Hey everyone! This week was awesome! The first reason why it was awesome is because it was CARLOS' BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You 15 year-old stud!!!
Second reason, because we had a baptism! Felipe got baptized. Felipe is our 19 year old investigator (convert now) who took a little while to get baptized, but finally he took the step. He has such a strong testimony of each individual part of the gospel. The most important part of his testimony for me is his testimony of Jesus Christ and the restoration of his church and gospel. He is awesome.
This week went good. We have a couple AWESOME investigators! It's interesting, because both Edgardo and Soledad we found late at night, right when all you want to do is go home and sleep. I have gained a big testimony of the importance of enduring to the end...even to the end of each day. It's not alwas easy...but it is important.
Edgardo is 68 and he is extremely excited for his baptism. We visited him several times this week, because he is retired...which makes it a lot easier. I have gained such a testimony of what the gospel does for people! I cant explain it very good to all of you guys...it's just amazing. I beg you, please make Jesus Christ the most important thing in your life and please help your friends and family repent and learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ which was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. If you do...SO MUCH HAPPINESS is awaiting you!! There is nothing like watching people change.
Edgardo is just amazing. We asked him one day if he read the chapter that we had left him from the visit before and he said "yeah! I read it 2 times...and I have been praying a ton! I like what I'm reading and I understood everything and I have more and more desires to be baptized.".... One of the visits we had with him we brought a member to, Brother Arriagada. He is awesome. He is the Elders Quorum president and he shared a strong testimony with Edgardo and we taught him the plan of Salvation. He had again read another chapter we left him 2 times!
He understands things better than ANYONE I have ever taught here! He was placed by God in our path to receive the gospel.
Edgardo also said, I understand that once I am baptized...it's not the end...I mean, I need to go and share this with other people. He is so excited. When we left the appointment, Brother Arriagada said "wow! he is really good! You dont find people like him very often, do you?" "Nope!!"
The best part about Edgardo for me are his hugs! I think I mentioned this last time...but whenever he sees us, his face lights up and he gives us huge hugs! I forgot to get a picture of him but I will try this week. He is going to get baptized on the 28th. We are stoked. He came to the baptism of Felipe and also to church and he loved it all. The members are all really happy.
Soledad is our other awesome investigator who is preparing to be baptized. She is 38 years old and she moved here from Spain about 4 months ago. She was from Chile originally, but she lived in Spain for about 9 years. She is very interested in the gospel and has now come to church twice and she also came to Felipe's baptism. She loves all of the meetings. The members are swarming her, which is really good. They are all very loving. The coolest thing happened after church yesterday...when everyone was leaving, Viviana, our recent convert started walking toward to the door to leave, and Soledad saw her and said "Viviana!" We were confused because she hadnt met Viviana still...but Viviana flipped around and said "Soledad!" And they hugged and said hi and they started talking...turns out....they went to high school together and they were friends. (I'm talking back in 1992) and they havent seen each other since then! Only on facebook. So they were really happy to see each other and to know that their friend is following the gospel! It was perfect because Viviana still hasnt made a really good friend in the church, so to see Soledad and talk to her was awesome for us. Doesnt the gospel of Jesus Christ just bring EVERYBODY together?! Oh man, I love my mission!
We stopped by Claudio, our atheist friend who is tone-deaf to faith. We visit him every now and then because it strengthens their family a lot, and his wife is a member of the church and she just had a baby. This last week we visited him one day and he got started talking about the churches from the dark ages...how the churches were made of gold and hand carved everything...and how they were huge and ridiculously rich and that all people did in them were pray...and the priests lived there. He thought it was pretty interesting how it was a little corrupt. I felt in that moment to ask him about what his comprehension of our church is. He said he really doesnt know that much...just that its a protestant religion...and that we restrict a lot of things....and Joseph Smith started it....and that was about all he knew. So we started talking about the apostasy a bit and how the church of GOD was corrupted and the authority of God was taken from the earth and men began to form religions according to the philosophies of men...and then came the Nicene Creed where the government of Rome with religious leaders decided that they would all contribute some piece of doctrine and create a common religion for everyone... starting what we know as the Roman Catholic Church. He agreed that that was ridiculous and that the REAL Christian religion found in the Bible had been corrupted for many many years. We explained how our church isnt a protestant church. That a young, pure, 14 year old farm boy was searching for the truth and had a question. He prayed, and God and Jesus Christ actually appeared to him and he was called to do a great work. He was an instrument in the hand of God to restore the church of Jesus Christ. Claudio was pretty shocked in a good way! We left him the pamphlet of the testimony of Joseph Smith. He will be a hard one! He is extremely "informed". He is very very smart. He is a great guy...but he needs to have faith. He needs to read the Book of Mormon!
One of the miracles that happened here is that I never bring that pamphlet with me (of the testimony of Joseph Smith)...never! But in the morning I felt like I should put one in my backpack....I felt a specific impression that I should.
Tender Mercy- We are working with the Cuevas family, in which a 10 year old daughter, Fran, isnt baptized...but she wants to be,. The mom, Alejandra, was catholic, and she was baptized 3 years ago into our church...she had a testimony...but since, it has faded away a little bit because she stopped coming to church and reading the scriptures. Anyway, she wont let Fran get baptized because she isnt old enough to make her own decisions responsibly. Anyway, we have been praying a ton for them and passing by sometimes, and now Alejendra is changing so much! She is awesome, she just needs to remember the testimony she once had. She told us that she wants to come back to church, but she just faults a "spark of light" to get her excited. We invited her to the baptism and they came and she looked very excited! So the Tender Mercy is watching a young girl who wants more than anything to get baptized but her mom wont let her...and now watching her mom's heart change! We are excited for the Cuevas family.
If I forgot anything, I am so sorry! Everything is going great. I see miracles every day! I am happy. God lives and we CAN change and we should all share the gospel! Be happy,
I love you, Elder Gomez
-Baptism of Felipe, with Brother Quezada, a member in the ward, who baptized him, and with his mom, Silvia, and Nicole, his sister, who are both recent converts.
-Baptism of Juan and Sissi...Sissi was investigating the church since she was 15! They finally got married last week so they are now worthy for baptism! It was quite the adventure to get them married. These two converts are from another ward...but I have gone to visit them several times to help them prepare for baptism, so it was great to see them in white!
-Me with Felipe!, our convert, with my missionary plaque. Doesnt he look ready for his mission already!?
-Right before the baptism
-Just us with Felipe