|Elder Faundez and Diderickson, 5"5 and 6"8 hahaha|
|Companionship pic walking down where we had the baptisms.|
|This is the natural font where we had baptisms, perfect secluded spot by a nearby river. It is the coolest experience baptizing somewhere like this, its like the Waters of Mormon!|
Como les ha ido esta semana bien o qué???
First shout out has to go to Jordy and Trista for the beautiful newborn they have received! Tenley Michelle, what a fantastic name! Congrats and can't wait to meet her when she turns 1! Awesome to hear that school is coming to an end and also that everyone is ending WELL in school! Straight A's all around?? That's a first in Eliason history! Good to know that the fam will be heading back to Tyler! I thought Dad would have never stepped foot in that camping ground ever again. Whether we are troopers or just don't learn from our mistakes I don't know but you guys have fun! I think I'll quote Jim Gaffigan, "The "happiest camper" is the one leaving the campsite!" haha
Well this week has been fun, we started off the week with 11 people prepared for this past for a special baptism in the river. As the week went by a lot of weird things happened and dates went falling like crazy and we only ended up with 3 actually entering the water. One of those was Bryan Solis, who I had the opportunity to baptize and I must say that it was the most perfect baptism I have been apart of. The lighting was perfect, the water was quiet with nothing but the birds chirping and wind rustling being heard, and the Spirit was as strong as ever. When he got out of the water he couldn't keep his emotions in as he hugged me right away after I brought him up. It was one of those moments where you say "I want to be a missionary forever." He had been through a lot of change and a lot of set backs, powerful lesson, set back, powerful moment, etc type of things but finally he was able to make the commitment. I won't ever forget Bryan and what I learned from him.
The sad part was all of the fallen dates. The whole zone experienced the "opposition in all things" part of the mission that just tears your heart out. The hardest pain as a missionary is teaching someone you love, helping them receive answers and helping them through changes, planning and praying about how to help them, and then after all they still don't accept. But to keep everyone's spirits up we read Preach My Gospel (PMG) where it tells us that the success of a missionary is in the effort you put in helping people get baptized and confirmed and not in the actual number result. I wasn't ashamed at all of the effort of the missionaries so we know that we can bounce back.
We had a miracle happen this week, as we were walking to an appointment we heard a man call out at us. We responded and went to talk to him. He asked if we were from the "Mormon Movement" and we said that yes we are missionaries of the church. Well it turns out that this man about 20 years ago had a friend who was a member living in Buenaventura and that he had received a "Mormon Bible" as a gift from the friend. He told us he had read the book but put it away after the friend had moved away.
It just so happens that about a week before we arrived he found the book and had began to read it again. He said he felt something strange when he read it like it was calling out to him or something. He had been thinking about it all week long until we walked by. We were late for an appointment so we couldn't stay, but we gave him a pamphlet and set a date to return. And we returned and shared with him the Restoration, which was a powerful lesson. As a missionary you can clearly tell when people "get it" and when they just don't and believe me when I tell you that he got it! We set a baptismal date right there and it was accepted with ease. Pretty incredible huh? God lives!
As for Juanchaco, we are planning and programming with President Prince when we are going to be able to go, I know that by next week we will know when. President says that it will be an exploratory visit rather than a developmental visit. We are going to see if we can commit to send missionaries there to open a branch or something. We will be seeing things like if it is mostly military base, tourism or just regular living conditions to see if it will be a profitable area. I think it will be a huge success because President Jose had this revelation to open it and I trust in him all the way! I will definitely give an update next week!
Well that is about it! Thanks for all the support!