Friday, January 31, 2014

The First Steps Toward a Forever Family

Best news first: familia Huezo got baptized! This last Saturday, after
a feast of stressing out that will be discussed later, we were blessed
to see five members of this beautiful family make a sacred covenant to
follow the example and mandate of Jesus Christ by entering the waters
of baptism, and yesterday they sealed that covenant by being confirmed
members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and
receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. But a lot of week happened
before that.

This week we have been refining the missionary skill of finding
appointments to fill up the gap when someone isn't where they said
they would be when they said they would be there. It's a good time.
And it's lucky that we love doing that, because we do it a lot! But
the Lord has always called His servants to "preach by the way", so we
are just following in the footsteps of those who have come before us.

We had a really remarkable day on Thursday. Our mission, San Pedro
Sula Oeste (west) combined with the mission San Pedro Sula Este (east)
and we as a force of about 300 missionaries had the privilage to hear
from Elder Ochoa, of the 2nd Quorum of the 70, and Elder Soares, of
the presidency of the Quorum of the 70, and also from their wives. And
it was awesome! Between the messages of diligence and miracles that
were shared along with the talk "How to Become a Concecrated
Missionary" by Tad R. Callister (we were given that talk to read to
prepare for this conference--I now read it every morning, because it
is that awesome), Hra. Harmon and I now have a recommitment to
participating in this work with all of our heart, might, mind, and
strength. Someday, when I have the notes from that conference with me,
I will gladly expound the epicness of that conference, because it was
pretty sweet. And, as an added bonus, Elder Soares is from Brazil, so
his Spanish is peppered with Portuguese. That was fun.

Two more side notes about that conference: I was called to sing in the
choir (we were selected--we're kind of a big deal) and we performed
"Behold, a Royal Army". Our director is an AP from the Este mission
and we as a group had a collectively good time. And I got to stand
next to Hra. Escalante to sing, so that was magical. I just love that
Mexican. Other note, I was asked to give the closing prayer. Before
this experience, when our investigators felt scared to pray, I was
never really sure why someone could actually feel fear to say a
prayer. I get it now! It was one of the most intimidating moments of
my life, especially because the opening prayer was offered by that
same AP from the Este mission and his Spanish is way better than mine!
But I closed my eyes and tried my best to just talk to my Father, even
if I couldn't express myself quite so eloquently as I wanted to, and
it went alright. Lesson learned: have compassion for those who are
scared to pray. It can be terrifying.

On Friday we had a visit from the Sister Leader Trainers, Hra Bayles
and Hra Morales. Hra Morales became my compa for a day and my hija
went with Hra Bayles. But it was pretty lucky that we could cover
double ground, because Hra Morales and I went to the baptismal
interviews of fam. Huezo. I guess we should have expected that if our
lessons with fam. Huezo usually ran longer than we expected them to,
their interviews would run long as well. But the hour that we planned
to spend there passed and, a fin de cuentas, it was two and a half
hours in total between arriving and departing. That's a long time! But
I got to get to know Hra Morales better and that was cool, because
she's pretty cool. We also had an inventory at the end of the day and
I am really grateful that I could receive some advice and counsel from
that wonderful sister.

But here's the kicker: fam. Huezo surprised us with the news that they
couldn't get baptized at 5, which is our normal baptismal hour.
Rather, they needed to have their baptism at 10 in the morning! That
was only 14 hours away! And then, of course, all of our baptismal
clothing grew mold last week and was useless and no one wanted to
answer their phones, and it was raining, but two minute panic attack
aside we found people to baptize them and two witnesses and five
Baptismal Records and a big stack of white clothing, so it all went
well in the end. Marco Jr. told us yesterday that after being
confirmed, standing before the ward and being welcomed in was a
feeling that he had never felt before. But he said it was "bien
maziso", which is catratchan for super, super epic. I am so grateful
that the Lord has called me on this mission, and that I was able to be
there to help this family find the tools to bind themselves together
and to the Lord forever.

I love this gospel. I testify of its truthfulness. I know that God is
our loving Heavenly Father, and that He has done all, including give
His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that we can come back to Him.
All that is missing is for us to decide to do it. Let's decide!

I love the Lord, I love this work, and I love all of you. Have a splendid week!

Oh, I totally forgot: We  have this one investigator named Johanna,
and we were so ready to start suggesting she leave her husband,
because she wants to get married and baptized but he just wants to
drink, and they came to church together yesterday! He has been
promising her for months that he would come to church and he finally
came! It's a MIRACLE! If anyone was praying for them, thanks. It

Les quiero a todos!

Hra Pickett

P.S. Someone tell Robs happy birthday for me!

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