Monday, August 11, 2014

It's easy to see why we're trying to make more!


Rebekkah and Khaleb baptism
Evidence (that probably shouldn't exist) of me having to break into the font to fill it up.
Saturday was a really big day for ourselves, and for Javier and Bryn's family. They were sealed 9am Saturday, their kids Rebekkah and Khaleb were baptized at 3pm, and there was a big reception/celebration at 6pm. That morning Elder Poulson and I skipped some studies and got out the door at 9:15. We saw la Hna Medina first, who actually came to church two weeks ago. She asks us how we can obey Christ by loving and serving our neighbor if people on the street could kill or kidnap you. She is worried about her daughter who gets off work late at night. We promised her she'd find the answer searching in the Book of Mormon (which she hasn't read in her many decades of being a member, active and inactive) for only 30 seconds a day, everyday, for a week. We came back to the chapel, filled up the font, and did companion/Spanish study while we waited. When the baptism started, there was a mountain of people. They was tons of support from the ward, the Spirit was strong, and Rebekkah's parents even invited some non-members. We got the opportunity to meet lots of people, have a long conversation about the ward with the Obispo and eat some fantastic fajita and other Mexican food. That night, Hno Valdez taught the Plan of Salvation with us to Tatiana and Jaime. They read in the Book of Mormon! Hno Valdez made Tatiana cry with his testimony about the atonement. They want to come to church and be baptized. They just feel they don't have a certainty yet, to be a part of the church and never quit. We promised them that they would feel that assurance and that desire to be baptized when they've read the Book of Mormon and learned that it is true. We are excited for them.

 I love the members of the church here in Houston dearly. Though they may never remember me, with nine missionaries in our ward and constant transfers, I will always remember them. Monday Hermana Rodriguez washed our clothes and Hermana Medrano gave us Spaghetti, Tuesday Hermano Alvarenga then Hermano Palacios came and worked with us after which we visited (for the thousandth time) Hna Ibarra's father, trying to help him get closer to baptism than he has been in the last 10 years of missionary visits. Wednesday we woke Hno Vivas up early in the afternoon and shared a message with him, and he shared breakfast tacos and punch with us. That afternoon Hna Gonzalez couldn't let us in because her husband wasn't home, but let us take home her spaghetti (and awesome green salsa). That night Hna Lopez helped us teach Tatiana and Jaime for an awesome visit. Friday we visited the Ceron family, Hno Rodriguez and his dad, and Hna Flores gave us some awesome Hondurian food. There were tons of members at the baptism. Hna Gomez, Hna Hernandez, Hna Lopez, Obispo, Hna Reynoza, and many more supported la familia Martinez on their special day. Hno Valdez helped us that night then Sunday we were up early with Hno Rodriguez, Obispo, Hno Lopez, Palacios, Martinez, at PEC followed by 3 straight hours of member-mania church. Hna Medina and her husband came! That's twice in 3 three weeks after years away. After church Hnas Berrueto, Flores, and Martinez joined us with Hnos Diaz, Lopez, and Rodriguez for our Coordinacion meeting (where we are supposed to get help from the members. Which as you can see may be a little unnecessary). Hno Palacios came to find new investigators with us again, and then we ate a mountain of Pollo con verguras at Hna Rodriguez' house (the same Hermana Rodriguez that is right now working on our latest batch of laundry). This morning Hna Lopez had her switch her phone back to Espanol for her, and Hermana Ham (1/2 Chinese) had us pick up the frozen burritos and Orange Drank she bought for us. When the members of the church are such good people, it's easy to see why we're trying to make more:)

My scripture to memorize and internalize for the week comes from Juan 10:

"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."

I know that Jesus Christ performed the atonement for each of us. I know that he died willingly, that He alone had the power to end his life, and that He did it for us because of His love for us and for His Father. I know that because of the Atonement, we too will have the power to obey every commandment the Father has given us.  

Love,

Elder Decker

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