Thank you all for your remarks. Today has been one of the Best Birthdays! Why? A few reasons, now it's okay to lose hair, I am officially an adult. We went to the Zoo with Pres. Amaya and his family, we got Subway and ice cream. I am about to cover the Twinkies in cake frosting and eat them with Elder Hancey, and tonight we should have 2 baptisms! But we'll talk about me in a bit.
Well, this week has been filled with miracles. I love this work with all my heart. The family asked how Eliana, Joseph and Sandra are doing and let me just tell you. We went to visit Eliana after General Conference on Sunday and we had the strongest impression to invite her parents up. She is 23 years old, but didn't get baptized a few months back just cause she doubted and fell away at the last moment. Her family is very Catholic and we wanted them all to support her. We called the family up to listen and the lesson quickly directed itself towards the father who took lots of interest in the Book of Mormon and our patience to answer his questions. We simply taught him and testified of the Restoration, he committed himself to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know the truth. We then did something that required a lot of faith, confidence and spirit with the strong character of the father... we didn't tell him that his daughter Eliana was considering baptism and asked for his approval, better yet we INVITED HIM to her baptism because SHE prayed and SHE knows it is true. He was taken aback, yet a light shone on the timid face of Eliana to see if her father would support her. He thought long and hard about it and then answered 'well, it is her decision and if she knows it is true, I will be there to support her.' We have been on top of her this whole week to secure the baptism and we should be seeing it this afternoon! We weren't expecting results that quickly ,but she is chosen and it is her time. I am so happy, she is reading the Book of Mormon, she has passed through so many temptations and cliff edges, yet has come out on top each time. We are so happy for her.
How is Joseph? We haven't seen him all week... we're not sure. We are worried, hopefully we run into him tomorrow night.
How is Sandra? Now this story is also a tender mercy of God. She has gone to church many times and to many baptisms. Her Aunt and Uncle are members and she is living with them as she studies. She went to Conference last week and said it helped her a lot, yet we lost contact with her till last night. She could easily get baptized today and that was the goal of our visit last night - not leave without a baptism. We got there and began to talk about the Book of Mormon, she is past 1 Nephi in 2 weeks. She loves it and Conference helped her out a lot. She has had some crazy questions, but nothing to take her away from the feelings of the Spirit. We didn't know how to treat the topic of Baptism without simply doing it, so we did! She wants to be baptized but feels like she needs to know all things before she makes the decision. We told her that what she has felt is the Spirit and that she knows it is true, though she hasn't recognized it specifically. We invited her to ask God to confirm what she already feels is right. We then invited her to be interviewed today at 5 pm for her baptism. She never said Yes to baptism, but she did say Yes to the interview and on passing she said she'd be baptized. It was a spiritual battle and many times we had distractions or questions that could've taken us off course of the goal. Going into the lesson, the goal was baptism. We didn't know how, but we knew and felt it was necessary. I am so grateful for the guide of the Holy Ghost, we were divinely helped last night and we are praying that all goes well today.
We are seeing miracles here in Ecuador. Jeff (yes, you husband of Allie) invited me months ago to simply talk with everyone in my way and see the blessings. I never did it religiously until this past companionship and we are seeing fruits! We have been blessed with chosen people. Tonight could very well be 3 baptisms in 3 weeks in our new ward, and if not 3 in 3, it'll be 3 in 4 weeks. We are having such a blast sharing the gospel with all we can and God is helping us. The Spirit will always be our guide... yet there are conditions. As we do what we should and are attentive to act upon what we feel, we will always have results. If we don't know what we should, it doesn't work. It doesn't cut it either to do what is right, but not have the faith to act upon the guidance. If we hadn't invited Eliana's family to listen too, the baptism wouldn't be the same. If we hadn't spoken boldly and confidently about baptism last night to Sandra, we would probably be preparing a baptism for weeks down the road - if that.
Let us deserve the Spirit. Let us have faith to follow. Let us be humble to repent when we don't act. God is our Father in Heaven, He sent Christ to be able to return to Him and the Holy Ghost to have a constant guide. I do love them with all of my heart.
I love you all too, thank you family for being the best support I have had in the ups and downs. I am grateful for my eternal family.