Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Hermana Clark and Hermana Guzman at Hermano Soria's baptism
Wow where do I start with this week? There seemed to be a theme this week: THE PLAN OF SALVATION.
We had the baptism of Hno Soria this week. Oh what a joyful day that was! I just barely met the man, but wow he was ready for baptism! He has had 2 children pass away. One was only a year ago. Their house is filled with pictures of him and it seems everyone in the family misses him. The Branch President spoke after Hno Soria had been baptized and said some very special words to him. There was no mistaking the spirit being in that room. His decision to be baptized was long awaited and it seemed the heavens were shouting for joy! His family CAN be together forever and his children are not lost. He is going to the temple this Friday to do the work for his two sons. Oh he is such a sweet man. His isn't always one to walk around smiling, but after his baptism they had some food and I have never seem him so happy!!!! It was such a privilege to see that day witnessed! After he was baptized and changing into dry clothes, we asked all the people there to write their thoughts on a notecard for us to put all together so he can remember this day. We gave it to him and he just wept. Oh how merciful our Heavenly Father is, no matter how stubborn we are, when we make that decision to change, we are wrapped in our Savior's arms. The invitation is always there for lasting peace and happiness! We just need to take that step of faith!
Speaking of, Juan, just this morning, accepted our invitation to be baptized! Wahoo!!!! Somewhere near March 12, depending on his work schedule! We are soooo excited!
Oh yeah, something else. I've been on the mission a little more than 5 months, but YESTERDAY was my one year until going home. Weird! So much will happen in this one year, however, I am so looking forward to the growth and knowledge that will come in this next year. I pray I am able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands!
Sunday, I heard some pretty devastating news. Like, wow. In my first area, we knocked on a door of a member who was a single man, so we thought. We knocked and his wife (of 1 year) answered! She is from Brazil and served a mission about 30 years ago and talking to us her mission memories flooded back. We had such a grand visit with her and asked her to help us with a recent convert who was having some hard times, who is also from Brazil. Well, we went back to their house and ate dinner with she and her husband. They were .... not a couple you'd predict, but esta bien. I, actually, was kind of afraid of her husband. I shared a thought with them and he asked me if I really believed that. It was in a voice of wanting to believe but losing faith in it. We stopped by right before I left the area a few weeks ago and had a lovely visit with them. He was in much better spirits and told us of his time as a stake missionary and the inexpressable joy he felt in that calling. She, as always, was a joy! We had a little lesson and said a prayer for their family.
The day before I left, we left a picture on their door, saying we love you. Well, Sunday, I found out, the day we dropped that picture off was the day that this man had committed suicide. His wife found him. Hna Nielsen and Ladd (serving in my last area now) ran into her and she just sobbed talking to Hna Nielsen. The man, previously, had been married to another woman in the stake we knew as well. Oh what grief! Oh how sad! Ayyyy! I could not stop thinking about this all night or the next morning until I said a prayer. I plead for this man. I realized that my prayer was going to our Heavenly Father. In Alma 40:11 we read: "the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life." That is the power of prayer - we are talking to our Heavenly Father, who knows ALL of his children. He makes sure to take care of them when they need it. It was such a relief to me to realize that it's not just a wait-until-Preparation-day to write a letter to a friend to make sure they are doing well .... we can pray to our Heavenly Father to ensure those we love are well taken care of. I don't know if I am making any sense, but WOW. The other thing I began to understand is that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is much more than I can comprehend. This life is not the end. Of the people I know that have made the decision to end their lives, all I can say is I doubt they understand the full meaning and purpose of this life. This plan that God has for us, it is just incredible. I wish I understood it more. I only know the simple basics. Of what I understand though, I will do my best to follow the example of Jesus Christ. [I don't know if I explained that well .... sorry]
Wow this week was hard work. Nevertheless, the work goes forward. We had other investigators who had bits of crisis' in their lives as well. Nevertheless Matthew 11:40-42.
I love this work! God is our loving Heavenly Father and always provides a way! I've been studying Mosiah 4-5 in preparation for Zone Conference this week. Wow - exactly what I needed to help me in the work. I love it!
This is the Lord's work! Love you all. Thank you for your prayers, letters, and love.
Love always, Hermana Clark