Sunday, 1 July 2012

DAVID GOT BAPTIZED - 18TH JUNE 2012


Family!! Thanks for writing to me. I love hearing from you all every week!

Dad! Happy Fathers' Day!! I hope you had an awesome day, and by the sounds of what you wrote, it was pretty great. That breakfast in bed sounded delicious. Haven't seen bacon for quite a while! Let me know how those teeth whitener strips work. I've always been a skeptic too. They're pretty expensive aren't they? A skeet shooter would be a blast!! Are they expensive too? That's crazy that Ben's already done his mission... The time goes so fast, it's terrible. Glad you all enjoyed man camp. I always loved father and sons camps. They were the best. There's a pheasant?? You'll have to send me a picture! I'm glad you had such a great Father's Day. It was an awesome Father's Day here too. You're the best Dad ever by the way. I'm grateful that you've always been there for me as a great role model, and as a great provider. We've always had what we need at home, and I've always had a strong leader to follow. Thank you so much for me the kind of father that's helped me to grow into the person I am today. I always tell people how grateful I am for you and Mum for guiding me in the faith. Not only did you raise my physically, but spiritually as well. I'm grateful for the habits you helped instill in me that allowed me to obtain my own testimony. I've always admired your discipline and dedication, which at times is something that I didn't have, but I think the mission has helped a lot to help me improve in that sense. I love being a missionary. It's the greatest thing ever. Thanks for everything, Dad, you're seriously the best. I love you tons.

Mum! Haha I'm glad the electrical problem is fixed now. Dad mentioned that there are a bunch of scratches on the countertop? What are you gonna do about that? Be sure to keep sending me pictures!! The house has changed so much it seems. About your question about the Trinity, I haven't run into that too much. Typically, the people either don't know enough about their own doctrines to fight against our view of the Godhead (In Spanish, the church uses the word Trinity because the word Godhead doesn't really work), and those who do usually have bigger differences such as the fact that the Book of Mormon is scripture. I'm really impressed that you're sharing the gospel like you are. It's bold that you're inviting him to read and helping him read with the right attitude. I really hope you see results! He seems different than your average protestant on the views of the trinity, and seems more like a Jehovah's witness in that sense. The best way that I think there is to answer the Godhead question is the First Vision. We can try and have a Bible fight and basically do what every other church has ever done and just read a verse with our own spin on it, or we can try and help the person understand that the doctrine we teach is the way it is because it was revealed through additional scripture or modern revelation. Basically, the doubt the person has to resolve is if Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that is done best by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. You should call the guy and invite the missionaries to go to his house! That's a cool story about what Gordon said to Ben. I hope Aaron comes back to church soon. Thanks for sending the package! Everything will arrive at the mission office, and then it'll come to me. If I'm here close to Concepción still in that time, the zone leaders who go to the mission office often will bring it here probably the week after it gets here, but if I'm far away, I'll probably have to wait until we have a conference or interviews. It'll all be good though!! Thanks so much, Mum. You're incredible. I love you!

Michael! Funny experiences... My companion steps in dog crap every single day which is pretty funny to me, but I dunno if it would be that funny for you haha. We run into a fair share of drunk people that always seem to wanna talk to us which is pretty funny too. They always seem to have such a strong desire to change, but never let us go to their house hahaha. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DUDE!! Finally you're gonna be a man. That's awesome. I hope you enjoy voting hahaha. Get your bike license for sure!! I wanna do that. Dad was gonna take me out on his bike before the mission, but we never got around to it dang it. Sounds like you're doing ok with money, especially that you'll be able to work the whole summer too. Good luck on your exam! (Well you'll probably be done when you get this) I'm sure you rocked it. You're taking World Religions? What made you wanna take that? Sounds pretty cool. Who are you taking BOM with? Take it with Marsh if you can. He's awesome. I don't have any recommendations for the other classes though. I'm going the business route so I won't be taking some of the classes you will. Anyway, keep me updated. Love you dude.

Charly! That's too bad about all your homework! What homework have you had? Where did you go to dinner? I love cheesecake! It's the best thing ever. When do exams start? Are you nervous? I'm sure you'll do great. Do you have any plans for stuff you wanna do in the summer? Love you Char!

Jake! I didn't hear from you, but I hope everything's goin well! How has everything been with your end of the year homework and stuff? Has it been super busy? May and June were always the craziest months in school because you have to finish everything off, the teacher's are trying to cover everything last minute, and you have to prepare for exams. I'm sure you'll do great though. Love you!


