Monday, May 2, 2016

Vale la pena

                                   Carlos is the man in the middle. He smiles we promise.

Hermana Glenn and I went hiking this morning, just for fun, and Hermana Glenn got really excited about all the wild flowers.

The phrase Vale la Pena in Spanish means worth the pain, or worth the effort. It's a phrase we sometimes have to use a lot to explain why we are serving missions. This week was defiantly vale la pena. It has been a little stressful, and a little crazy, but I can honestly say that it has been worth it. The reason why is described well on Doctrine and Covenants 18:15, "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" Well this Saturday, one soul was brought onto the waters of baptism, and on Sunday was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That person was Carlos. Here's a little bit of his story...
The end of last transfer Hermana Cardiel and I were walking around trying to contact people and we met Carlos. He said he had read the Bible 4 times, but currently didn't have one and so we told him we would bring him one. We tried by a few times, but either no one was home or we met one of his nieces, who aren't very interested in religion. Fortunately we were persistent and we eventually found Carlos. We started teaching him and he accepted everything we told him. We had some adventures getting him to read the Book of Mormon, because he can't see that well, but eventually that worked out as well, thank goodness for Walkmans. He accepted the invitation to be baptized on our second meeting complete with a date at the end of April. It has been incredible to see his testimony grow and develop, and to see the change in him. He has become so much happier. It's not as if his life was horrible before hand, but the gospel has just made it even better. We have had some really sweet lessons with him, we were able to go to the temple with him, and best of all we were both able to see him baptized. It was a real testimony to me that Heavenly Father is really preparing people, and they can be found.
A good amount of thanks goes to a lot of different people,
Hermano Meza, our ward mission leader, for driving us to the temple, and basically just being awesome.
The Glendora 5th elders, for going all the way across the zone for the interview, getting there early to help us set up, playing the piano for the service, getting roped into the special musical number last minute and basically keeping us calm while we were stressing out.
Hermano Reina and Hermano Torres for giving talks at the absolute last minute because the other people we called cancelled. They also were some of the best talked I have ever heard, so extra points to them.
All the other members of the branch who came and supported Carlos and welcoming him into the Branch.
And of course the biggest thanks goes to Heavenly Father for all of the tender mercies that went into this week, from actually making it to everything on time, to members of the English ward buying us giant milkshakes after the baptism, to just having a beautiful sunshiny week, and most of all to a woman who was visiting our branch this week, who joined the church 7 years ago but as a child attended the same church as Carlos did, to give him the last final confirmation that this was the right path for him. We saw the hand of the Lord in everything this week, from the biggest things to the smallest things.
And that I think is the best thing of all.
Hope you all have a great week!
Hermana Christensen

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