Monday, May 8, 2017

So Happy Together!

This email is from March 27, 2017

The transfer calls came last night, and Elder Blackford and I are staying together for one more transfer! We could hardly contain our excitement last night, we were so happy.

We had a really good week. Ivan got baptized by his father yesterday and it was a beautiful thing to see. The whole Contreras family was happy to see him take this first step after 3 years of waiting. Hermano Alvarenga stepped up and talked about how he got baptized when he was 20 years old and served a mission shortly thereafter, and it was the best decision he ever made. He challenged Ivan to consider serving a mission seeing that he's 18 and will graduate this year. It was the perfect thing that had to be said because I felt the same way, that we needed to challenge him to serve a mission. That would bless him and his family so much.

As well, on Saturday we stopped by our investigator Norberto. His wife wasn't there, but we challenged him to be baptized on April 30th and he accepted! He and his wife came to church the next day and it was so awesome to see them get encircled by the members of the branch with genuine friendship and love. That's what is so nice about this area, if we bring investigators to church, the branch pretty much does the rest. As well they went to Ivan's baptism and missed the actual baptism by about 20 seconds. But nonetheless they still enjoyed it and felt the Spirit. Norberto didn't talk to his wife Vanessa about getting baptized, but we'll challenge her this week.

Wilson is still doing really well. We've been able to see a genuine change in his countenance as he's come to church and read in the Book of Mormon. We can tell that he is changing and wants to become a better person. During Elder's quorum yesterday he volunteered to bring the drinks for the pre-priesthood session get together this Saturday. We are so excited to see his desire to serve faithfully in the Church. I can't wait to take him out to lessons with us after he's baptized.

On Wednesday we had our zone conference and as usual President Mortensen blew our minds with his knowledge and wisdom. He helped us understand the difference between priesthood power and priesthood authority, as well as the purpose of the Melchizedek priesthood. I love thinking about how everything we do as missionaries helps other people to understand their purpose in life and how they can return to the presence of God. It is a grand privilege to preach the Gospel in this part of the Lord's vineyard, even if there are times when people tell us they're Christians and then threaten to shoot us if we don't get off their property. But all in all I've met so many wonderful people both in and outside of the Church who I've come to love and respect very much, and I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the change and light that has been brought into people's lives as they embrace the Gospel and choose to live it.

Elder Barrus
Our favorite family from English class that always makes us laugh
Splits with Elder Wyman

Ivan at his baptism

Ivan with his parents

While out knocking doors on Friday, a horse escaped and managed to evade the owner
for a good 20 minutes. So I took  a selfie.

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