Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2 Baptisms in Valle Grande this Saturday

Baptism of Merlin with Sebastian

Surprise miracle baptism of Angelica

Hola Familia

Wow what a week I have had to tell you about this week

Well I'll start off by telling you that we had 2 baptisms in Valle Grande this Saturday. One was expected and that was of Merlin Hurtado, which was amazing. It was planned carefully and executed to perfection. We had her whole family there to see the special moment in Merlin's life, 2 of which were able to come to church the next day to see the confirmation. 

We plan on visiting each of them to hopefully help them realize the same things that Merlin has realized. She was able to be baptized by a good friend of mine Sebastian Correa, who is the son of the Bishop, who helped Merlin a lot in this whole process. It is so gratifying to see your investigators get baptized, you grow with them so much through all of their trials and triumphs that when you see them make it to baptism it gives you a feeling of fulfillment and joy to see them use their agency correctly, we have been so blessed this month. 

The other baptism we had in the ward was not so expected and ended up becoming a miracle. The day before I did a baptismal interview for a girl named Selica who was originally going to be baptized on Saturday but decided to postpone the service until next Saturday. It was such a powerful interview, I could feel that she was ready but she still didn't feel right about going through with the baptism. 

Well, the next day Elder Kendrick had the impression that she needed to get baptized that day. I felt the same way so we decided to pull an emergency division and go talk to her about her decision. She had a doubt that we had to find and resolve. During the lesson we were praying fervently for a miracle to happen and that we would be able to help this girl realize that we cant delay promptings and covenants with God and especially when we are prepared. We shared scripture after scripture and beared testimony often to hopefully have the Spirit enter into her heart to change her mind. Elder Kendrick felt the Spirit, I felt it, and Angelica felt it, but she was still resisting it. Finally after a while, and a lot of persistence on our part there was a long silence and eventually she gave in to what she was feeling. 

God wanted her to get baptized that day and everyone in that room knew it for assurance. It was a powerful act of faith that will help her out the rest of her life. We booked it home to call all of the members to prepare an immediate emergency baptismal service, and to their credit, made it happen. Just another experience that testifies to me of why I am here and the Divinity of this Work.

That experience made me think about how sometimes we let procrastination impede our progress. The idea of putting things off until we feel 100 percent comfortable with it only diminishes our faith. Sometimes walking blindly with the hope that God will lead us where we need to go is what we need to progress and grow in faith. If we need to change, now is the time, the cancer of procrastination will only halt our eternal progression.

As for investigators we are blessed to be teaching 2 new progressing families. The familia Bonilla and the familia Reyes. They have both come to church twice in a row and have been so receptive to our lessons. They both have 5 kids and were able to hear the testimonies of the members who just recently went to the temple to become eternal families. I really feel like that is what sparked their interest so much. We look to place fechas this week to help them set a goal for baptism, such a huge blessing to be able to help families progress in the Gospel, you can see the difference in the happiness and unity of the family after having family scripture reading and prayer. Such small things that help them realize who they are in the sight of our Heavenly Father. It makes me feel so thankful to have been born to such an amazing family who has always been so great about those things.

We have come to an unfortunate stop in the progression of Cindy, she has been passing through some family troubles after having received us. Her family will not give her their blessing for baptism and have tried to get her to stop receiving us all together. Luis has also been trying really hard to help us help her pass through this difficult trial. This could be the trial of faith that she needs to really be converted to the Lord, she has received many spiritual witnesses of the truth, and we will be there in any moment that she needs it.

Well thats about it, thanks for all of your support and your prayers they are felt every day in this grand cause that I have entered in.

Elder Eliason

P.S. Sorry if I sound a little unenthusiastic, the exclamation mark is broken on the keypad haha

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