Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 13, 2011

Jordan, Elder Stokes, Patricia and Gustavo

Elder Stokes, Patricia, Elder Lewis

Three Sundays ago, Elder Stokes and I were in a little food shop, where we are teaching the owner, when this really drunk guy grabbed my arm and asked us if we were from Amsterdam. I don't know why, but we said yes. haha! He told us that he loved to talk about other cultures and languages. We then told him that we could pass by his house and talk about cultures a little more. His name is Gustavo. We went to his house the next day and met his wife Patricia. After teaching them just once, we found out that Gustavo is an alcoholic like I have never heard of, and Patricia wants to be baptized. They didn't really ever DO anything, and were really looking for something. As we taught them more and more, their house became cleaner and cleaner and they both looked happier and happier. You could literally see a change in their countenances taking place. She even quit smoking in one day. They started to call us their hijos (children) and love us so much. The first time Patricia went to church,  it was a fast Sunday. As people started to go up, she leaned over and asked me if she could go up and say something. I was so surprised and told her to go for it. She bore a sweet testimony about how she felt so peaceful whenever we come to her house and about how she wanted to do everything she could to feel more of that peace. We couldn't believe it and were so happy.  Yesterday, we baptized Patricia and it was so..... good. I don't know how else to say it.  She was so happy and cried so much. Right after the baptism, I had the distinct feeling that all the rejection and disappointment I have as a missionary is worth it if you can help someone as much as Patricia and Gustavo. If I had to come home tomorrow, i would feel successful. Gustavo now has to quit smoking and drinking and then he is going to be baptized too.

The other day, Jessi (sister) sent me a quote that says the most amazing miracles aren't miracles of healing, or physical miracles, but when someone has a change of heart. I saw a change of heart in the past few weeks and now I know for myself that the change of heart that the gospel can bring into one's life is the biggest miracle of all. Three weeks ago, Patricia and Gustavo didn't really have a purpose to their lives. But now, they are both so happy and progressing and DOING things.  The work is oh so good.

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