Monday, July 28, 2014

2014-07-28 She is sure of what she's doing.

Hey Everyone,
 It was Hermana Roselyn's birthday so I made
cheesy garlic breads
This was a pretty good week.  I enjoyed my little trip to Cochabamba and got to go see the Flores family and the Carbalho family (my pensionista from Alamos)

It was Hermana Roselyn's birthday so we also
 smashed eggs on her head
I met up with Elder Severiano after writing you last week and he was my companion until we went back to his house that night.  We went to visit the Carbalhos and they'd made us a chicken and sausage barbecue which was really good.  It was fun to talk to them and see them again.  Mom and Dad I can't wait for you guys to meet them when you come.  Junior is doing great.  He's the deacons quorum president and is doing a great job at getting the other deacons active.  He asked for a list of the deacons and goes to visit all of them regularly.  He's been going to the temple once a week too.

After talking with them we went to the Flores' but only Hermana Anghy and Arthur were there.  I don't remember if I've told you, but Marco went to Peru for  a 2 month study program. Celeste and Anghy Lou were at their school.  They are pretty much ok but Celeste is staying with her grandma who's sick for a while and isn't really going to church.  It was the first time I visited them in their new house but it is right across the street from their old house.

That night I slept at Severiano and Laidlaw's apartment.  That was really fun since they've both been my companion and I really like both of them. The next morning we went to the airport and flew to Sucre.  I was very happy that we didn't have to go back in a bus.  In Sucre, we got a taxi that took us 2 and a half hours back to Potosì. 
at Elder Severiano's house
Then on Saturday was Valeria's baptism!  She is awesome.  I don't think I've told you a whole lot about her. She's 27 years old.  Elder Severiano and I first contacted her 2 or 3 months ago when we went to visit Hermana Carmen (her cousin) in the hospital and she was there too.  It was right around Mother's Day so we shared a Mother's Day/Army of Helaman message with Carmen and Valeria listened to us too and was really friendly. That day she agreed to come to church with Carmen when she got out of the hospital.  When Carmen did get out they did both come to church.  Since Valeria technically lives in the other elders' area, we told them about her and they started teaching her.  We kept visiting Hermana Carmen and her family though and Valeria was there a lot and she always came when we did family home evenings with them so we wound up still teaching Valeria quite a bit. 
Valeria's Baptism!
She was a great investigator who actually read the Book of Mormon when she said she would.  She liked the church from the start but didn't want to get baptized without being sure she should.  One day in a lesson she said,  "I got my answer, how soon can I be baptized?"  That was pretty exciting.  She is sure of what she's doing. She bore her testimony in her baptism and talked about how happy she is to have found this church.

She asked me to confirm her.  Since the bishop normally does that for converts, it's the first time I've ever confirmed anyone.  It was a pretty cool experience.  It's an awesome feeling to give a blessing and know that you've been guided in what to say.  I felt the Spirit incredibly strongly as I performed that ordinance.  That afternoon we ate lunch with Hermana Carmen's family and Valeria and Valeria told me that it was a great experience for her too.  She told me that she'd felt like there was an energy going from our hands into her head and that she just felt warm and happy afterward.

I've noticed that how I prepare to give a blessing makes a huge difference in how well I'm able to recognize the impressions as to what I need to say as I give it.  I think that's part of the reason that it went so well for Valeria's confirmation.  I was pretty nervous about doing it so the two nights before I studied how to do it in Spanish and I also prayed a lot that I'd do it well.  Not only that, but we were in sacrament meeting which is very conducive to the spirit.  I've noticed that when I give blessings in general that there are two things that really help that the Spirit be present.  One is saying a personal prayer.  That's something I've always known I should do but never realized how much it helped until someone asked for a blessing at the end of the lesson and since we were kind of rushed I just gave the blessing and just felt uneasy trying to know what to say.  The other is singing a hymn with everyone before the blessing.  That's something that Elder Mero did and I've also noticed helps change the atmosphere so the Spirit can be there.  I always make sure to do those two things before blessings now.

Anyway, I still love being a missionary.  I'm very grateful to have grown up with the gospel in my life.  Life is a million times better when you have the gospel and live it than it is in any other way.

Find some time to go to the temple this week.  I'm sure you'll feel the Spirit if you do.  It's a great way to get yourself focused on how you should be living.

Elder Howlett

P.S. Acts 6:3

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