Monday, June 4, 2012

Because a Child read the Book of Mormon........week 97

Dear family,

I bought a hammock...Thanks Grandma!!!  I am sending a few photos. The family is the Pacheco family.  I`ll tell you their story in a bit.  The other is of Brandon, the young man who Elder Reyes baptized after the services Sunday.

 The Pacheco Family
Sebastian, Ximena, and Veronica Pacheco
 Brandon's Baptism with Elder Reyes

So we have been working with the Pacheco family for quite a long time, since I got here.  They have been in and out of the teaching pool for a total of about 9 months.  They have had testimonies of the church but for social reasons hadn´t made the choice to be baptized.  We have been helping the family to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know of its truth.  Of all of the family, the youngest, Sebastian, read the Book of Mormon with all his heart and prayed to know if it was true.  When we showed up to visit them Thursday night he told me,

                 "Elder Russell, you are not going to believe me but I want to be baptized.´  

                  The truth is that I was shocked.  From there, we turned to his sister Ximena (they say  it
                  like He-men-a) and we asked her, 

                 ¨Do you want to be baptized with your brother?¨  She said sure.  Then we turned to her
                  mom Veronica and we asked her, 

                 ¨Do you want to be baptized with your family?¨  She was sooooo nervous.  

Actually the day of the baptism, Saturday, she still didn´t know if she wanted to be baptized.  But we had already put her in the program :)  When the service started, she was still a bit unsure but when she saw her children being baptized, she entered the waters and was baptized with them.  The truth was that it was one of the most special baptisms of my mission because with Elder Gosnell we had worked hard to help this family get baptized.  And everything happened because the youngest child was willing to read the Book of Mormon.  

Brandon is one of her neighbors who has been going to church for a long time but in another ward.  We came to know him and his dad and the following week Brandon was baptized.  His dad, Baltazar, has been a member for a very long time.  For some questions hasn't been attending but has been very excited to be once again in church and now with his son.  Elder Reyes baptized him and it was a great experience for the both of them.  Actually, Elder Reyes and Elder Galeana have now returned home to prepare to leave ´for real´ on their missions.  I am so proud of Elder Reyes.  He has overcome many personal struggles and weaknesses to be able to serve the Lord as a missionary.  He was very sad that he had to return home.  He told me, ¨Elder Russell, I don't want to go home.  I want to go on my mission.  Pray for me so that I can leave as soon as possible.¨  God brought about miracles in 3 weeks. 

Well we are working a lot and we have a lot more work to do.  Elder Egan and I now have to combine 2 areas.  It's going to be awesome.  Next week is changes.  I hope to stay but something is telling me that I am going to be sent somewhere.  We will see what happens. 

Family, I love you.  Thank you for everything that you do.  I hope that you may always find peace, joy, and comfort in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elder Russell