As I had said before in the last email, we were planning on having a baptism this week. Well, it did happen! Frederick is now a new member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! It was a great service! Our Mission President and his wife came to see it, which was really cool! It was kinda funny though, when we asked Frederick throughout the week who was going to baptize him, he chose Elder Catmull to baptize and do the ordinance. Elder Catmull has never even passed by this kids house, but whatever! haha! His baptism!! So Elder Catmull baptized him! I´ll send photos! I did have a cool opportunity of leading the baptism, because our Ward Mission Leader was really sick and couldn't come. So ya, a great baptism on Saturday!
So this week has been great like I said. We worked really hard this week! Let me share some stuff that happened before the baptism... haha. We had a great opportunity this week! On Wednesday, we had a Zone Conference, and our Mission President was going to talk to us. BUT, we also found out that Elder Cornish from the seventy was there to talk to us as well! We talked a lot about our goal setting, and it really made me think about the goals that we put as missionaries. These aren't just goals as in numbers, those numbers we write down are children of God, that need our help to know the truth. But I had an amazing experience as a result of our conference this week that I would like to share!
As we were in conference, I was soaking in all that Elder Cornish and President Nuckols were sayin, about helping in the conversion process of our investigators and setting good goals. I had to really focus on our goals as a companionship, as I noticed our goals were not up to par with the Lords standards, but during the whole process, a recurring thought kept coming into my head. Recently in our area, we received a referral from a very active member family. It was a referral of their other part of the family, that lives right next to them who has never heard the gospel from the missionaries. So with great excitement, we went over and set up our first appointment with them. This was on Tuesday, and we set up the appointment for Thursday night. The conference we had was Wednesday, so during conference, we still hadn't started the lessons with them, but they had the pamphlet of the Restoration. During the whole conference, my thought was "Give that new family a baptismal date." We got home and I talked about it with Elder Rosado, and we came to the confirmation that night, with the help of prayer, that it is what we needed to do. So on Thursday we passed by their house. The family consists of the father, Nicolas, the mother, Yeni, and their two kids, one of them being a special needs kid with autism. The Familia Camilo to put it short! They are very open to the gospel, because they live with a very active family. As we talked during our first lesson, a strong strong spirit came, and we were able to point out that spirit to this wonderful family, and they felt it as well. Then, as we asked what they were willing to do to come closer to Christ, they responded telling us they would do anything to follow our God. As we had felt previously, we gave them a baptismal date for the 27th of December, and they accepted it eagerly. The first appointment, and we were already seeing that great desire from them to know the truth. We set up our next appointment, for Sunday night, and we invited them to come to church. In the morning on Sunday, we were in a meeting at 6 30 in the morning, and the bishop said, "Elders, I have a referral for you. I feel like you should pass by Nicolas Camilo, the brother of Hermano Camilo." We happily responded telling him that we are already teaching them and they have a baptismal date. Our Bishop was shocked! Haha! As church went on, the Familia Camilo hadn´t shown up to any of the classes. Here, the classes come first, and then sacrament. As sacrament started, in walks that amazing Familia Camilo. With bright big smiles, they sat next to us, and said "There is a peace as soon as you walk in the door here." The bishop, after sacrament, called them into his office. At night as we passed by, we asked if they were willing to share why they were called into the bishops office, and they told us the bishop talked to them about marriage plans. We weren't planning on sharing about the Law of Chastity, but we decided it was what the Lord was telling us to do. We invited them to prepare to be married, and that the Lord will help them as they come to know of the truth of the gospel. They told us that they knew it is what needs to be done, and they don´t need to be convinced. They are starting their marriage papers. The Lord is truly preparing people. This family is an amazing example to me, of true disciples of Christ, who will do anything to follow our Lord´s example. As they continue to learn and grow, I have no doubt the Lord will help these people. They are prepared. I will never be able to say that they are my converts, because they are already converted.
I love this gospel. I see people being changed every single day by the truths of the gospel. I invite everyone to do but one thing. I invite you to read the Book of Mormon, every day, and to ask God if it is true. The investigators I have do just that, and I can see the true testimony they earn from reading in the most true book on the earth. I now encourage all of you, my family and friends, to do the same, to really receive your own testimony of these truths. Its what I did, and I know of the truth of the gospel of this church because I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I love it, I read it, and I will never not read it. It is a book from God. I invite you to find that out for yourself. Keep praying, keep turning to the Lord in times of hardship. I continually pray for every one of you, and I hope you are all seeing the blessings that the Lord is giving you. :)
Que Dios les bendiga,
Elder Parker Weiss :)
P.S. I can´t believe on Thursday I will be hitting my year mark.... has it really been a year????
|Elder's Weiss, Mortensen, Catmull and Rosado|
|A little bit crazy.|
|Say hello to my district. The best District in the DR :)|
|This is us after conference with some other Elders|
|The Baptism of Frederick with DR West Mission President and Sister Nuckols|
|Talk about a giant shoe from the Puma store. It was a little to small for me, but I'll keep looking!|
|My lunch today, after being in the biggest mall in the DR, 6 stories tall!!!! CARL'S JR.|
|There's no Halloween in the DR so look what is up at the mall!|
|This is the mall. I'm on the third floor! haha It just keeps going! With palm trees and everything!|
|At the Metro waiting for the train.|
|Elder Weiss and Elder Mortensen|