Monday, October 20, 2008

Daniel's Baptism!

Here is part of Elder Rau's letter from today:

"Daniel got baptized on saturday and everything went according to plan! The baptism was awesome and his confirmation on Sunday was equally cool. However, the week leading up to the baptism did not go as planned. We went out to his house last Saturday and had an amazing lesson. Tuesday was a little different. He was feeling a little conflicted and confused about how he was feeling. He thought that he needed more time. We explained that he was probably just feeling a little nervous and it was perfectly normal. He was also having trouble sleeping and wasn't sure that he was ready. This is where the spirit took over. This was the most powerful and spiritually guided lesson of my mission thus far. The promptings were so clear and made so much sense. I was learning as I was speaking to him. My spanish wasn't perfect, but it improved significantly. We explained that maybe this was just a trial of his faith. Maybe the Lord was testing him to see if it really was a desire of his heart. We also shared some personal experiences that related to how he was feeling. At the end of the lesson, he still wasn't feeling awesome, and this feeling continued until his interview on Thursday. It was an hour long. One of our zone leaders, Elder Kibler, did an awesome job in the interview, because he felt better still afterwards. He still wasn't sleeping well.....Saturday morning we called him and he was on board, 100% and ready to go. The baptism went forward and was almost perfect. the only thing that was wrong was our starting time. We started ten minutes late...not bad huh? Elder Brooks (who is still my companion...and will be until about november 12th) said it was the smoothest baptism he has ever seen. I was privileged to be the one to baptize him. There is so much power i that ordinance. I felt the spirit so strongly as I raised my arm to the square and called him by name, then performed the ordinance in the name of the Father, the So and the Holy Ghost. I still can't really describe my emotions, but it was an experience that I will never forget." 

Elder Rau cleaning dead cockroaches out of the font

Elders Brooks and Rau with Daniel

A picture of their church building

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Letters to Home

Part of a letter from Elder Rau on 9/30

Daniel is doing really well. We had to re-commit him to baptism. This has happened before, obviously because he has been investigating for over a year, but instead of saying I will try, he said, I want to!!!! This came after an awesome lesson in which we were able to explain very thoroughly what it means to have a testimony and all of that good stuff. He finally has the desire to make his covenant and he will be able to make it on the 11th of this month. We have been watching some of the segments from special witnesses of Christ, and he enjoys them and I think will be able to watch most of conference this coming week. We get it live feed here, which means we are going to be home late on Saturday night. Even better, the elders get to watch it in ENGLISH!!!

We have some big news with one of our menos activo families! They came to Church!!!!!!! Its been almost a year and a half since the last time they came. He is such a stud, spiritually. Every time we go over to see them (we eat with them every other Sunday) he bears his testimony and talks about his mission. I guess they just had a lot of bad experiences with the members and their feelings got hurt so bad that they just didn't want to go to church anymore because they got offended every time. Now they realize that the people don't make the church true!! We are really excited for them. 

The work continues and is still true! Miracles happen every day and I know that the lord is mindful of his children here. He is preparing them and us so that we can meet and we can help them return to him. I'm so grateful for my testimony and the chance that I have to share it. I konw that Moroni's promise works, and that it can work for anyone!

Part of a letter from Elder Rau on 10/6 

So general conference was pretty much amazing! We got to watch all five sessions even though priesthood got over at 11 and we were only allowed to go to sunday afternoon if we had an investigator present (we were waiting for about 10 but Daniel is the only one that came). We definitely learned a lot about how we can improve the quality of our work here. President Monson's talk about finding joy in the journey was especially important for me. I also really enjoyed the entire session of Saturday afternoon. Elder Worthlin and Elder Corbridg's talks were really awesome, and Elder Holland was also very powerful. I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, but the words of the prophets have taken on a lot more importance while I have been on my mission so far. Maybe I didn't study them enough before the mission, but right now I love listening to and learning from living prophets.