So this week was pretty incredible. David got baptized!!!!! I've attached a couple pictures of his baptism. On Wednesday, he had his baptismal interview, and on Sunday got baptized! He invited a bunch of family members to go too. Almost have the church attendance on Sunday was from them and the visitors! We visitied his mother-in-law and his oldest son on Saturday before church, both of whom accepted a baptismal date. They were quite skeptical, but after going to sacrament meeting and the baptismal service, the seemed to have felt the Spirit really strongly, and I hope that by bringing David or his wife Norma over, they will be more receptive to the gospel and be able to progress towards their own baptism. Also, David, another son of David and Norma, went to church for the first time and really liked it! Unfortunately, Nicol√°s doesn't seem to have interest in spiritual things right now. He just thinks about soccer and school and doesn't show a lot of desires to find out if he needs to be baptized as well. We're going to keep working with him and the family, but perhaps it just isn't his moment yet. The baptismal service was awesome. David was baptized and afterwards was very emotional and was crying. He is incredible. His conversion has been amazing, and I learned a lot. He started out with desires to be a better person and follow God, but wasn't really doing anything in his life to follow the Lord. He accepted everything we taught him, but at one point said he didn't feel ready to be baptized and didn't show signs of progress. One day he told us that after thinking about what we had taught him, he felt the need to change his life. His faith grew immensely and afterwards, every moment we were with him he was talking about how much he trusted in the Lord and how excited he was to be baptized. He openly and willingly accepted every commandment we taught him, and has a firm desire to follow through to the end of his life. It's incredible to see how when someone hears and accepts the gospel, they themselves desire to do changes in their lives. When they enter into the light of the gospel, they seem to more clearly see their mistakes and have a desire to repent. He, by himself, made a conscious effort to stop swearing, and apologized to his family members for the mistakes he had made in his life. He was a good man before, but he's incredible now. All his family members have seen a huge change in him. He, I think, is my most converted convert. He's constantly talking about how grateful he is to the Lord for this opportunity to change his life. Next week he'll be confirmed, and hopefully receive the Aaronic Priesthood too!! I'm so excited for him!!! His wife, Norma, who when she got baptized said she felt completly unready, kept asking us if she could get baptized again. She was in 1 Nephi 19 one day, the next day in 2 Nephi 20, the next day in Enos, the next day in Mosiah, and the next day in Mosiah 18. She's reading so fast, and loves the Book of Mormon. She'll finish it at this rate in less than 3 weeks!! They are super converted, and I'm so grateful to the Lord for the chance I've had to teach them and guide them. I'm so happy that they are seeings such great changes in their lives. I love them so much. They will be a huge strength to the ward, as David now will be a prospective Melchizedek Priesthood holder as well. I'm so happy!!!

Unfortunately, Margarita and Rodrigo dropped us. She's going to start living with someone outside of marriage and knows she can't follow the Lord while living in sin. Unfortunately, she seems to put more importance on having a relationship than on following God's commandments. Our activities went pretty poorly this week. We did a study of the life of Christ on Wednesday, a movie night on Friday, and English class on Saturday. Almost no one arrived, including members. We're going to persevere though, and advertise them more. This week, our Ward Mission Leader went and talked to the radio stations in Coelemu, and we have plans to get on the radio to publicize our activities and possibly do an interview. Also, he talked to the local TV station, and sounds like we're also gonna be television stars!! They're gonna do an interview or some kind of TV report soon. We have to plan in this week. It's gonna be the coolest thing ever! I think that'll help us be a little more famous and it'll help dispel some of the false ideas that many people have about us, and people will be more willing to let us in their homes. We're also doing service for the owner of our house, who's the president of neighbours group or something where we live. He's involved in the town's politics, and wants to help us advertise our activities in his meetings and with other neighbours groups too. If we can make the church famous in Coelemu, I think we'll see miracles.

This week we also visited some less actives. An endowed member showed interest in returning to church, and went to one of our activities (she was the only one that showed up to that activity). Because of a funeral, she couldn't go to church this Sunday, but says next Sunday she wants to go. We just need to help her and her son to keep active. . We're trying to help everyone be positive, and basically we have to be the source of all encouragement and excitement in the branch. It's really tough at times because a lot of the members have a negative perspective or don't have a lot of faith in progress, but we're seeing progress. The fact that we baptized a grown man is incredible too, because that hasn't happened in about a year. This week at church was great too, because we had 5 investigators there, which is more than the missionaries in Coelemu have had for at least 6 months and maybe more. We struggled to find new investigators, but have practiced and set goals on how to find more people to teach, and hope to see miracles this week. A less active family that we've visited forever, finally last night showed a huge interest in returning. We talked about pride, and they showed desires to return to church, in spite of all the problems they've had with the Branch President. They are awesome. It would be huge too, because the husband is an Elder.

Anyway, this week was pretty awesome. I hope this next week will be awesome too. I know the Lord is with us. We've set goals to be more dilligent in finding new investigators. I'm so grateful for David and his incredible experience. I know the Lord was with us as we taught him. I know this is the truth, and it is confirmed to me everyday. The Lord lives and loves us. This is His church. Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw, and the Book of Mormon is true. I know it. I love sharing it with the world.

I love you all!! Behave yourselves, and keep sharing the gospel.

¡Chao!

Elder Blomfield