This was a super very excellent week.
First off, Hermano Oliver called me to say he and his family were going to get sealed! The sealing was Wednesday. It was as punctual as anything else in Bolivia. They asked us to be there at 2:30 which we were and then we finally went into the temple at 6:00.
Since we were there for a long time just waiting, I started chatting with a group of young men who had come from Beni to do baptisms for the dead (about 1 full day of traveling from Cochabamba). I met Alejandro who was baptized this year and found out that Ryan Neuhaus had baptized him. He seemed like a really good kid. His family got baptized too but they are already inactive and he saved up on his own to come to the temple. He wanted me to tell Ryan that he's doing everything he taught him to do. It's nice to meet people like that.
Eventually everyone who was supposed to come arrived and we went in. First we went to do an endowment session since they weren't endowed yet. I really like the chapel waiting room in the Cochabamba temple. It has a giant picture of Jesus praying in Gethsemane. From the celestial room they took us directly to the sealing room. It was the first time I'd ever seen a husband-wife sealing or family sealing. It was really cool. I'm very happy for them.
|Oli Valencia and his balloon animals|
Second awesome thing--we went to visit the Valencia family who was supposed to get baptized on January 3rd. However, they told us that they've decided that they want to get baptized on Christmas Day! They told us they'd chosen the 23rd to get married We've got a lot to do to make sure everything is ready for their marriage and baptism but I'm super excited! The husband is doing great at not drinking or smoking and the wife finally realized that she needs to get married. The kids are all excited and reading the Book of Mormon every day. Tomorrow we are going with them and they are going to do the paperwork for the marriage.
We gave a great zone meeting again for this month. The picture that I forwarded we took right after the meeting. Seven out of 10 areas in the zone had changes last night. They closed one area in the zone. Due to the large number of missionaries who left, they closed 11 areas in the mission. I stay in my area but my companion is leaving. My new companion is going to be Elder Terceros from Santa Cruz. I know who he is but I don't really know him. He could be my last companion. I've only got one more chance at being changed but now that I'm here for my second to last transfer I just want to stay until I'm done.
|nativity in front of the temple|
Things are going very well with Alan and Samuel (Kevin's younger brothers). Alan finally went to church and finally told us that he believes he's gotten his answer that this is the true church. I'm very excited that Alan got his answer. He's been working at it for a long time. If they keep doing well I do believe that the dad will give permission for them to be baptized. Alan, especially, has made a lot of improvement in these last couple weeks. It seems that he's grasping well how incredibly important the gospel is. He's giving priority to God now and I think that's why his testimony is growing so quickly.
This week we went to a part of our area we'd never been to and that was fun. There a little river that I didn't know about and it's another place where everyone seems to raise cows. We met 3 families who we have appointments to visit during this week in the new area.
You should go to the temple, going this week reminded me how awesome it is. There is a lot to learn there.
P.S. 2 Nephi 2:8