Hey everyone!! Happy New Year!
I know it's not quite the new year yet, but I figured it's better to start now rather than wait till the 1st to do it, so I have a new goal! I'd like to share a scripture that I have felt was special to me during the week. This week I found a scripture in the Book of Mormon, in Mosiah 5:2, which is the response of the people, after having heard the prophet speak, and it says, "And they all cried with one voice, saying: yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." I loved this scripture so much because it describes the change of heart that they have, and their change is so strong that they have no desire to do evil, but always do good. I have really been focusing this week and striving to gain that change of heart, and this scripture has been really meaningful to me, and I hope it can be the same to you!
I hope you all had such a wonderful Christmas! I definitely did. On the 23rd we had the opportunity to go with Santa to sing at an orphanage, which was a ton of fun! We played games with them and gave them candy, and it was so fun! They were so happy and it made me so happy. On Christmas Eve the ´G´ family invited us over, and we had so much fun! We had a ton of food! We ate cochinita, lomo, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, and chocolate chip cookies, and probably more that I can´t remember haha. It was so good! I had a lot of fun. They had all six of us missionaries over. We were also able to talk a little bit about why we celebrate Christmas. It was so great to be able to have a family to be with at this time, as I was able to reflect on being with my own family at this time of year! On Christmas Day we had lunch with an hermano from the ward and he let us use his computer to Skype our families after we ate. It was such an incredible experience to be able to talk to all of them and just see their beautiful smiling faces and hear their voices. I was so overwhelmed with emotion when I first saw them, I miss you all so much! But I know you are all happy and doing well at home in Wisconsin. And I was also so grateful that the packages from the fam arrived just on time this week, thanks for everything! Especially the Reese's, there is a severe lack of those here in Mexico.
On Saturday, we had the pleasure to baptize the two younger brothers of Alicia. Alicia has been such a wonderful example to them, and she has been helping us teach them in these past few weeks, and on Christmas weekend they were able to be baptized together! It was such a wonderful experience. I was able to baptize one of the brothers, and Elder Padilla baptized the other. It was so cool! It was the first time I was able to baptize someone, and I was kind of nervous for that, and to make it harder, it was in Spanish, but it was so great. We got out of the water and he had the greatest smile on his face. It was so amazing. I want to be able to have experiences like this every week! Baptism is so important, and it is just the beginning. It the first covenant, or promise, that we make with God, that we are willing to follow His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a way to show our faith in Him, and it is the gate to so many more blessings! One of the greatest of them is the gift of the Holy Ghost, which the scriptures promise us, will be our guide. I have felt the Holy Ghost (Spirit) guide me when I needed it most. I am so grateful that God has given me this gift and that I have also been able to bless other people´s lives by giving them the Holy Ghost as well.
We had such a wonderful week here in La Paz, I really love it and I am so grateful to be here. It is so wonderful to be able to be a missionary here, and to witness the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not only in my life, but in the lives of others. I am really excited this week to be able to start a new week and be better than I was last week! We are really hoping that we can finish out this week strong, because it is the last week of the transfer, before they change where missionaries are serving. This next 6 weeks is the last 6 weeks in the mission for Elder Padilla, and we are really hoping we can have a great week this week to prepare to have a great next transfer! We aren´t sure if he will be leaving or not, but either way, I have been able to learn so much from being with him, and we are going to work our hearts out this week!
I hope you all have a happy new year!!
"It's not what it looks like..."
"The packages arrived just in time!"
"Skype-ing with the family!"
"The wonderful baptism!"