Monday, December 28, 2015

Jonathan Santos ready for baptism. Christmas family phone call home. Nancy is convert.

Ahh well. Christmas is a wonderful time of year. Actually they say the most wonderful time of the year. And if the full time missionary is enjoying the spirit of the season while on his or her supposed best two years..that makes December 25th even more special I think. 
Then throw in a call to the family that he or she hasn't seen in 7 months digitally (and perhaps family members that haven't even been met yet) and you get the greatest Christmas yet in his or her young life. And I am positive if gorgeous baptismal services and miracles with investigators deciding to follow the Jesus Christ that we remember this time of year..if all that gets added into the equation you end up with what can only be described as a non-forgettable, inspiring, cherished Christmas.
Well that is my best effort at creative or formal writing - whatever ya call it. Now i go back to my informal fast type.  It was a great week. We were slow at first but we caught up by getting Jonathan Santos ready for baptism. The boy (even though he looks like a man) is 16 and he has made some great changes in his life and started off a clean, new life by entering into the waters of baptism.  The service was probably one of, if not my favorite service I have been in. We had the impression that the person to baptize Jonathan physically would not be one of us missionaries. And it became clear that the Young Men's president was the man for the job. He is a strong convert, who had never baptized anyone.  And also he had experienced tragedy just weeks before with the passing of his daughter and son in both him (Brother Cuevas) and Jonathan had a great experience. And now that Jonathan goes in to Young Mens we hope to see it get stronger as an organization.
While on the topic of the Priesthood, Amary Santos passed the sacrament yesterday, and Ricardo Gonzalas, the convert that was called to the Young Mens presidency, blessed the sacrament. That was just so awesome to see, I can't describe it.  Also, Jonathan recieved the Priesthood and Felix Hernandez was interviewed and received it. In February, I believe, the older ones are going to recieve the Greater Priesthood. Actually, I am sure they will.  I love our bishopric. They are super ready and willing to get things done and now!
And Nancy is the other convert of Sunday this week. She came to church again and we had a quick lesson with her to see if she was willing to throw away sin and enter into the baptismal covenant that same day but in the evening. She was also super ready to do it, and we got things ready and had a beautiful baptismal service.
Can you guys count all the blessings here? Because I seem to lose track. Even though we are so imperfect, our Heavenly Father wants our best..and that is what we do - our best to give. I love this ward, I love Christmas and i don't want to leave either of them but to quote a certain chosen one´s mother.. ´´You can't stop the more than you can stop the sun from setting.´´ 

As a zone we were able to be the most successful out of the mission, as a district too I believe, and Elder Berry and I both are super happy of what we have been able to accomplish. I couldn't do any of this without Elder Berry. He is so capable and tenacious yet highly effective.  I love learning from his example and hope to have yet more time here. 

Now I hope no one confuses my letter with ingratitude to God for all that I have. The greastest part of these past weeks and the mission in general is the comprehension of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that I have been blessed to obtain. Complete, no...but enough to know how and why to repent and invite every single person to do the same.

My family must know that I love them and think of them often and try to be the missionary that they believe I am :D  Same with my firends. Happy New Year's to all! God bless you.

Elder Smith

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