Monday, August 5, 2013

ROCÌO got Baptized! / 1 Year Lessons Learned

ROCÌO got Baptized! 

This week we worked super hard on preparing Rocìo.  She got home from the chaco and she had read a lot of The Book of Mormon and wanted to be baptized.  It was the most spiritual baptism I have ever attended.  

Rocìo is 11 years old and lives with an inactive member.  She is an orphan and has only one sister who is living with this bum out in the middle of nowhere. So Rocìo is pretty much alone family wise.  We reactivated the inactive member first and then we began to teach Rocìo, and she just took the scriptures and ate them up.  When I asked her why she wanted to be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ, she told me because she read The Book of Mormon and felt in her heart that it was true.  I prayed extremely hard that she would feel the love of her Heavenly Father during the baptism.  During the service we sang ''How Great Thou Art'' and she started to cry while still smiling and singing, and then I just got flooded with the love that God has for each and every one of his children.  The most beautiful thing was the pure intentions of Rocio´s heart/desires to show her love for Him through baptism.  The Lord answered my prayers and I feel like I have a lot more purpose behind why I am here in Paraguay.  

I really don't feel that I have been in the mission that long.... and I am absolutely sure that I am not the greatest teacher in the world, but the Lord has made up for my weaknesses and faults and I have a sure testimony of His reality and love.  

Some of the things I have learned in my first year in the mission are...

- Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and loves us more than we can understand.
- Our Heavenly Father is a father who sees us as we can be and is ready to forgive if we let Him.
- The spirit is real and can fill the holes and heal the scars left behind from sins.  
- In order for people to change it is extremely important that they have a knowledge of who it is they want to be more like.
- Every once in a while even a blind squirrel finds nuts.
- A study of the scriptures changes behavior and thoughts faster than any other method.
- Prayer is truly a personal communication between us an our Father in Heaven.  He has never left a prayer unanswered when I have asked with faith.  
- Speaking Spanish is a lot tougher than I thought.
- I think I understand a lot better now the role of the gospel in a search for happiness
- Obedience equals power.  If you want to truly help someone grow closer to God, you need the spirit as a constant companion. He is always the one who should lead the lessons.
- It is very hard to teach someone, until they know how much you love them.

I am sure there is more than that but I think that is good.  Some of the things I want to improve on in the last half of my mission....

- I want the spirit more prevalent every day and listen for and understand him.
- I want to finish memorizing all of the scripture mastery.
- I want to love people more and find more ways to show it.
- I want to be a more powerful teacher.
- I want to perfect my Spanish
- I want to be an uplifting influence to every one I come in contact with.
- I want to baptize a lot more people.  Not for me, but for him.

There are probably a lot more goals I could put down, but that satisfies me.  

Another sweet thing I figured out this week:  Israel Gonzalez got baptized! He is in my first area! He is the husband of Carmen, my first baptism.  So THAT IS A COMPLETE FAMILY WHO WILL GO TO THE TEMPLE IN A YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Elder Bredsgaurd and I taught that guy a ton.  Apparently he just woke up one day a few weeks ago and decided to be baptized!  

That is all for this week.  I am so happy right now.  This whole week has been a week full of happy things!  (except for a funky pita pocket I ate.  When people make burgers or lomitos or burritos or pita pockets they lather that baby with garlic whip.)  

I hope every body is doing well and I am happy Jessi found a crib.   (Elder Neifert's sister's family found housing in Colorado Springs)

Elder Neifert  

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