"Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah."

Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:8

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baptism This Week!

Hey!  I am writing to you all today in San Cristobal after playing an hour and a half of soccer in a little synthetic field. Definitely fun, definitely tiring, and definitely something I needed.  Normally we are down in Salamá for pdays and it is REALLY lame pretty much all of the time because we have sisters in our district there and so they never want to play sports or anything. So we never end up doing anything fun. Ever. So I finally decided I need to make an emergency 2 hour drive here to play with the elders here. It was worth it. 

Well, I hope you guys all had as good a week as I did. I can honestly say that this past week looked a little bit iffy from the start, but it turned out to be a Spirit filled, successful week.  We started off staying in the house pretty much all day Tuesday because we had another elder with us since his companion left. He supposedly had "horrible BU". But from what I saw/ heard it was a very whimpy BU. He wouldn't have made it in Polochik...But anyways that was kind of lame. Wednesday morning we received the changes. After that I told the elder with the whimpy bu to take some pills and man up and we went out on divisions to work. I went to go work with a really cool memeber from our branch, Hermano Armando. He's great and always goes out to work with us in spite of knee problems. Anyways, then Thursday was pretty hectic. We had to take care of the new missionaries that were coming to a couple of areas in the Baja Verapaz district. They "whitewashed" the area of Rabinal as we say here (which means they took out both elders and put in two new elders who have never been there) so we had to go to their area and show them the house and help them to figure out where some of the most important things were. Then after that we came back and got a little work done. Friday we had a zone meeting with all of the missionaries to talk about some things that we discussed in the concilio and to set some goals. We felt impressed to set a kind of different goal. Normally we put numbers of how many families, how many priesthood holders, and how many individuals we want to get baptized. We felt impressed to instead of setting a goal of how many individuals to just set the goal that every area can have a baptismal date with one complete family. We have baptized some here in the zone but most have been just individuals- kids, teenagers and sometimes single adults. So we're going to work really hard to find more FAMILIES because they are the most important. 

A cool story to go along with that: This week I was on divisions with an elder from Tactic in Salamá. We had walked around pretty much all day and had only gotten into one house. (everyone else just let us talk to them at the door.) All of the appointments we had for the night had falled, we were tired, and it was starting to rain. I really didn't know what to do to be honest. I waited for a couple minutes for some kind of Spiritual impression or some kind of "aha moment" to tell me where to go, but nothing came. So I had to think for myself of people that we could possibly visit. After thinking a few minutes I thought about a couple of families that lived back where we had just come from about 15 minutes away. But they were the only people that I thought of, so we went. The first family didn't have time, but I can honestly say that it was really good that we passed by because the dad of the family seemed really appreciative that we cared enough to pass by in the rain at night. After that we went to another man that we taught a couple of times named Mynor. We got to his house and he was actually there and invited us in. With him, he has normally made it seem like he is the only person willing to listen to us in his very Catholic family since we never even went into the house, just sat outside underneath a small "garage" I guess you could call it. He started off by asking us for some advice and personal experiences about how we have been able to endure and keep doing what's right even when we're tired and in spite of our weaknesses. I immediately thought of what had JUST happened. We shared a scripture in Ether 12:27. He liked it so much that he said he was going to get get a pen to mark it. He came out with a pen and his wife which was kind of surprising. He told her that that was why he loved talking to us- because we knew just the right scriptures that he needed to help him. After that I testified of the Spirit and how the Spirit had led me to his house, had led me to share that scripture with him, and how the Spirit was really the biggest part of how we as members of the Church are able to keep going in spite of weaknesses. We ended up teaching a LOT of stuff about the Book of Mormon and about the Restoration and they both were REALLY interested by the end of the lesson. It was great and we now have a new pilas family to teach. So pray for Mynor and Karina. 

This week we have a conference tomorrow and the baptism for Gilsa and Nieves will be Saturday! We're so exctied. AND their sister who is a faithful member, but of a different church, accepted to be baptized last night after a really awesome and spirit filled lesson about the law of chastity and keeping ourselves pure and clean. It has been a miraculous week. I'm really thankful to all of you for your prayers in my behalf. I ask for some special prayers that we will be able to find, teach, and baptize more complete families. Satan is working really hard against the family, so we have to work even harder for the families here. I know that the Lord loves us and wants to bless us if we keep his commandments. This is the Lord's work and it is a work of miracles. This week has been a trying week for me and I want to really thank you for the prayers that you have all said in my behalf to help strengthen me and to overcome my weaknesses and put off the natural man. I love you all tons and I'm sorry to cut this short but time's up. Love you all and I can't wait to hear from you all again next week! 

Elder Norton

Not sure what Elder Contreras is carrying, but it looks heavy!

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