Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Change of the Atonement........week 86

The Lord blesses those who wait patiently. I feel like we are finally having the success that we have been wanting for in our area. Elder Gardner and I have been really good about getting to the area and going to the appointments on time and the people are progressing wonderfully. Let me fill you in on a few of the things that have happened this week.

We have been preparing Samael for some time now and a month ago it looked as if he weren’t progressing. He is a 20 year old man who is focused. He just graduated from college in Communications and he is now thinking about starting a foundation. He is a reference from a member in his class. As we visited him at first we felt a good spirit. But the first few visits were to answer a lot of questions and so we thought that maybe he was just interested in knowing a lot. An intellectual person like the rest of them… But he has exercised incredible faith since then. He has stopped drinking coffee without knowing why. He also has come to church when it was really difficult. He had to travel by bus at 6:30 am to come to Managua to come to church last Sunday. He always reads the Book of Mormon and has gained a sure testimony of the restoration. He wants to be a missionary next year. Today we are going to baptize him. While we were in the lessons with him this week I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the spirit which has made this conversion possible. The mother also has begun to receive us and soon we will be teaching the whole family.

Samael's baptism

We also have been teaching Juan Hernandez who will be baptized next week. He is the husband of an ex-sister missionary and for years he has come to church. He loves his family and we talked with him about how his family could be eternal. He put the goal to go to the temple with his wife next year after his baptism. We also have continued to work with Mecerdes and Rodolfo for the 22nd of January. They are super excited after coming for the first time this last Sunday. She had an amazing comment after we taught them the word of wisdom. She shared her testimony like this:

Years ago I smoked a lot. But now after having dropped smoking I could never go back. I guess it is like a sacrifice in my life. Nothing compares with the sacrifice that Jesus Christ gave but he asks us to do this for him. I think that if I smoked again it would be like opening the wounds of Jesus Christ again right now. You could put 50 cigarettes in front of me but I wouldn’t smoke because I love the Savior. He has done too much for me.

She and her husband committed to stop drinking coffee as well.

These and many other miracles are what come when we just trust in the Lord. I am thankful that He has given me this opportunity to serve him. I know that through him we can receive a remission of our sins. How wonderful it is to know that people through his atonement can change our lives for good. May we stay firm and strong.

Elder Grant Russell