knows, maybe I will see him be sealed in the temple as well! ;) 

Now for an update on the other 2 amigos, Ricardo and Marcos.  They both attended Wilson’s baptism.

The 3 Amigos - Marcos, Wilson, and Ricardo

Ricardo is just waiting on official divorce papers from his first wife and the situation is a little complicated so it may be a few more weeks before he can be baptized.  He calls us his Chilena y Norte Americana.

And now for Marcos...OH Marcos!  Marcos knows that the church is true and he needs to be baptized with the proper authority of God.  Above all, he wants the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost and he loves learning about the priesthood, but he will not say "Yes, Hermana I will be baptized."  He always says, "Muy pronto, Hermanas!  Solo falta una cosa..."  [Very soon Hermanas!  I only lack one thing…]  But, he has yet to tell us what that is! 

We study for Marcos everyday, pray for Marcos fervently, talk about Marcos constantly, and even after many very spiritual lessons he keeps asking us for our patience and saying one day he will be baptized.  This last week, we even watched a short church video (Mormon Message) featuring the words of President Henry B Eyring of the First Presidency.  It’s called Some Day – or Algun Dia (ya I don’t remember what it is called but it is super great for this situation, watch it!)

[The name of the video is “Choose This Day” and is found on the Mormon Channel website.]

Click on the link below to watch the video:

Marcos just won’t commit to a date.  Phew!  I am learning patience like never before.  We are still working for his baptism to be this Saturday.  One big positive to come from this week is that we are incredibly happy because Marcos finally received his personal confirmation for himself that what we are teaching him is true.  This came through an experience where he was talking to his brother, sharing his belief in the Book of Mormon and how Christ came to the Americas after his resurrection.  Marcos told us that while he was testifying of these things to his brother, he felt the Spirit, and undeniably knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that this is the true church of Christ. 

Isn’t that interesting?  It wasn’t during one of our lessons when he truly received his confirmation from God that he could not deny it...it was when he shared what he had felt was true.  Sometimes the best way to gain or strengthen your testimony is to just share it!  Heavenly Father just asks us to open our mouths and our words will be confirmed to our hearts.  Many times on my mission, with Marcos or other investigators, I am personally strengthened by my own testimony - they are not my words but those of the Holy Ghost. 

Family and friends share your testimony, even if you don’t think you have one.  Many of the most spiritual moments before my mission were when I personally shared my beliefs with others and the Holy Ghost confirmed to me that what I was saying was true.  Sharing my testimony has strengthened my personal conversion that I know the Church is true and we have a Savior in Jesus Christ that loves us.  If you want to gain a testimony, just share it!

Speaking of testimonies, we have another investigator named Belèn, who has attended church with us the past 2 weeks.  She stood up on Sunday (yesterday) in Relief Society Meeting and shared her testimony with the other women of the ward of how the gospel has blessed her life the past 2 weeks and of her desire to be baptized.  Later, Belèn shared with us later how she had received her answer that this is the true church while sharing her testimony. 
Belèn and her adorable daughter Jeslie after church!

Belèn is also super excited to get baptized but her husband doesn’t want to get married. :( Welcome to our life here in Ecuador – everyone, it seems, is just “united" and not legally married.  Satan has worked really hard here in Ecuador telling the lie that marriage is just a paper and isn’t important if you act like you are married, and it’s into the hearts of the people here.  We are praying for a change of heart for her husband so Belèn can make covenants with our Heavenly Father and receive this important saving ordinance of baptism. 
This week we also began teaching the adopted daughter of our abuelita [little grandmother] Marìa.  Her name is Maritza and she is 15 years old and adorable!  We are excited to begin teaching her so we can have someone who will help Maria get to church each week. 
Well the funny story of the week, isn’t just from this week, it happens pretty much every day!  I feel like a celebrity here!!  Several times a week, there is a man riding his motorcycle down the street quite fast and catches a glimpse of a "gringa", and begins to slow down and gaze at the gringa on the side of the road!  With his eyes fixed on the foreigner, me ;), calling out "guapa" [beautiful] or "mi reina" [my queen] or in English "hey you!", they forget to watch where they are going. 

Sadly, this week there was this poor man who was one of these people.  As he was calling out to me, he forgot to watch where he was going, and hit into a parked bike taxi (a bike hooked up to a wagon type thing for people to sit in - it is a little slower than an actual taxi, but faster than walking, AND cheaper so we like to use them).  Anyway, no one was hurt, but it was a very funny experience and I can’t even begin to do it justice trying to describe it in words.  Just trust me it was hilarious.  I have never been told so many times that I am beautiful!  Oh, Ecuador.

Well family I love you all so much and hope you have another wonderful week in good ol’ Utah!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Bartholomew  

No comments:

Post a Comment