Thanks so much for the emails! I really appreciated them! Mom and Dad, I love you so much and thank you so much for all of your prayers and for all of your help and support!
So, this week went great, we had two baptisms on Christmas Night! (The picture from the baptism is on the blog!) It was a guy named Jose Luis who is 18 and a guy named Roberto who is 66, and Christmas was his birthday! It was such an amazing experience, I got to baptize them both. For the first time in my mission I got to baptize someone! It was such an amazing experience! It was so awesome to be able to give the Savior a present on His Birthday! What an amazing experience it was! In the scriptures it says that our joy will be so great if we bring but one soul into the Kingdom of God, and we had the great privilege and opportunity to bring two souls into His kingdom on the same Day, and on The Savior's Birthday!
Wow, it was great, and we are still working with two families, Chello and Claribel, and the other Henri and Carmen, to get them married this week hopefully. We have tried twice now to set an appointment to get Chello and Claribel married, but both times we haven't been able to get it done, the first time because we didn't have the correct identification card, and the second time they wouldn't quite help us out because we went to a different place. But we're going to try again at the first place tomorrow with the new identification card.
It was a lesson for us today. It was really easy to feel down, and like we wasted our time. It is preparation day, the only day that we have to go and play sports or whatever it may be, and the zone was having an activity playing volleyball and stick ball at the church. But instead we went in to a government office to try to help these people get married. They didn't give us the appointment and told us that instead we needed to go to a different place to get a new id card for Chello. They said that we couldn't do it, but that Chello himself had to do it. So we had to come back, empty handed, and some would say in vain, having accomplished nothing on this trip. We just lost our opportunity to enjoy our P Day and also having lost a bit of money on buses to get to the government office and back. Some would call that a trip in vain, wasted time and effort, but I remember an Apostle giving a story of an old man that there once was who had cancer and was pretty much bed bound. But he took the assignment to go and hoe weeds on a church farm. If I remember right, he had to pull himself along dragging his body on the ground through the field to pick the weeds because he was so sick. Then, a couple of days later, he found out that the field he had worked so hard on to pull weeds in had been sprayed a couple of days earlier, and all of the weeds he had worked so hard to pull were going to die anyway. When he was told that the field had been sprayed a couple of days earlier, he just laughed. After all of the hard work and struggle that he had done to work on that field, it appeared that his effort was wasted, but he just laughed, and then he said,¨I wasn't there for the weeds¨. He was there to serve the Lord. What a great example this is to me, we all have our times when it feels as though our time and efforts have been wasted and in vain, just like today for me and my companion, but then I remembered today that The Lord always knows our efforts, and he appreciates and rewards every bit of it. It's such a great lesson to learn to serve the Lord and remember that it is for Him that we are working and serving. I testify that He appreciates every bit of service that we do. He hears every word of your prayers, He knows you by name, and I know that He is happy with whatever bit of good we do, however useful or useless it may appear. So keep up the good work, a reward is in store, and I'll try to keep looking to Him in my efforts as well!
Thank you so much for all that you do and I love you!
I was so glad he remembered this story today. I remember hearing it as well and I was glad for the reminder! It was wonderful to talk with him on Christmas night! His voice sounds the same to me and it was just awesome to hear it again! We got to ask many of the questions we had been wondering about so that was great! He actually had a message for Brother Richardson in our ward. (Brother Richardson served in Jeff's mission a few years ago.) One of the investigators that Jeff and Elder Clayton are working with remembers Brother Richardson and asked Jeff to get a message to him that he said hello! We gave Brother Richardson the message on Sunday. That was fun! It was a great call and a wonderful experience for our family! What a great way to end our celebration on Christmas Day! We all love him so much and miss having him with us here at home but we know he is doing the Lord's will and we are grateful for the example he sets for us!