Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another Week in the Work... with Pictures!!!

Dear All,

Here, at long last, are the pictures!!!

The lady with the wavy hair is Roxana, and the sister with her husband is Candi, who was just baptized this past Sunday.
Candi is so amazing. Her husband, Byron, is a recent convert, and he prayed very hard that she would be humble and accept the Gospel. I had the privilege of baptizing her this past Sunday, and then they invited us over for lunch, because it was Ricardo's (Bryon's dad, on the left of the photo) birthday! We're  going today to have Family Home Evening with them, because Byron was working yesterday. They'll be a great strength to the ward here. I'm so glad to have been a part of their conversion. It's especially cool because Byron was baptized by Elder Lontine, who was my first Zone Leader in the mission, and will be coming to visit next month! so he'll see Candi now that she's been baptized.

We had divisions last week, which was really great. I went with Elder Mendoza, who was the only Latino Elder to come in with my group, and who is now my Zone Leader here in Villa Nueva. He and I are great friends, but that's not why it was such a great experience. He really helped me build my faith and diligence, and to be a more bold and challenging missionary and person. Thanks to what he taught me, there have been miracles this week in our area.

One of which absolutely blew me away. The Portillo family has been taking the discussions for about 2 months now. Elder Gabriel went to see them, along with Elder Huish during divisions. They started talking to them about the importance of coming to church, which has been their challenge. They hadn't come since we started visiting them, in spite of the fact that we'd taught about the Sabbath Day and everything. According to Elder Gabriel, they just told them that "You'll never know if it's the true church or not if you don't attend!" and apparently, it struck a chord with them, because about halfway through sacrament meeting, they walked in. It was a MIRACLE!!!! We were just about to drop them because they didn't come to church, but now they came. They're reading the Book of Mormon, they're praying about it, and they liked church, so we have to baptize them! We even had one of our most awesome member families, who live fairly close to them, volunteer to come visit them with us, and maybe have an FHE in their house with them! It was so cool! Those of the family who didn't attend committed to attend where they work in Escuintla (not too far from my previous area) so we'll see what happened there.

I just learned so much about the love the Lord has for us. He really wants to bless us, but if we're disobedient, he can't. We must obey him so he can fulfill his desire, and bless us. Our most important desires will also then be fulfilled.
Please take care of yourselves.

And for those who are asking when I will be home, you'll have to wait until September, because I'm going to keep working until the bitter end.

Elder Banks

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