Monday, September 26, 2016

Can I just start off by saying how much I love being a missionary? There's honestly nothing like it in the whole world! And I'll never have this opportunity again, so I'm trying my best to take it all in (: We had an awesome week! One of our investigators, Yilmer, got baptized! My companion and I were a little worried because he had been telling us that he has the desire to get baptized, but still had some doubts and didn't have a strong testimony. Every time we had lessons with him we would tell him that he needs to pray to ask God if what we teach is true. As missionaries, we teach what we know to be true. We teach the doctrine of the church. But our purpose is not to convince people of our message. The people we teach have to gain their own testimonies; they have to know that what we're teaching is true for themselves. We explained this to him many times but he would tell us he hasn't had time to ask, or he just hasn't recieved an answer. My companion and I said many many many prayers for him, to be able to recieve an answer for himself. The day of his baptism, he shared his testimony with us. He said the night before he kneeled down and said a very humble prayer and asked if the church was true. He said as he asked this question, a feel of peace came over him and he couldn't help but cry. In this moment, he knew he'd recieved his answer. As missionaries, WE LIVE for moments like this. Moments where our investigators are converted. Where they realize the truthfullness of what we teach. There are no words to describe the happiness we feel as missionaries when we see our friends come unto Christ. It's the best (:
So we're in springtime here and its HOT. We're at a super high altitude and there's no ozone layer in Arequipa so the sun just burns like no other haha. But I use sunscreen so don't worry yourselves (; I'm loving my new area! My companion and I get along great and we teach super well together. We live in the house of the patriarch of the stake here. I've have never met someone with more knowldge of the doctrine of the church. It's incredible! I've learned a lot from him. When we have breakfast we talk and talk and talk about so many different aspects of the church and it truly has strengthened my testimony that the church is true. As missionaries we have a couple hours in the morning for our studies, but when I get home I'm going to continue studying so that I can have the knowledge that the patriarch has! He's inspired me haha.
How grateful am I to be a missionary, to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. It truly is the greatest privilege to be an instrument in the hands of God.
One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon about missionary work is Alma 29:9-10.

I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
 10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.

Have a great week and take care (:

Hermana Celardo

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