Bon Tardi di Aruba, e tera di paraiso!
We are doing so great out here in Aruba! I got the call last night, and I am going to get to stay my full four transfers here!!! I am so grateful for that opportunity! What a blessing from the Lord it is! Yes, I would love to be here for the 25 year celebration, but the government wouldn't let me even if I tried. I would get deported, haha! You only get 180 days in a temporary visa situation like ours and my 180 days are up in November. (Last week Jeff mentioned that the renovation on the church building on the island would hopefully be complete by December. They are hoping to have the it done by then so that they can have a celebration there with the General Authorities that are coming down to celebrate the Church's 25 years in Aruba. Henry asked Jeff if he thought he would still be in Aruba when that celebration happened.)
Daniel's baptism went great, haha, the water is actually typically pretty warm, and it's most windy on the other side of the island, so it's not too bad when we get out of the water. Daniel is a part of Oranjestad, the Spanish Branch. (I wanted to know if the water is cold. Also, the Freemans from Mesa that saw Jeff a couple of weeks ago mentioned to us on the phone that it was very windy in Aruba so I wanted to know if it is cold for them when they get out of the water and the wind is blowing. I know no one else cares about stuff like that . . . only the missionary's mother! :)
We are going to be blessed with another baptism this Friday, her name is Luz Marina. She is awesome, she has been investigating the church for two years more or less, and she time after time told the missionaries that she wasn't ready to be baptized. So, we went in and met with her, and I think it was the first time with Elder Jensen, and we just started trying to ask her why she didn't feel ready. She said a lot of different things, and basically we got down to doubt. Doubt was destroying her confidence. We were able to help her see that she really was doing great, and that she was struggling with the same things that we all struggle with, and that there was no reason that she shouldn't go forward and follow Christ and be baptized, and she eventually was able to commit to baptism on the 30th. It was amazing to see that The Lord truly had prepared me for her. She struggles with some of the very same things that I do. It's amazing to see that I have some of the very same struggles as her, and through what the Lord taught me through my own personal experiences, I was able to help Luz Marina conquer the very things that were keeping her from progressing in her life. It truly is a privilege to be a part of the Lord's work. What an amazing experience. She gets interviewed today, and then she is ready to go! So excited for that one, it will be awesome!
(We asked Jeff about his "immigration problems" last week. He has been in and out of Aruba a few times so we didn't understand why there was a problem getting back into the country this time.) I'm telling you, it's all about which line you get in at the airport immigration counters. We could have passed through a different one, and I don't think that they would have given us any problems. It all depends on which guy you talk to, but we're in the process of getting all of that fixed up, but it will be fine.
Elder Jensen has met President Hernandez, and he is a great guy! Haha, last week he and Elder Cornish were never able to make it out of Santo Domingo, the first plane never showed up, so Elder Holt still hasn't met the new President either, haha! (If we have this figured out correctly, we think Jeff and Elder Holt who is on Curacao are the only two elders left that have not met the new mission president yet. President Antivilo was released and President Hernandez took over at the beginning of July, so he's been serving almost three months now but every time he is scheduled to come to the islands something happens and he doesn't make it there. Kind of funny actually!)
I got the package!! Thanks so much! We haven't stopped listening to the Nashville Tribute Band CD since we got it! And the clothes are perfect, I love the pants and they fit perfect!
Thanks mom, I really appreciate that. Tell Bro. Copple hi for me!!
I am so grateful for the once in a lifetime opportunity that I have had to be a missionary in Aruba. It has been unreal, and I feel like I have learned and progressed so much. I have come so far, and every week I seem to see the Lord help me progress a little bit more. How grateful I am for His watchful eye, and His perfect plan. I know that Heavenly Father lives and that He knows me and He knows you. He knows everything that happens in your life, and it all happens with a reason. I know that we can make it through whatever He needs us to as long as we are trying our best to follow Him and keep the commandments. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He truly did descend below all things and overcame the world. I know that He can help us overcome any obstacle that may come our way. I know that if we stick with it, if just keep putting one foot in front of the other, He will carry us, help will come, and I testify that He will walk beside us, and that He always is beside us.
I love you all so much! Thank you so much!