well this last saturday could potentially have been one of the most spiritual and just awesome days of my mission. i know im only 4 weeks in, but wow it was great. first off, one of Elder Briz converts was going through the temple that day, so we got permission from the president to go to the temple that day too.
and you know it was interesting because it made me realize how much i really miss the temple. when i was in the mtc i had the opportunity to go every week and absolutely love it, and ya not gonna lie but i miss going there and feeling of the spirit. i exhort all of you, that if you have a temple close by there is no reason why you cant go at least once a week. i wish i could go once a week haha so take advantage of the blessing you have at your disposal.
and so to top off an amazing day at the guadalajara temple, i was able to have my first baptism, the humble old man of 82 years haha. it was an amazing experience. because hes so fragile we had to do the ordinance part standing up, and then after the amen i had to hold him and lower him into the water, we couldnt do the standard dunk. i was overwhelmed with the love our Heavenly Father and Christ had for this man as i held him in my arms and baptized him. i cant describe the experience in words, i just wish you all could have been there. after the ordinance, we gave the members of his family the opportunity to bear their testimonies. some very passionate, spiritual, and emotional testimonies were shared.
about 30 yrs ago was the first time the family met the missionaries, the whole family listened to the message but only the two daughters of jose decided to get baptized, his wife 3 sons and himself decided not too. the missionaries kept visiting the family with hope of the other ones getting baptized but to no avail. eventually they just stopped coming. the one daughter said taht she always invited the missionaries over for dinner with hopes and desires of the missionaries talking to her father, but everyone thought he was just a lost cause. so noone ever tried with him. and then she said that 12 yrs ago after the death of her mother, and the wife of jose, he had started to think and look into talking with the missionaries, and so for the past 12 yrs hed been going through sets of missionaries until he was yet again flagged as not progressing and stopped receiving the lessons.
and then here came elder briz and i and after all those years the Lord told him its time. she expressed her great gratitude for us and for helping their family. both the daughters shared very heart felt testimonies. and jose testimony was just as heartfelt and emotional, the Spirit was so strong. they expressed the gratitude for the opportunity they all now had to be able to go to the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity. i think thats way better than the baptism itself, the fact of helping a family to become sealed.
it was a humbling experience to be able to be a part of such a momentous time in this families life. it was humbling to see how the Lord had worked through me, some punk 19 yr old kid, to help this family. i can testify taht miracles do happen my friends, and most importantly the other thing i want to share is NEVER give up hope! were not always gonna get what we want when we want, the Lord has his own plan for things and we need to just put our trust in him. but one huge lesson i learned from this lesson is to never give up hope, and also to never give up on anyone who is inactive or not a member. and then that night after briz and i had finished the baptism the went to the top of this hill that looked our whole area just about, we talked for a little about the day we had had, and then looked over our area and the all the lights and people and it was like wow, hes my part of the Lords vineyard, hes given me this area to look over. we then said a prayer, stood up and shouted at the top of our lungs "hurrah, hurrah, hurrah para israel!" it was a cool experience, cuz for the next couple seconds the city seemed to just go quiet. it was sweet.
another cool experience i had this week, theres a family were teaching, and there hard core catholic, very unusual here i know. and they had been having a hard time giving up all there family traditions and virgin mary stuff. and its supposed that weve talking to them about for the past couple weeks. and this past week we went to their house to check on them, and all their stuff was gone, they told us they had received the answer that they need not follow those traditions and practices anymore. they threw out years of family traditions and through this the grandmother got to talking to us also! so that was definitely something neat to see happen. but things are going just great here. its hard, waaaayyy super hard work, but its worth it. im stoked for general conference this weekend, i just hope that i can understand it since its all gonna be in spanish! wish me luck haha. a few other things.
i love you all very much and hope everything is going swell with you all. i just keep plugging along and doing what ive been called to do, build Gods kingdom here. thanks for all the love, support, and prayers. i can always rely on the sure fact that i have support and love back home when things are hard and im having a hard time.