Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014-12-29 "All that's left is the temple now."

Hey Everyone,
Well this was one of the best weeks of my mission.

The Valencia family marriage, baptism, and reception went off without a problem on Tuesday.

The marriage only took like 20 minutes in an office.  From there we went directly to the church for the baptism.  We got everyone changed, took pictures, and started the baptism quickly.  We had almost 50 members in attendance at the baptism which is a lot, especially for a week day.

me with Rinaldo
I baptized Alan (the oldest son) and Rinaldo.  Elder Delgadillo baptized Selma and Oliver.  Hermano Wilson (who helped us out a lot with the family) baptized Benancia.  (That's who the people are in white in the photo.)  The water was really cold. Benancia took like 5 minutes walking down into the font.

After being baptized, all 5 of them bore their testimonies.  Benancia bore a beautiful testimony about how happy she is to have found the church and that her whole family did too.  I felt the Spirit strongly as she spoke. It is incredible to see the difference the gospel has already made in their family to this point and to also know how much change and happiness is still to come for them.

Immediately following the baptism, we held their wedding reception right there in the church.  We arranged the reception and actually got a lot of help from the ward.  They cooked food for 80, decorated, contracted a hairdresser for Benancia, and got a professional  DJ to do the music.  Our pensionista made a really good wedding cake too.  It was a good way to get the ward to know them.

getting Alan to smile for a picture
As we left the reception and I said goodbye to Rinaldo, he told me, "All that's left is the temple now."  That made me feel good that he understands there's still work to do and that he's excited to be sealed.  His wife is excited to be sealed too.

That same night President called to tell me that Elder Stuesher was going to have his appendix out right away.  The next morning, Christmas Eve, I went to replace his companion and stayed with Stuesher all day in the hospital.  We got to play some chess and watch Mr. Kruger's Christmas.  Hermana Mercedes called to wish me a Merry Christmas Eve and since I was in the hospital, she sent Junior with food.  It was a ton of food and really, really good.  There was chicken cooked in some kind of delicious sauce.

We helped Kevin prepare his first sacrament meeting talk this week. He was supposed to speak on Sunday but then the stake presidency came and released our bishop and called a new one and that took up all of sacrament meeting so I suppose this Sunday Kevin will speak.  The new bishop seems like a cool guy.

On Christmas we ate breakfast with a counselor in the stake presidency.  He made us pancakes.  Then for lunch we went to the Carbalhos'. We ate dinner with our own pensionista. Between the eating and then talking to our families on Skype it didn't leave much time.  We went to visit Jorge's family (see the picture) because he turned 12 on the 24th and wanted us to go to his house for a breakfast but I couldn't because I was in the hospital.  Then our last visit of the night was to the Valencia family.  We taught a lesson about the Holy Ghost since they were going to be confirmed soon.

me and my companion with Diego, Christian, and Jorge
Being with them felt more like Christmas at home than the other stuff we did during the day.  I bought them Christmas presents and took them that night.  After the lesson we opened the presents and they fed us and had lots of coke.  I bought a green laser for Alan and Connect 4 for Oliver and we all played with those a little.  Alan's a pretty smart kid for playing Connect 4 so that was fun.  Benancia told me like 10 times to say hi to my parents.  So "Hi" mom and dad from the Valencia family.

Anyway, I'm very happy about this week.  It was a ton of fun.  I love the Valencia family and I'm excited for them as members of the church now.  I sure am glad that I'm a member of this church.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  Don't forget to pray.

Elder Howlett

P.S. Helaman 14:30  

1 comment:

  1. This one made me cry! What a blessing you have been to this family Steven. You have been the Lord's hands on earth to bless the lives of his children. Thank you for your faith and service. It helps to build my own faith and make me want to be better at sharing my testimony. Sarah Gagon


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