Monday, March 11, 2013

Mi Querida Familia

¿Cómo están? Me alegro de escucharles nuevamente.

Thank you for your letters this week. I want you to know that I am always grateful for your heartfelt and encouraging letters every week, despite the fact that in the last few months of my mission, it has been dificult for me to write the kind of long, thougthful letters I was used to writing before. Time seems to be very limited these days, with an increasingly unlimited list of things to do in it. I am grateful for you love and prayers. Thank you for your lives and who you are, and especially how you live the gospel in a world that is far more challenging than the one I am in right now.

Well, like I said last week, Alan was getting baptised, and he did on Saturday, and yesterday he received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Alan is the boyfriend of the stake president's daughter here. His parents are less active members who went when Alan was very young but have since been away from the church for many years, so Alan was never baptized. He started going to church with Camila (his girlfriend) less than two years ago, more than anything just to accompany her. He was not very interested in making changes in his live or really in the gospel in general, but he went. I had tried teaching him a little bit with Elder Badger months ago, and he was doing pretty well and had interest in learning, but we dropped him as he never fulfilled his commitments to read or pray.

Well about two weeks ago, as we were eating lunch with the Stake president's family, Alan and Camila walked in and sat down at the table. After eating, we had some friendly conversation and shared a message with the family about the importance of the Book of Mormon. Alan didn't say much and we didn't focus much on him, but still extended the invitation to seriously read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it's true, promising him that doing so would lead him to a testimony of the truth. Out of nowhere, Camila's mom began to talk about her conversion to the gospel and how she had been an investigator for more than 6 months before deciding to get baptised. She said she hated how all the missionaries tried to put a date for her baptism, and that her pride did not let her see that she already knew that it was true and the right decision for her. Needless to say that she realized that she had nothing more to wait for and was baptised. Alan remained quiet and had a pensive look on his face, but we ended the lesson and headed out.

Later that same day, about 9 o clock at night as we were heading towards the chapel for PEC, we get a phonecall from Alan who tells us, "I want to receive the discussions for baptism. When can we meet?" We franticly took our agendas out and scheduled an appointment for the next day to meet in the chapel. In that lesson Alan disclosed his desire to be baptised that he had had since the beginning of january but never said anything because of opposition from his parents. He told us he had met with the bishop and that he had given him our number to call.

We invited him to be baptised and he immediately accepted a date for the next week (the 9th). Since then, he has faithfully kept all of his commitments and is reading several chapters of the Book of Mormon daily. His parents even came to his baptism, which was the first time they had stepped inside a church building in many years. They were proud of their son, and came to church yesterday too to see his confirmation and stayed for all the classes. Now we are going to their house tonight to teach the whole family.

Alan will be heading off to Concepción for school this weekend, but he knows several members of the church here that will be there too and they all are going to be going to institute together. I know Alan will be in good hands, and I'm proud of him too for making the right decision.

I know without a doubt that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is real and it changes lives. Men are not static creatures. We all have great potencial, and Christ helps us reach it. We will be in contact with Alan as much as posible and encouraging him to serve a full time mission as well, a possibility that he's not ruling out. It is amazing to think of all the lives that can be blessed because of the decision of one person.

Jesus is the Christ. This is his true church. I love him and am grateful that he loves us enough to endow us with power from on high. Have a great week and thrust in your sickle with all your might.

Much love,
Elder Ross Wilcox

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