Sunday, February 23, 2014

Elder Line's First Baptism!

Dear Family,
Well this week was probably one of the most stressful weeks, and also one of the most rewarding weeks i have ever had on the mission! We had Henry's baptism this week and it went great! Preparing for it wasn't the funnest time ever... but actually having it finally was a great feeling!  After he was baptized, he gave his testimony and it was one of the most spiritual testimonies i have ever heard. It wasn't complex, it wasn't super long with stories, but he got up and told what he knew and how he came to know it. By the end I was about to cry! It was a great experience, one that i will never forget.
We have another investigator that is ready for baptism, and should be baptized within the next two weeks. He just needs a baptismal interview and he should be good. His name is Daniel and he is a member referral. We are excited to prepare for another baptism!
Well not much is going on here. This week is the transfer calls! i am excited, so next letter i will tell y'all where i will be going! Well I hope that you guys have a good Valentines Day! 
Anziano Line! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Another Letter!!!!!

Dear Family,
Well great news- Henry is getting baptized this Saturday!! I am really excited. He has his baptismal interview and passed and now he is really excited. I think may be a little more excited... haha. I guess to make things even better, he asked me to baptize him! I guess it is really true, that even though there are a lot of discouraging parts of the mission, it is moments like these that just make everything else bearable. I hope all goes well with the baptism. It is a little tricky, because the ward is Italian and he speaks English. I am not sure exactly which language we will do the meeting in. Anyway, I will send pics next week of the baptism. I really have a testimony that God is preparing people for us to teach. I don't know if i have already told the story of how we found Henry but here it is.

So it all started with Nickolace (the one that we did the Christmas for.) We had a lesson with him, and we talked about the Holy Ghost. As we talked with him, I had the prompting to give him the spare book of Mormon that we carry with us to go finding, and told him to pray about who he should give it to, or to pray to find someone to give it to. A week or so went by and we got a call from Nickolace saying that he gave the Book away to his friend and that he wanted to meet with us. He gave us Henry's number and we called him to teach him. We met with him and one of the first Questions we asked was "what do you want to do in this life" and he told us that he wanted to become a Man of God. I was really touched by this.  As we continued to meet with him, there was never arguing about doctrine that comes with other investigators that i have had. But instead, he went forward with faith, praying about what we talked to him about and receiving an answer that it was true. I am glad that I was here from the start because i got to see how his progression as he applied the teachings of Christ in his life. This experience has really shown me that 1. true conversion doesn't take arguing over doctrine until one agrees, but instead all it takes is going to the one that knows it all, God, and asking him and receiving an answer via the Holy Ghost. 2. God is preparing people for us, and all it takes is our part in putting forth the effort to find them. 3. Always listen to the promptings of the spirit. even if you don't see immediate results, there was a purpose in the prompting, I am glad that i listened to the prompting to give Nickolace a Book of Mormon, if it weren't for that prompting i don't think we would have ever met Henry. I know Gods hand is in this work. Ive seen it during my mission so far, and i hope to continue to see it. I love you all and thought i would leave you with a funny experience this week.
i locked my comp out on our patio (just goofing around) and he was pounding on the glass door to get back in and i was standing right there and just as i was about to open it he smashed through the window and i got a face full of glass. haha my whole face was bleeding and i had to pick out all the glass pieces from my face. One piece got really close to my eye, i think i got some guardian angles protecting me. haha but after i cleaned up, i looked at it and all the cuts were just tiny little cuts and you can barely see them. haha. but that is my funny story..  so moral of the story is don't clown around, bad things happen :)
Love y'all!
-Anziano Line

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Jan. 27th

Dear Family, 
This week has been quite the week... So many ups and so many downs. So i guess in the end it has just turned out to be a normal week. Our work here is Bari is growing, however like always it is difficult to keep it growing and making sure all of our investigators do what they have to do. 
So as you know we have an investigator that will be baptized soon. The problem is that we have not been able to get a hold of him, and his interview is tomorrow. I am hoping that we will be able to meet with him soon. We have tried 3 times this week to get a hold of him. I was a bit frustrated and worried because going a week without seeing or hearing from an investigator, especially one that wants to be baptized, is really scary. Luckily we got a hold of him and found out that he has been really sick and that he still wants to be baptized. So i am still happy :) 
We are teaching two other Africans right now, both referrals from ward members. (Nickolas and Daniel, the two we did the Christmas thing for). This week we set baptismal dates with them! We are very excited for both of them. The first one is Mark, and he is really awesome! The way we got in contact with him was a missionary in Bari (cause there are 4 of us) found him originally in Malta.   He tried teaching him but couldn't get a hold of him after the first initial contact.  The missionary was transferred here and one day they were doing " findings" and he saw Mark and thought he recognized him and it turns out that he was the same man from Malta... which is really rare cause Malta is really small so what are the chances?... So that is probably one of the coolest miracles that I have seen and I am grateful that I get to be a part of this! 
The next investigator is Daniel, and he is a friend of the other Daniel, the member one. He plays soccer and is really good, but that is compared to me, and I am horrible, so.. boo :) haha -Anyway, the lesson that we had was pretty amazing. The previous lesson that we had with him, we asked him to pray about baptism, because we had originally invited him. We talked with him again about it at the beginning of the discussion but he was still unsure.. so we just continued with the lesson about the Plan of Salvation, and it was amazing as we saw his understanding grow about why we are here and the spirit was so strong and he asked questions and we answered with the Book of Mormon. By the end, he was so excited to be baptized because he understood the significance of it. I am so grateful for the spirit. It plays such a huge role, not in just testifying to the person, but also enlightening their understanding. 
Well that is our work. Bari is nice, my comp is a thug and he is watching me write this andfnaisdfgobisal.. -That was him.. haha :) Right now. blood oranges are in season, and they taste sooooo good!! I wish you all could try some! I hope you all have a fantastic week! Love y'all!
-Anziano Line