San Marcos, Ocotepeque, Honduras (San Marcos Branch)
The Holy Spirit of Promise
Hoy que tal cómo estamos?! Esta semana fue una semana muy bonita. Con los bautismos de David y Enia y la conferencia de zona y la conferencia de rama el Espírity se sentío con potestad y he sentido yo más el gozo de la obra misional. This week really has just been amazing! On Tuesday we had a zone conference, on Saturday the baptisms, and on Sunday the confirmations and a branch conference. It has also been a very humbling week as well. We learned a lot and applied what we learned to the work here in San Marcos and we have seen the blessings.
During the zone conference for our zone, (Zona Merendón), President Bush, Sister Bush, and the Assistants to the President focused in on the Preach My Gospel manual and how we can improve the ways we find people to teach. How we actually teach our investigators, and how we invite our investigators to make and keep commitments. The lessons were just amazing and Elder Gimenez and I learned so much. Sister Bush focused on how we should talk with everyone we meet and everyone around us and testify as soon as possible about the restored gospel. She talked about how we should do it fearlessly. Sometimes it's hard to contact or talk to a new person for the first time. Sometimes I'm not super eager to start talking to someone because I don't want them to think bad of me and you all know what I'm talking about. However, after hearing what Sister Bush said, I decided to talk to everyone that I could. In the bus, in the moto taxis, in the street, literally everyone, and it has been amazing! I realized that it's not scary at all and that really our message is a message so special that it needs to be given to everyone. If we're not sharing the gospel at every possible opportunity we're not serving with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. The Assistants to the President talked about how we can improve our teaching so that our investigators can understand the doctrine and make changes in their lives. They talked a lot about simplifying our teaching and allowing the Spirit to bear testimony of simple truths. We applied this in our lessons this week and it has made a huge difference. We focused on simplifying our teaching so that these people understand us. We have witnessed the spirit bearing strong testimony to the hearts of these people that our message is true. Lastly, President Bush talked about how to invite people to make commitments with power and authority. This week we have also applied this lesson to be more bold with our invitations. We have seen people strive to keep their commitments so that they might prepare to make sacred covenants with their Heavenly Father. The zone conference was so amazing and we hope to be able to keep applying what we learned and to keep improving every day so that we might be instruments in the hands of the Lord here in San Marcos.
Next I want to talk about the baptism for David and Enia. So this actually starts with a funny story. On Wednesday we realized that we didn't have baptismal clothing for Enia and so we called our zone leaders and they told us that they would find some baptismal clothes in their house and send them down with our branch president because he lives in their area. So I thought everything was set until Friday night when I decided to double check and make sure we were good to go. I called the zone leaders and they told me that they didn't have baptismal clothing for Enia and that our branch president didn't have any either. So on Saturday morning, Elder Gimenez and I left early and made a frantic trip to Cofradía, another area in our mission about 45 minutes away to pick up some baptismal clothing from the Elders there in my district. We brought the clothing back and it fit Enia perfectly. The funny part is that later in the day a member in our ward who had previously said she didn't have a white skirt for Enia to use finally found her missing skirt and Enia ended up wearing that instead. So we went to Cofradía for nothing but at least it all worked out haha. The baptism was just amazing!! We held the service in the chapel and then we all went to the river to perform the baptism. I had the privilege to baptize Hermana Enia and my companion baptized Hermano David. Watching them enter into the waters of baptism was just amazing and the Spirit was manifested strongly to all that were there that they had entered into a covenant with God to keep his commandments and to always remember him. The broad smiles on their faces after the ordinance showed their joy and the happiness they felt to make this covenant.
The next day in church they were confirmed as members of the church and were given the gift of the Holy Ghost. Elder Gimenez and I had the special opportunity to be a part of the ordinance of the confirmation and the spirit was so strong. The Holy Spirit of Promise sealed this ordinance and manifested that it had been done under the proper priesthood authority. Yesterday was also a branch conference in church and a lot of people from the stake came to the building here in San Marcos. We had an attendance of 135 (which is huge for our branch). There weren't enough seats for everyone and there wasn't enough room in the chapel but it was a beautiful meeting.
Now to talk about the people we´re teaching:
Andrés Amalla: We are really struggling with Andrés. He started drinking coffee again and now says that he's not willing to give it up. He's also being really closed to the idea of Joseph Smith as a prophet and he started to go to another church. So we're trying to see if we're still going to be able to make progress with him.
Familia Peña Turjios: Karla, the mom, is more interested than her husband and she has come to church twice now and she really loves it. She has really loved what she has learned from the message of the restored gospel. She had a bit of a rough week with some deaths in her family but she's doing better. She still hasn't had the opportunity to read in the Book of Mormon to know if it's true but we have an appointment with her tonight. I really think that she's going to progress a lot.
Katherin Altamirano: Katherin is also doing well. The problem we're having is that she's not praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true but she's really receptive and understands the importance of baptism which is awesome. We have an appointment with her tonight as well and we're hoping for the best.
José Mejia: José is doing a lot better and he came to the baptism on Saturday and he loved it! He couldn't come to church on Sunday but he's really doing well and we have his baptismal date planned for the first week of August!
I'm really loving the mission. It's teaching me so much and I am so grateful for this calling and I hope to become better everyday and every week through the sacrament, staying on the covenant path, listening to the prophet, keeping the commandments, and serving the Lord with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. I'm so grateful for all of your support and have a great week!