Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 34: Like an ironing of my life

What a week! On Saturday our golden investigator and her daughter were both baptized by her husband! Their daughter is 8 years old so she isn't officially a baptism by the missionaries, but she turns 9 tomorrow. If we would have just waited one week I could have had one more baptism ;) haha Just kidding, what matters is that she got baptized. It was really a beautiful baptism service with three other people from other missionaries. Afterwards all five of the people that got baptized shared their testimonies, Saori (the 8 year old) shared hers last and pretty much brought everyone to tears. The testimony of a child is so pure. She said that she was happy to be baptized a few days before her birthday, but that she knew that what was more important was that she was doing the Lords will. Sometimes we think that kids are to young to understand these types of things, but we should never assume. On Sunday I had the privilege of confirming Saori, I'll admit that it's still a little hard to give blessings mainly because I have to talk in Tu instead of Usted, which is just the way you address a person. But giving blessings is always such an amazing experience, especially when you get to say ¨receive the Holy Ghost¨.

On Friday we had splits with my district leader. He came to my area and worked with me, I really miss working hard. We packed in the the day and nearly did half of what we've been getting done in an entire week... I love that feeling after a long hard days work and just crashing in bed without a regret on your mind. I have learned a lot from the cycle though! I've really improved on my ability to teach and speak Spanish! I'm just excited to really apply what I've learned with hard work with my next companion. I was a bit surprised with Elder Harrison who speaks English that I was never really tempted to start talking in English with him, we made it through the whole day pretty much only speaking Spanish! 

So with some of the things that I've seen with the members in this area I've been studying why it is that we have trials even when we aren't doing anything wrong. I came across this scripture in Mosiah 23.

 20 And it came to pass that they did multiply and prosper exceedingly in the land of Helam; and they built a city, which they called the city of Helam.
 21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.
 22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people.
 23 For behold, I will show unto you that they were brought into bondage, and none could deliver them but the Lord their God, yea, even the God of Abraham and Isaac and of Jacob.
 24 And it came to pass that he did deliver them, and he did show forth his mighty power unto them, and great were their rejoicings.

Sometimes the Lord see´s it fit to try our faith. But this only gives us the chance to put more trust in him so that he can ¨deliver¨ us. As it says in Ether 12.

27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
When we teach people we promise them blessings, but that doesn't mean the trials won't exist. I've seen at times people abandon their testimony because they face a trail when they thought that they would receive blessings. But if they would only recognize that during the trial is when they most need the blessings. Why do people so readily abandon their greatest source of help and strength when they most need it? It's a question that I don't think I'll ever be able to find an answer. Only that Satan has his devices to deceive and fool man to believe that blessings cannot be present in life when there are trials. But on the contrary! Often we're eligible to receive more blessings as we endure holding strong to our faith. 

I can testify of this fact. This has been the most challenging cycle I've had in my mission, but I have clearly enjoyed more blessings in this time than any of my other time. I'm grateful that the Lord see´s this time fit to try my patience and my faith so that I can increase it. The mission really is like a ironing of my life, just taking out all of the wrinkles. Sometimes the heat burns a bit, but that's when it's able to take out the biggest of wrinkles. 

Thank you for all of your support! I love you all! Until next week. 

Love Elder Twede

The baptismal font. The hardest part is getting down inside.  Just kidding it's the water tank that wasn't pumping any water the day before the baptism... A bit stressful, but everything worked out

Cleaning the bathrooms right before the baptism. After the church not having running water for a week... let's just say they were horrible...

Jesus and I, he's a really good kid.

Baptism! This picture looks a bit squished for some reason... I swear I'm not that chubby!

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