Monday, April 9, 2012

Milagros in Molalla!

April 9, 2012
Dear Family,
Wow family, I’m so pumped, I don’t think I have ever had a week more packed with spiritual experiences, opportunities to serve, miracles and seeing the Lords hand revealed. I know the Lord is answering our prayers as we are trying to work as hard as we can and we are seeing the fruits of our labor. I won’t be able to tell you about all the things that happened this week but I will try. Well you all know about the goals we set for the month of April, we want to double the church attendance and help 50 people enter the waters of baptism. Well the whole branch is pumped and ready to help us achieve our goals! First miracle, E G and her son I were baptized on Tuesday and it is an amazing story. I’ll give you a quick scoop as I have a lot to talk about. Elisa has been investigating the church for almost two years and every time she has gotten close to being baptized something bad always happened to her so she canceled the date. We stopped by the Branch Presidents house Monday night and she was there talking with the family. I had never taught her before but we asked her if we could share a spiritual thought. We shared a scripture and ended up talking about baptism. She explained to us that her life was rough and every time she got close to being baptized, something happened. We felt the impression to exercise our Priesthood and offered to give her a blessing. After the blessing she left as she had to go do something. Later that night we got a call from our Branch President saying that E came back to  his home and she wanted to get baptized the very next day. We gave her the interview and she was baptized Tuesday night with her 8 year old son and since her baptism she has never looked happier.

Another miracle is that I went on exchanges with one of the companionships in our district. We went to teach a girl that has been investigating the church for about a year but hasn’t been able to be baptized because her dad won’t give her permission (she is 12). We testified to her that if she prays before talking to her Dad and if she bares her testimony, he will give her permission. We left that appointment and later that night she called us telling us that her father finally gave her permission and she can be baptized. She was baptized on Saturday and the Elders in Mactown are pretty pumped. There are a lot more tender mercies that happened with this experience but I will have to tell you in the future. I know that the Lord is hearing our prayers and answering us through our faith in Jesus Christ. The District scripture for this transfer is Ether 12:14 Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost” and I feel like this is coming to pass all around us.

Another amazing miracle that is happening is that Los Hermanos are pumped to come out with us. We had a member with us every day and almost all of our lessons are with a member present whether it’s with the youth of the Church like G, his brothers J or D, or Los Elderes de Israel. Los Hermanos are getting pumped up and they let us present our goals in Elders Quorum this Sunday. They are excited to come out with us as we explained to them that it will help us double the work we can do. Every Thursday and Friday night we have what’s called la noche misional. That’s where they meet with us and with Los Hermanos we do splits, Chyeah!! I know that all these amazing things are happening due to the Lords help and we are just his instruments. It’s like Alma says in Ch. 29, he is just grateful to be able to preach the gospel and so am I. By setting these big goals, we have been able to focus on our mission and we understand that we can’t waste any time. I know that it is my duty to share the gospel of the Lord and invite all to be baptized so they can follow the example of the Savior and be saved.

Now even though we have seen so many blessings this week, something tragic happened as well. There was the death of one of the members in the Branch. B S, she was only 14 years old and it was really tragic and sad. Everyone from the community came together to support the S family as it has been a hard thing for them at this time. She passed away on Wednesday and we were there to help out in any way we could. Having the knowledge of the atonement of Jesus Christ helps us to know that we will live after this life. We know that this life is just a time to prepare to meet God and learn from our choices and decisions. Yesterday they had the viewing and they had a Misa tambien because some of the families are Catholic. The family owns a huge business in town and has a huge barn where they held the viewing. About 500 family and friends showed up for the viewing from Washington, Mexico, California and locally. As we showed up to the viewing, we were asked to stand next to the casket while people walked by to make sure no one touched the body or threw holy water on her.

Her Tio G told me that she would have wanted the Elders to be right next to her and said that we meant a lot to her. At that time I was able to further understand the importance of my calling as a representative of Jesus Christ. We stood there for almost the whole night as people walked by to see her. Then today she was buried and it was done by the Catholic Priest. There were so many people there and it was good to see how many people were there to support the family. When the Priest was finished with his service we all gathered around the coffin with the people that were there and through the power of the Melchezidek Priesthood, we dedicated the grave that it would be a peaceful place and protected until the resurrection. It was a truly powerful experience as the Spirit testified to me again that this was real, that life will go on after death and the Savior will come again.

Well family, I’ve talked a lot but I haven’t even been able to explain half of the things that have happened this week. I have come to know that through true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, working hard, being willing to do whatever is necessary, miracles can happen. Please pray for the S family. I love you guys so much and I hope you have a good week. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ and if we want to follow him we must keep his commandments and live his gospel.

The atonement is real and can heal anything as our Savior has already paid the price. I’m grateful for the things I have learned this week as it has helped me to appreciate everyday and everything the Lord has blessed me with. Thanks for your prayers and know that I’m praying for you guys too.


Elder Payne