Hello Everyone once again,
I feel like not a lot has happened since the last time that I emailed just a few days ago, but we did have a baptism! It was awesome, and it was due to a referral. I think I counted up the baptisms that I have been blessed to have, and I think only 1 has not been a referral. That is pretty powerful to back up the need and the effectiveness of members. This man, Victor, is such a sweet man, and really wanted to get baptized before April cause he is going to have surgery on his eyes, cause he can't really see well, which is so powerful to me, cause he will try his best to read the scriptures and The Book of Mormon. His wife works a lot, and stays at her job, so we had never met her, but she came to his baptism, and she seems really interested, so hopefully we can find a way to start teaching her! The funny thing about the Baptism was that Victor wanted our Ward Mission Leader to do it, haha and the WML is 64, and works with us almost everyday, all day, it's so awesome. But Him and Elder Padua were like, whoa, Tatay Jusgaya conducts the Baptism, can he baptize him? haha, I was just like, uh, yeah, I'll just conduct if you want? And then at the baptism, I have never heard Brother Jusgaya speak english, and he said the baptism ordinance prayer in English so powerfully, and then used all of his strength to baptize this guy. You can't forget he is 64. It was awesome.
This week I have been reading conference talks like crazy, I can't get enough of them, and seriously love the messages in each one. It's such a blessing that I think I take for granted, having inspired leaders speak to us, give us counsel, and they really apply to all of our lives. It's amazing and so awesome. I can't wait for General Conference, I'm so bummed, it's a week later hear, so I have to wait until April 12, but hopefully they will have stuff on LDS. org I can look up. I feel like this conference is just going to be really big, really special for some reason, I don't know why, it's just a feeling I have. Maybe like 10 temples will get announced or something, but either way, I'm excited, and I hope everyone takes the time and sacrifice to watch all 5 sessions, put other things on hold. (It's easy for me to say that now, but I really wish I had in the past). I feel bad because I will read some talks from the past, and be like- whoa, this is awesome, why don't I remember this one?
My favorite talk I read (and remembered) was President Uchtdorf's talk "Of Regrets and Resolutions", mostly about time. How the older we get, we look back and see the choices we made and the things we have done, and things we wish we had did or change, or the regrets. One of them was spending more time with those we love, which I really have personally gained a deeper understanding for. That being on my mission, I actually talked about this with a member, I have gained a deeper love for my family, and wish I had spent much more time with them. I was talking to a sister in my district yesterday, and she is going home in 3 weeks, I asked her what the first thing she wanted to do was, and she said- I just want to go home, and sit with my family, have them sit in front of me, so I can just look at them, and talk with them, and find out more about them and what they are going through. I said, yeah I want to do that too, just at In-N-Out haha. But I really thought about that, and I think seeing other families here and the ones struggling are the ones not doing the small things, the basics. I have said it before, that I am in homes with no floors, or some with nice couches and even a computer. But I can always tell which families are reading their scriptures because of the spirit in the home, and the love of the family. "the foundational principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ can affect our life’s direction for good, if only we will apply them" is such a true statement.
The other thing I really liked was when he compared his life to him and his wife riding bicycles, and sometimes he wants to go faster, but his wife lovingly reminds him, it's not a race. It's a journey, take it in. That's why we are here, it's a journey, if we are so focused on the finish line, we miss out on sweet opportunities of happiness, or don't open our eyes because we are so focused on the finish line. We shouldn't think that we will be happy once we reach a certain point in our lives, or once we have something we will have happiness, but see that happiness is always available. I related that to myself, although the language drives me crazy, and sometimes I think my mission will be way more enjoyable once I get the language, but it is enjoyable now!
One of the sweetest experiences I had was just on Friday, when we stopped by the chapel to talk to the bishop, as everyone meets to play basketball. There are 3 kids that have been coming to church, 11 years old, and I learned they are not members. One of them came, and after a few weeks he invited his 2 friends to come. All 3 are awesome, they go to church every week without their parents! And one kid's mom is actually a Less Active member we learned. But the one who initially came, John Paul, is a stud. I had thought he was a member, he has such a sweet spirit. This particular Friday he wasn't himself, he didn't want me to try and steal the basketball from him, he seemed sad. As it turned out he was sick, he was pretty hot, and his voice was scratchy. And he came up to us after a lesson we had in the chapel, and asked for a blessing, so seriously, and preciously. We gave him the blessing, and the next day, he came up to me at church and said "Elder! Elder Rock! Galing na Ako!" or i'm okay now! And then- "Priesthood yen!" or, that's the priesthood. This little boy, who can't get baptized yet because he's not old enough without his family being baptized, had so much faith in the priesthood, and he was healed. That was the priesthood working through pure faith. It was so touching.
The gospel is truly special. If we live it I know happiness can be found no matter what our circumstances. I really know that, and am constantly being reminded of it, it is so simple. The gospel is so simple, asks so little, and we gain so much. I hope everyone has a great week,