September 11, 2017
Bautismo de Vianka
I just have enough time to share a wonderful experience this week. We had a baptism Saturday. The person that was baptized is named Vianke Dugarte. Her experience has been one of my favorites. She said that in Venezuela the missionaries had taught her and visited her but she didn't feel anything. She told us that none of them really seemed to connect with her. She then had an opportunity to come to Ecuador. She took it in order to be able to "look for God" as she said. She went to live will her family that are part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She went to church that week with her family and while she was there I had a thought that I needed to talk with her and ask her if we can visit her sometime during the week. She accepted and we started to visit her. She said from the first visit she could see my sincerity that I had. She said that was one of the first signs that the church is true. As we taught she continued listening but she said what really helped her look and search were the questions that I asked her. She said they showed sincerity, they were thought provoking, and introspective. She said because of the questions she started to look harder and with more intent in order to answer the questions. She began to grow spiritually. We arrived at a point which stopped her progression. It was if Joseph Smith was a prophet. We found it out by follow advice from my district leader to do the baptismal questions with her. We focused in on her doubt. What was amazing was at the same time her friend from Manta (another part of Ecuador) sent her a video of the life of Joseph Smith without knowing what her doubt was. She investigated and prayed and received her answer. Two weeks later she was baptized. She and her family have thanked me for what I have done (which literally was nothing. I barely did any work. The Holy Ghost helped have a change in her heart and she began to open it). They told me that they would never forget me. They said I am a powerful missionary and they want to thank my parents for allowing me to come to Ecuador. I feel as if I am taking away the credit of someone greater. I feel that my Heavenly Father has allowed me to be an instrument in his hands and to be a small part of his work to gather his sheep and bring them to zion. I share the word of Alma when he says: 12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
13 Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice?
14 Yea, we have reason to praise him forever, for he is the Most High God, and has loosed our brethren from the chains of hell.
15 Yea, they were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction; but behold, he has brought them into his everlasting light, yea, into everlasting salvation; and they are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love; yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work.
Even though I have not been able to witness the conversion of thousands, I know, thanks to the spirit and what he has said to me, that this is our Heavenly Father's work, He loves his children, He wants each of them to be encircled with his love. He prepares a way for each one of them to accept his gospel. He has allowed me to be a instrument in his hands as I have been here in Ecuador. I know He lives, I know He has provided us with a Savior, and I know what the Savior has taught, his Gospel, is true. Through his covenants and ordinances we can be cleansed from our sins and have the ability to return back to live with Him again.
I would like to invite all to come unto Christ. For those who have been baptized to seek to be an instrument in his hands. To let God be able to use you to bring others to him. For those who are not baptized to learn of him, and to ask the missionaries to teach of him and his miraculous gospel. I thank you all for taking time to read and listen to another testimony of him. I leave this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
I love you so much!!!! I love and miss you!!!