Monday, November 14, 2016

Wk# 59: 2016 coming to an end? What?

The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement Wednesday:
We congratulate President-elect Donald Trump on his election as president of the United States.
We invite Americans everywhere, whatever their political persuasion, to join us in praying for the president-elect, for his new administration and for elected leaders across the nation and the world. Praying for those in public office is a long tradition among Latter-day Saints. The men and women who lead our nations and communities need our prayers as they govern in these difficult and turbulent times ... May our local and national leaders reflect the best in wisdom and judgment as they fulfill the great trust afforded to them by the American people.
    What a beautiful week! It was filled with people saying, "Did you vote for Trump?" but it was good nonetheless. MARIA GOT BAPTIZED! It was such an emotional and Spiritual experience! I wish you all could have seen her in her white dress all a glow with pure joy. She was baptized by her brother and Elder Numbers and I were able to be the Witnesses. The Spirit was definitely present as she made her first Covenants with Heavenly Father. As she walked into the font and got into position to be baptized by her brother, she asked, "Is everyone here?" and she looked out into the group of people watching and she became very emotional, crying, "They are all here! My children are all here! They are all here!" And then as Brother Islas started the Baptismal Prayer he chocked up and began to cry as soon as he said his sister's name. Needless to say, there wasnt a dry eye in the room. And mine especially were not dry! haha! She came up out of the water an hugged her brother saying, "thank you so much, thank you so much." He looked up to me and asked if it was all good and I couldn't speak so all I did was nod my head. I suppose that we could have filled the Baptismal Font 3 times with the amount of tears that were shed in that Baptismal Service. The Spirit was almost tangible. Later, she asked me to be in the circle as The Gift of the Holy Ghost was given to her the next day and so it was my privilege to be a part of that. 
    This experience made me reflect on the absolute privilege it is to serve a mission. I thought of the hard times I have had, the good times, the painful moments, the spiritual moments, and all of the things I have learned as a missionary. I thought of the long days walking under the hot Argentine sun on dirt roads, not finding a soul for hours on end, the times running from house to house in the pouring rain trying to find someone to teach so we could just get out of the rain, the lessons that were so spiritual that nobody left the room with dry eyes, the moments of deep homesickness and discouragement, the occasions of absolute joy and the feeling of a heart filled with the love of God. I thought of all of these things that have summed up to become my mission, and felt, and still feel, pure gratitude. I have been given this front row seat to miracles, something I will never be able to pay my Father in Heaven back for. "What have I done to deserve such a beautiful opportunity as this?" I have continually asked myself since the Baptism. I am eternally grateful for the mission. The growth, progress, and changes I have seen in myself that simply could not have happened outside of the mission. 
      If you are trying to decide to serve a mission or not, my advice to you is this: Do not hesitate, just serve. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it. Those hard moments of my mission all combined and put together do not compare to the happiness I felt during Maria's Baptism. I'll take suffering under the sun, getting soaked in the pouring rain, being rejected 1,000 times over every day if it means that I will have the privilege to see and feel what I did at that Baptism. The mission truly and simply is worth the pain. 
       I humbly testify of God's perfect and eternal Plan of Happiness. As a father loves his children here on earth, our Father loves us more than we can comprehend, and for that reason he sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins. He sufferned, bled, and died out of love for us. As He died, we will die too, but more importantly, as He rose, we too shall rise. And "in our bodies we shall see God." as it says in 2 Nephi 4. 

    I love the mission, I love the Plan of Salvation, I love my Heavenly Father, and I know He loves me. These things I share, in the sacred name of Jesus Chirst, Amen.
Beautiful city of Tandil

Elder Numbers, Maria and Cade