Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Water Grave

Wow, what is happening in Socorro!? I seriously love it here. Zion all day long. The members are giving us referrals, The Lord is placing prepared people in our path (referrals from Heaven), and miracles are happening every day. Before I started the mission, I made a two goals that I would like to complete while serving. With these two goals, I made another when I arrived in Socorro. Before I leave Brasil, I have to see Socorro open a ward. It´s more of a hope than a goal for me because I know I wont be serving here for the next year, but the Lord is accepting this desire of mine and just showering us with blessings.

Vanderlei, the man I wrote about a couple of weeks ago who was a few days away from divorcing his wife, decided to be baptized this week. He told me, ´´Your message is different than all of the others. You guys really focus everything on Christ.´´ He later said, ``If I´m going to follow the example of Jesus Christ, I'm going to do it right. I want to get baptized in the river.´´
WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, I have had so many dreams about this. Standing in the water like John the Baptist with a wave of people coming towards you, clapping their hands and shouting, ´´This is the desire of our hearts!´´ (Mosiah 18). Haha but when Vanderlei said this, I about died. This past Saturday was the happiest, most memorable moments of my life. It was better than winning the league Senior Year against Coffman at the end of the game or winning the tournament in Italy. Saturday, as Oliver Cowdery put it, was ´´a day never to be forgotten.´´

Saturday morning, we went searching for a good spot along the ´´Rio do Peixe´´ in order to have a spiritual baptismal service. After scoping out a spot, we went and contacted a few referrals near the church and then returned for the baptism. Vanderlei just about started crying because he spent a lot of his youth fishing in the exact spot that we chose. He went on and on about how special this place is to him, and how he dreamed the night before how awesome it would be if that was the place we chose... ´´Hey, this is the Lord´s work baby!´´ I told him.
However, it seriously felt like Alaska. The water had to be negative 10 degrees. I seriously don't know how it was still liquid - the coldest water Ive felt in my life. Haha we entered holding hands because it was so cold. He turned to me with doubt on his eyes, wanting a little to return back to the chapel and be baptized in the pool there, but I recognized it and said, ´´Hey, we´re going to follow Christ exatamente hoje!´´ With his chin quivering up and down, teeth chattering, he said, ´´Okay. Let´s do this!´´ Agh! Haha I wish you all could´ve been there.

As I raised my hand to the square, the coldness went away and time seriously froze. I helped him come back out of the water, seeing a smile on his face. He looked at me, not saying a word, and then looked at his wife. He was so happy. He gave me kiss on the neck followed by a hug. ´´You´re like a son to me. Thank you.´´
His wife after told me that she wants me to baptize her in two weeks. They are so happy. The gospel of Jesus Christ has changed their lives. It saved their marriage. They call me their Brasilian parents now. I wish I could describe the feelings of gratitude I have for Heavenly Father.

The Lord blesses me with these snippets of time when I feel like I´m on the top of the world. But soon after, my heart groans for those that are rejecting the truth. I see the miracle of the atonement and restoration only blessing the smallest number of families here in Socorro. Oh that I wish I could have a voice of a trumpet.

I love you all. I pray for you by name and by face everyday. This is the Lord´s work. I love it!
Elder Welch

I hope dads talk went awesome on chapter 13 of Preach My Gospel. I was praying for him this week that he would be able to speak by the spirit. We have stake conference here in two weeks. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little sad that I wont be hearing dad speak at the end.

Preach My Gospel thought:
I studied this week what it means to "Find those that receive you". I never understood what that meant until this week. I realized it's to recognize those that recognize you as a representative of the Savior. This week we received free food in a bakery, a person in line looked at my name plaque three times, or receiving some free fruit in the road... Here's just of few examples of those that recognized that Ive been called to represent Jesus Christ. Its such a blessing serving a mission.

I wish I could explain more about this thought but here's a picture to illustrate a point - 

I'm here in Brasil "pulling" people to baptism. I'm never "pushing". This is a false doctrine. Only teaching those with the converting power or "pulling power" of the Spirit. In order to do this, my testimony needs to be there in the baptismal font before I even arrive at their door step (or in Brasil, in front of their fence...)

Love you family!
Elder Welch

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