|Driving the manual truck in Maipu....lanes just suddenly disappear?|
This was a few weeks ago. Cole says driving is a little crazy.
Hey Family! I had one of the highlights of my mission this week!
Well first, We did the standard of excellence in contacts last week: 140! We did 58 contacts on Sunday.... It was a lot. There are a lot of weeks, probably the majority, where I didn´t get 58 contacts in a week, and we did 58 Sunday. I was happily exhausted. And we taught a really good lesson on Sunday, and Camila was there! Okay back up. We have been teaching Jesica and Elsa, the wife (Elsa) and daughter (Jesica) of Nilo, the old man that died a few weeks ago. We´ve been meeting with them, and we set a baptismal date with them last week. They´re awesome, and it appears that they have a sincere desire to learn more and come closer to Christ. So that´s awesome. But on Sunday night, when we went to teach them, Camila (Nilo and Elsa´s grandaughter and Jesica´s daughter) was there. She´s like 20. I´d taught her once before, and we talked with her for just a little bit at the viewing. But she was there Sunday, and we were with the Elders Quorum President from the ward (Brother Huentenao). Camila came into the living room and sat down and was ready to participate. She acted like she did it every time or something. I was happy to teach her, especially because we were going to teach about the restoration and she was there! So we taught them. And they understood it all, especially Camila. And it was good.
Then we went back the next day! That´s always a good sign. We went back with Brother Huentenao again (maquina!), and we went just to read the Book of Mormon with them. We wanted to help them love that book so that they would learn more about their Savior. So we just started straight from 1Nephi 1 and read a few chapters. We stopped along the way to kind of help them understand the storyline. It was good. And at the end, Brother Huentenao decided to help them understand the Spirit a bit more-- to help them recognize when they feel it and what it means when the feel it. He went around to the 3 of them and asked them individually how they feel and felt when we, the missionaries come over to share with them or when they read the Book of Mormon, things like that. After they had all answered, we read Galations 5:22, where it explains the fruits of the spirit. And so Brother Huentenao asked them what they were really feeling during those situations, and they were able to learn that it was actually the Spirit. So that was really cool. Then, with that wonderful "What´s the spirit" little discussion, we started talking, directing it specifically to Camila. We always leave people with the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know that it is true, that it is the word of God. And to that invitation, she told us how she already believed it was true, because she had seen a huge change in her grandpa the months before he died. And he knew that it was because he was reading this book and applying the Gospel in his life (YES). So that was cool. We then asked her what it would mean to her if she knew that the Book of Mormon was true, and after a few minutes she said she´d need to follow it. Elder Wharton started this process, and I knew it was going to lead to a baptismal invitation, which is what we had talked about as a companionship the night before. So It was my turn to talk, and I started to explain that one of the many principles that the Book of Mormon teaches is about faith, repentence, and baptism (she understood Baptism pretty well from The Restoration lesson). So I told her that we wanted to invite her to be baptized, and I asked her what she thought about that. She said, "Sí, sí, me gustaría." And so Elder Wharton said, "Camila, will you prepare yourself to be baptized on the 4th of November with your Mother and Grandmother?" Camila said yes, and immediately she looked at the floor. I could tell she was feeling something very very strong, and that it was the Spirit confirming to her the decision she had just made. As Elder Wharton expressed how happy her Father in Heaven was for her decision, I noticed her eyes actually close for a few seconds. She was definitely feeling something good inside! And it wasn´t because of what we were saying, it was because of what she had committed to do. So Elder Wharton just kinda stopped talking to let her really soak in all the good feelings that were happening (and we had just talked about the fruits of the Spirit!). And then we saw the tears start running. She had felt the spirit so strong when she decided to make a covenant with God, and to prepare herself to do it on a specific date that she started crying. It was the first time in both my mission and Elder Wharton´s mission where someone had started crying in response to being invited to baptism. So we let her sit there for a little bit, and then I told her (just to make sure there was no mistaking it), that what she was feeling right then, in that very second, was God talking to her. It was God telling her, through the feelings sent through His Spirit, that He was pleased with her decision to be baptized. It was definitely one of the highlights of my mission so far. I testify that God loves his children and that he wants the best for them. I know that as we come closer to him, He will bless us, and He will let us know that he is "well pleased" by blessing us with his spirit. And He will especially do that as we prepare ourselves to make (or renew) covenants, or sacred promises with him.
I love you. Go have the Spirit this week. Go serve someone. Go and be happy.