February 5, 2017
February 5th is significant to me because I arrived home from Argentina on this day 42 years ago. I mark it every year. It is special to us now because of the great blessings that we have received this week.
This week was pay off week. We saw many things completed that we have been working on. Let’s start with Cristina and Humberto. Humberto has been a member for over 60 years but still does not have the priesthood. Cristina is not a member. If you have read our blog you have seen pictures and comments about Cristina for the past year. It started a year ago when we started attending charlas at their home for their niece. We connected right off and became good friends. We had some good charlas but did not see any baptisms. We stayed in contact and visited Humberto and Cristina from time to time as our schedule permitted.
In July, Cristina had a stroke that robbed her of her speech and use of her left side. Renee and I went to the Hospital with Humberto and Elder Peterson and Rodriguez to give her a blessing. It was well received, and we were hopeful that she would recover even though she was very ill. Well, less than a week later she was discharged to the home of her daughter where she regained her speech and ability to use her left side. Even though she was still quite weak, she came home in late August. She continued to get better.
In November, we invited her to go to a meeting with Elder Rasband, one of the 12 Apostles. It was a very special meeting. After the meeting, Cristina started to talk about getting baptized. She started reading the Book of Mormon without being prompted and started to come to Church. She commented that she felt a very special warmth whenever she reads the Book of Mormon. Humberto’s church attendance had been somewhat erratic but started to get better. The Sister missionaries, Sister Nava and Anderson, did a great job fellow-shipping and teaching Cristina. Humberto started taking classes to learn about the Aaronic Priesthood and they continued to progress. From the day that Cristina first told us that she wanted to get baptized she has been very faithful. They have come every week even though she does not feel well all of the time.
|Monday night, the Sisters taught Cristina about families|
That all led up to Saturday night. Cristina asked me to baptize her. It is my first actual baptism of a convert as we always had members do it the first time around. Humberto also came into the font to help so that she would feel more secure. What a special night. Renee gave the talk on baptism and did a good job. She is getting better all the time with Spanish. After the baptism we had a little get together at their house with some of the ward members. It was really neat. Today she was confirmed. It was another special meeting. It is really hard to describe how you feel when this happens. You kinda have to be here.
|The "after" party|
I will talk about a couple of companion-ships. First, Sister Wickell and Sister Parada. Sister Wickell is from Nephi. That is where I was born so I naturally like to meet people from my home town. Sister Parada is from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Emily Park from our ward in Blackfoot served in her ward last year. Emily served with Sister Quackenbush, who is the daughter of my niece, Tanya. Pretty small world. These sisters are working hard and I expect them to have success.
Next we have Elder Ward and Fix. They were both real helpful in putting up the nets and we had a good visit. It also isn’t too hard to get them to be a little crazy. I like to include Elder Ward because he is from our daughter’s ward and his mother comments on the blog. So if you happen to be a missionary parent that reads this blog from time to time, I guess you now have an idea on how to get more pictures of your child in the blog. So with that trip we have now put nets on all of the houses in the mission. That is 70 houses and about 190 beds. We are tired and ready for something else.
Lastly, I wanted to include some pictures of the Melo countryside. It is so green and beautiful. I especially love the clouds. Uruguay is a wonderful place, but not so much today as right now we are having a big rain and wind storm. I hope the missionaries can stay dry and protected.
Another great week is complete. We hope everyone enjoys the Super Bowl parties and time with family. We love the work that we do. It is not easy by any means but we love it. Today in Sunday School that taught of the creation. So our Savior created the world and everything in it. Then He came to earth to teach us the right way and to top it all off he died for all of us so that we could return to live with Him and our families for ever. So how important is the Savior in our lives? He is everything!
We love you all.
Gordon and Renee