Sorry I am a day late writing…yesterday we were in Santa Rosa observing district meetings while President had his interviews. I also was able to see the Garcia Family. They have been so blessed since a year ago when they were baptized . They are struggling a little to get to church, we had a nice visit. They had framed the photo of the the temple I gave them and the house feels good. hope that they can get it together a little bit.
Thank you so much for your great emails. I enjoyed them so much. Thank you Papa Arlen for your great advice... Grandma Clegg, I am glad to hear that you are doing well and that your temple session broke the temple baptism record. That is some great news... I am very glad to hear that everyone is doing well. There is no greater blessing for me!!
We were in a zone meeting last Tuesday and we were setting goals as a zone and I was sitting in the first row listening to some of the comments from the Elders and Sisters and I realized that they really didn´t believe that they could reach the standard of excellence. I asked Elder Mikesell (Zone Leader) if I could talk and shared with them my testimony of how if they don´t believe it…they will never achieve it. I was kind of heated, but hopefully guided by the Spirit. I left the reunion with a ton of energy and Elder Bird and I decided to do everything possible to leave the office a couple of hours early every day. It was great and we had a really successful week in our findings. Now this week we hope to bring in the member squad to get them in the church this Sunday. We finally will get a missionary leader this Sunday. It has been four months since we have had one. But I am excited because it is Bishop Martinez, so it will be an excellent experience.
As usual it was a week of miracles as well…two that I would like to share with you.
On Friday night we were leaving a members house planning the baptism of their daughter. We crossed paths with a man and gave him a card. He was in his 40´s in a collar shirt and gym pants. He asked us if he could tell us something. We were in a street with very little light and he put his hands in pockets. To be honest my first thought was that he was going to rob us. Then he started to cry and said, "I have been doing drugs all day, I have tried over and over again to stop, but I just can´t, I want to stop for my kids and my wife, they don´t know I have this problem" . He was really honest. We walked 11 blocks with him to his house. He was not doing good. He kept saying, I can´t give anymore, I can’t give any more. We talked. He is married, has three great kids, he showed us pictures on his phone, has a set job. He is a cocaine addict since he was 27. We testified to him and explained what we could do, said a prayer with him outside of his house, and gave him a Book of Mormon. We set an appt. for Saturday. We went to Viedma on Saturday for interviews and got back at 6:30 and went to his house. He was there and we talked again. The problem is that he still has not told his family. We committed him to go to the baptism service. We passed by and his kids told us that he was at church already. So we jetted it to the chapel but he wasn't there. I hope that we can help him and his family. That is what I love about being a missionary, there is nothing better being put in real positions to help people. Which brings me to my second story.
Sunday Morning we woke up and I sat down to write in my journal. I love Sunday mornings and writing in my journal. The phone rang and... long story short, a less active members mother had passed away in another small town close to here. Her funeral was going to be held at 8:30 and she wanted to know if someone could dedicate her grave. We called President to see if it was ok. He said yes and Elder Bird and I went to the cemetery to wait for the hearse and the family to show up. We were a little nervous and didn't really know what to expect. They called us telling us that they were leaving the funeral home and about 10 minutes later the hearse showed up. We followed them in the cemetery (way different than the states) and got out of the car, there were like 25 people. We asked a man in back of the group if he knew the less active members that we were looking for he told us that they were nobody here with that name. Then we realized that this was not the group that we were looking for. We walked away respectfully. It was really sad…oh how the Gospel blesses our lives. I am pretty sure it was someone young who passed away. We then went back to the entrance quickly for fear of missing the family. They got there just as we showed up the family less active waved us down and we followed them in. We got up to the grave and they put the coffin in place and then it was our turn. We testified of Christ and the resurrection and told them who we were. None of them were members. Shared a scripture then dedicated the grave and shook hands with each one of them. They were super grateful and I hope that something good comes out from it. They called the other Elders and told them how grateful they were. It was a little nerve racking. We then showed up to church an hour late. It was a very humbling experience. The gospel blesses our lives so much.
Dad- I was thinking about you lot today in the car ride back from Santa Rosa. I thought about the letter that you wrote me the day that I opened my mission call. Dad, I can´t tell you enough how much I admire you. The sacrifices that you have made so that our family could “live the dream”. I know that this time is so busy for you. I hope that you know that you are in my prayers. I know of no better father, leader, boss, husband, and best friend than you. Have a great week Dad. Shovel off a snow covered roof for me will ya?
Mom- Do you ever think about yourself…ever? ... You are truly amazing Mom. Thank you for your letter and your moral support. I think I am going to need that support that you talked about. It hurts, honestly hurts to think about this all ending. But I am grateful and happy with the work that has happened. (just saw your "fyi" email come in.) I hope that Ben Forsgren is ok. I will think about your questions. Mom, I sure love you. Have a great week. Keep fighting. You are in my prayers, in those nonstop 5 trips into town a day days…baseball game days…basketball game days…soccer game days…track days… know that I am praying for you. Brennen will be back to driving soon to help out. I love you Mom. You truly are #1.
Mikesell- Sounds like you lived the perfect experience at Long Beach. I loved the pic of you running on the beach, that sand is so great huh?! I hope that you can rock finals and that you are feeling better for your BYU race this Saturday. Sounds like your next couple of weeks will be crazy. I sure love you Mikesell. Keep being the best. I will keep checking the moon-Have a great week!!
Brennen. How are you holding up buddy? How much time till you kick out the crutches? How is school going? Are you going to run for Student Council again? How are your classes? I sure love you buddy. If you see Gus again tell him I love him and hello for me. Have a great week. Keep being the warrior that you Alex and Harrison are.
Alex- How’s it going? School good? How is the Book of Mormon coming? I miss you buddy. Keep being a great man. Fuerza Capo. Te amo amigo.
Harrison- Will you read with Dad and Brennen and Alex this scripture? Eph. 6: 10-19. I sure love you Harrison. Keep up the good work. Are you reading like a champion? Reading will help you so much. Love you Bro...
McCall- hey there princess!! I hope that you have a great week. I sure love you McCall.... Enjoy school... What do you play at recess?
I love you all so much. Have a great week! I should be able to write on Monday next week.
I was thinking today about that the experience in Mark 9:22-28 I love what the phrase "Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief" teaches us about the Atonement. It is so real and has the power to transform our lives.
Mormon 5 22-24
Moses 6 33-34
Eph. 5, 7-8,17,19,20,21