Week 37: in which WE GET READY FOR A BAPTISM!!


Dearest family and friends,

This week has been a great week. We’re preparing for Gabriel’s baptism on Saturday, and I’m so excited!!! I’ve honestly never met someone so prepared for and so dedicated to baptism. Gabriel’s testimony is growing stronger every day, and he’s so sure of his choice. The lessons we’ve had with him and his girlfriend, Lorena, are some of the most spiritual lessons I’ve had. It’s beautiful to see the difference in their lives after they’ve learned and applied the gospel principles; as they’ve made changes and sacrifices, I’ve seen a different light enter their faces, and their love has grown so much in the few weeks that they’ve lived completely the law of chastity. And Lorena, who at first was so nervous about accepting the gospel, has become more sure of herself and even asked when she could host a Family Home Evening in her house. 😀 And Gabriel is preparing to go to the temple with the ward in May!! He’s excited to do baptisms.

Another miracle! In my first cambio here we contacted a guy named Miguel, who is a friend of a less-active member, Christian. We tried for two cambios to set up a lesson with Miguel, but we never could, so we gave up on that. We’re teaching Christian’s pareja, Valeria, who is making progress after several months of hearing the missionaries. We had a lesson scheduled with Valeria, but when we got there, she wasn’t there, but Miguel was! So we taught him instead, and he accepted a fehca!! He really wants to learn more, and it’ll be great to see the changes in his life.

And more miracles! On Friday we had an attack in Laja, a different sector. (An attack is when the zone descends on a sector to contact different parts of the sector in an effort to find new investigators for the missionaries in that area.) We were there all day and came home with enough time for language study. The sisters from another zone stayed the night, so they volunteered to work in our sector (they’re native speakers, so they don’t need to study Spanish. :P). We sent them to a couple contacts, neither of which were there. BUT they did find a family when they contacted in another street!! Hermana Lange and I have a lesson with them this week, and we’re looking forward to teaching them.

In total contrast to the happiness I’ve seen in the lives of those who apply the gospel, I’ve also seen the sadness and emptiness of those who reject the gospel and therefor lose the blessings they once had. We’ve visited a few less-active and inactive members this week, and the lack of the Spirit in their houses made me so sad. In one family, the father yearns for what they once had and wants to come back, but the mom and daughter could not seem to care less. They were offended by something the members here had done, and the mom said that she has no intentions of returning. They were not just rejecting the church: they were rejecting the power of the atonement in their lives and the opportunity to be an eternal family. It strengthened my testimony of the importance of doing the “small and simple things” like reading and praying every day, going to church every week, and paying tithing. It also helped me realize that I can never, ever live without the gospel in my life, and I could never deny what I know. I know that this is the restored gospel of Christ and that it is the one and only way to eternal life with our Heavenly Father and with our families. “There is no other name…by which men may be saved.” [Note: I think she may be paraphrasing Mosiah 3:17, but she also may be thinking of a non-scriptural quote. — AnnMarie]

I love you all! I hope you enjoyed a Christ-filled Easter. Never forget the love of your Savior. He paid for you specifically, and all He asks is that you accept Him and live His gospel. I testify that through Him you’ll find more peace and true happiness.

Be safe, be kind, be smart, be thankful. And remember who you are!

Love from Chile!
Hermana Saunders