Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Truth and Independence

Sorry for the late email. The 18th of September is the national Independence Day of Chile and the whole country goes absolutely insane when it rolls around. We actually had to make the sister missionaries be in the house early because of the quantity of drunk people that are in the street. Also, all of the stores, even the big markets, shut down completely for a couple days which means our P-day turned into a lot of hanging out and playing ping pong.

A couple weeks ago, we knocked a door and were let in by a man named Cesar. He told us he was baptized when he was 8 and then when he was 15 was baptized as a Catholic and was working to be a Catholic priest. He eventually got out of that and left to go work in Antarctica for a while where he met a scientist named Cynthia. Long story short, they have been married 9 years now. Cesar has two daughters from a previous marriage and one, Tiare, lives with him now.

So the first lesson went all right and the second was okay too, but they just refused to believe that there is only one true church here on the earth. They didn’t like it very much when we talked about Joseph Smith and they would always tell us “all roads lead to Rome” or “every church is the same.” We even got them to come to church and they bore their testimonies from the pulpit about how the Mormon Church wasn’t the only true church. The members handled it well and just took them in with a “we will work on it” type of attitude.

We taught them a third time and I don’t remember exactly what happened but one of them said something about Joseph Smith and I normally just brush things like that right off, but I just told them seriously that I knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that their eternal salvation depended on that knowledge. We asked them once again to read the Book of Mormon and pray and then left. Ever since that lesson, things changed. Elder Griffin was transferred to me about that time and we had been teaching them for about another two weeks when Cynthia surprised us in the middle of the lesson by saying she wanted to be baptized. I asked her why and how she had come to that conclusion. She told us, “You guys never lied to me. All I had to do was read the Book of Mormon and then kneel down and ask God if it was true, and what he wanted me to do if it was.” She was so convinced of the truth that she doesn’t want to wait to be baptized and insisted on the next possible baptism date. Cesar also has a calling as the activities coordinator in the ward and his first activity was a huge success.

So we have been running around like crazy to get everything ready and get this baptism done and then start working with their daughter, Tiare. This experience has helped me to know the Book of Mormon is true, and, just as important, that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I also learned that I cant be afraid to say what I believe and know it is true. When we talk about Joseph or the B.O.M. people spit on us or laugh at us and tell us to take our Mormon god  -Joseph and his bible - and basically just go to hell. But I can’t let that affect what I share. Being ashamed of that is being ashamed of what I believe, covenants I have made, and the very religion I live.

I know these things are true and there is power in standing up for them.

With love,

Elder Rich

I did a division with another elder named, Elder Jacobs. Good kid.

Elder Griffin working hard on party decorations like a true missionary.

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