Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 6, 2015 The Baptism of a Family on July 4

     Well this past week the Peru Trujillo Mission ceased to exist. With the beginning of July the Mission was finally split into 2 parts. I am now part of the Peru Trujillo North Mission. It ranges from Trujillo up north to Cajamarca. So I can say that I’ve been in 2 different missions with the same mission president, who will be finishing when I finish my mission. Of course the change of mission hasn’t really had any impact on my life as a missionary as I’m still here in Casa Grande with Elder Caceres with President Marler as my president. The work here in Casa Grande is going great as I’ll get into. Elder Caceras and I are teaching with more and more unity and are loving our time here. We had a tough week in terms of appointments falling through and having difficulties with finding people to teach, but as we preserved the Lord blessed us in a big way.
     Last P-day was good, the first P-day I had to organize and coordinate. We bought some pizza for lunch which was very tasty-there’s a guy here that makes pizza her in Casa Grande. Later that night was the Cup soccer games involving Peru so it should have been hard to find people to teach, but we were blessed to have 2 great lessons. Including one in which we talked in respect to obedience and it was something very simple, but the Spirit was strongly present as we testified of the first law of heaven.
     This week we had many excellent plans to visit investigators with appointments and with members. However, despite the fact that we confirmed appointments the day of and had members with us, almost every single appointment fell through - certainly a trial of faith which does happen fairly often in the mission. However, we kept pushing forward and we were able to teach __ and ___ each day in preparation for their baptism. We helped take them the last few preparatory steps toward that rebirth and it was great. All was looking well until Thursday night when ___ (their daughter) fell ill. Now this was the night before their interviews and looked like the interviews might be a little difficult as their daughter (who was also going to be baptized was sick). She asked us to give her a blessing so we placed our hands on her head and my companion nervously gave one of his first blessings. The next day came and at 7:30 p.m. all were present in the chapel ready for their interviews. She was smiling and laughing, she was completely fine and the first thing she mentioned to the zone leaders was the “Elders gave me a blessing and I feel better.” It was a touching moment.
     Then Saturday came and it was a day that was much anticipated. The baptismal service was to start at 3:00 but no one was there except the bishop was there. Luckily in Peruvian fashion everyone started coming after 40 minutes and we started at 4:00. It started off with 2 excellent messages given by ___ and ____(friends of the family who gave the initial referral). They also did a special musical number. Then the baptisms came and all went perfectly. I baptized the father and Elder Caceras baptized the daughter and a member baptized the mother. I’ll never forget the testimonies that they both shared afterward. The father who really isn’t one to show his emotions at all, got up to share his testimony and completely was overcome by emotion and gave a very impactful testimony. The members also went out of their way and prepared a special dinner and cake. They also got a large glass framed photo of the Trujillo temple which was given to the family. It was true when the mother said, “I don’t really know all of you that well (referring to the members), but I know and feel that we’re family. “ So the 4th of July is a day even more special for me, it also is the day in which this family took that step toward Christ. The following day they were confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and given the gift of the Holy Ghost.
     We had a week full of trials and challenges, but as Moroni wrote we’ll “receive no witness until after the trial of [our] faith.” Our faith was definitely tried this week, but as we pressed forward it is amazing what great blessings the Lord poured upon us. As the scriptures says, “if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me…how great will be your joy if you should bring [a family] unto me!” Perhaps I changed a word or two but I testify that there is innumerable joy in bringing a complete family unto Christ.
     I hope you all have a great week and I wish you a happy late Independence Day!


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