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Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013--Week 73

Hello family :)

So, this week was pretty awesome.  Actually, it was the happiest week of my mission.  I'm so grateful that I had this oportunity to stay here in Chahuites these transfers.  The baptism we had Saturday was so amazing.  We tried to plan it out really well so that it would be a good experience for Imara and her kids, and our efforts in that respect really paid off.  I can´t really explain how prepared this family was. Seriously the experience of teaching and baptizing them was the dream of any missionary. I´ll give a few examples. First, the dad of the family is very Catholic (he´s not quite on board yet, we´re working on that), and he was kind of harassing Owen (who is 10) when we weren´t there (they told us about this afterwards) about how he shouldn´t be getting baptized again since he got baptized as a baby. And that the Catholic Church was the first church and all the other churches are just knock-offs of it. And Owen answers him (and we didn´t even spend that much time teaching them about the Great Apostasy) "No, the Church of Jesus Christ was lost when the apostles died, but God restored His Church again when he talked with Joseph Smith.  I need to be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ."  WOW.  He´s 10. And has been learning about the Gospel for 3 weeks.  He´s going to be an amazing missionary. Second example.  Yesterday they were confirmed.  The branch has a temple trip this week, so Imara wanted to go, and she was interviewed by the branch president and everything.  And then our Gospel Principles class was on the covenant people of the Lord. And we talked about covenants. And a little bit about the Abrahamic covenant. And she understood it all. She made a comment about how as we accept the Gospel it blesses future generations, just like God promised to Abraham.  That´s pretty profound understanding by someone who had been baptized one day earlier.  So then in the night we went to see them and teach them a little bit about the temple, and when they go to the temple Saturday, they´re already going to bring family names to do the baptisms for them!  I haven´t even done that after 8 years of being able to do baptisms in the temple! I'm so so grateful for the oportunity that I had to teach this family.  We´ll continue working with the dad, because we know that Heavenly Father wants them to be an eternal family and that He´s preparing the way for that to happen.  I love this family so much.  

I´m also extremely grateful that because of the choice Grandma and Grandpa made to be baptized years ago, my life is completely different than what it would be if they hadn´t done so. And that as a consequence I was able to share that happiness with another family by whom generations will be blessed (just like Imara said) in the same way.  

That´s about all for this week.  We´ve still got a lot of work to do :) I loved hearing about the vacations and EFY, lax camp, and all the rest.  I love you all so much!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Andrew Nickerl

This is the picture of the baptism of Imara (the mom), Owen (the son), and Britney (the daugher).  The other couple in the picture are the members of the church who gave us the referral and are really the reason that we had the baptism.  Their baptismal service was awesome--more than 30 people came and more than half of them were non-members that Imara had invited.  She´s a teacher and is very well known here in Chahuites so she´s going to be a huge help in finding new investigators.

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