Monday, 25 April 2016

Awesome week - one baptism and two more planned

     This week was full of miracles. I don't know where to start hahahahaha. 

     Ok I'll start with this; one of my investigators in my last area got baptized on Saturday! Her name is Mayra Serrato and the baptismal service was incredible! She has such a glow about her, the light of Christ in her truly has grown! Attached below is a picture with her and her friend (who baptized her) and then all the missionaries that taught her! 
      Well, kind of. Elder Lemmon never taught her, but she and him are really good friends from back home! They are both from Vancouver, Washington and grew up together! So it is really cool that he is my companion right now, because we both just went to the baptism so he could see one of his friends from home enter into the covenant of baptism! What an amazing experience!

      As you can see, Mayra was taught by a bunch of us. Haha, that's because she was honestly in a rough situation. She was super hard to teach at first, she was very defiant towards new ideas and change. It was hard to teach her, but a part of my testimony grew from this experience. I learned that everyone has their timing. Mayra's circumstances did not change, but the Lord softened her heart and put her in a situation where she could accept the gospel, and she did!

    John 4:35-38 says:

    35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

    36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

    37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.

   38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

            I read this scripture the evening I found out that Mayra was getting baptized. The spirit really hit me at this moment. I tried so hard in my last area with so many people, and lots of them hit dead ends unfortunately. For some reason, they would not accept the gospel at that time. I don't know why, but I have faith and know that God knows why. And he has promised us that he that soweth and he that reapeth shall rejoice together. I felt that promise fulfilled on Saturday. I know that God lives, and it doesn't matter what our role is in His vineyard. As long as we do our best and try to be the best disciples we can be, then God will make sure that our labors are not in vain. I know that to be true. I also saw this fulfilled because Elder Haight and Elder Ohl told me that some of the other people I texted before I got transferred have replied and want to meet again. One of them, Diane Gonzalez, wants to be baptized really fast. It's amazing how the Lord works! I'm so happy that those Elders are seeing so much success in their area. It brings me a lot of comfort and joy to know that a lot of people I worked with are starting to come around. It's simply a miracle and evidence of God's love for us.

            Prophet Joseph Smith taught, "Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and out to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race."

            I know that love is the center of everything we do. I have felt so much love for the people we are currently teaching. I know that as we pray for charity, that the Lord will give us opportunities to be charitable. We need to recognize opportunities to show others our love. As we do so, I promise you that the work of salvation will increase in your Ward. And, most importantly, you will be happier. You will be helping God fulfill his greatest purpose, which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. As we do so, we feel true happiness because we are helping others discover the reason we are truly happy. I love the Lord with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength! I know that He is the reason I am out here. I know that His church has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith.

            We put an investigator named Ana Gonzales on date yesterday for May 14th! She is very prepared and honestly could be baptized this Saturday, but we are waiting till the 14th because her grandma is coming from Mexico and wants to attend the baptism! We are very excited for her, it's going to be an incredible experience for her and her family.

            I also went to breakfast with one of my Dad's old mission friends this week! It was a fun time. He brought me a LeBron shirt from Cleveland hahaha, that was a nice surprise! I now have new p-day apparel! Robert is a cool guy. We gotta go to Cleveland and watch LeBron hahaha, he said he is so much better and bigger in real life. He said TV doesn't do him justice hahahaha.

            Thanks for all the support! The most important thing I can tell you from this week is that my testimony has been strengthened. I simply know without a doubt that Christ is our Savior. I love Him and I know who he is. I'm humbled that some day I will get to meet Him. When I do, I will feel the nail marks in His hands and in His feet. I will wet His feet with my tears as I express gratitude for His Atonement. I love Him.


                        Elder Strate

            P.S. Go Cavs!!!!

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