Woo Hoo!!! I got to work a full week this week, as I've now gotten over my illness thanks to a Chilean drug rep.
So this week turned into a little bit of a disappointment on Wednesday when Nadege (our not so "golden" Haitiana) changed her baptismal date to the 14th of February. Although now I feel that she is more prepared than she was before it was kinda a bummer at the time. So, this Sunday Élder Davenport will be performing the first baptism that we've had in this sector!!! Woot!!!
This week has also strengthened my testimony in the importance of the members in missionary work. We've had the opportunity to work with the family of our líder misional del barrio (ward mission leader) a lot this week and seen them interact with the investigators that we are teaching. The testimony of a member in the lessons is essential, but when the testimony can relate directly to the experiences of the other person it is even better. Our investigator, Patricio, has been having trouble quitting smoking over the past couple of weeks, but since Saturday night he hasn't had a cigarette. Yesterday we took a member who previously smoked more than 2 cajas de cigarros cada día. Patricio is now on his path to receiving a baptism for the remission of sins on the 21st of February, with yours truly performing the ordinance. (I'll have pictures sent home as soon as I can).
If all goes well today there should be a letter headed your way, on the slow boat. Hopefully there will be a CD with pictures or my tarjeta (but please read the note/letter first). Right now we are in the center close to an attraction called the Plaza de Armas, where Correos Chile (main office), the Catholic cathedral, y a couple of other attractions are located.
Sounds like the ward hasn't changed a bit within the past many years. It is kinda funny when a few people have all of the callings, but at least they are being magnified. LOL. Primaria still sounds like a blast!!! LOL. ¡Suerte!
The houses seem to be coming along rather nicely from what you've all told me. It will be good when y'all can move into the Hen house. I almost got to watch the Super Bowl, but Élder Davenport and I decided that it would be better to not pass by the only Chilean that is a fan of fútbol Americana (who happens to live in our ward), and that working with investigators would be more important... LOL! What was I thinking?!?!?
I love this work and the change it has brought about in me in these short 5 months (más como 3... the MTC didn't change me much). Before the mission I didn't realize exactly how important missionary work was, especially member missionary work. I love my calling and the opportunity that I have to serve full time as a representative of Jesus Christ and as a special witness of Him. This is truly His work here on the earth, and He desires that all of His children receive it. It is our deber (duty) to help that come to pass! Like the contemporary Christian song says... "If we are the body?" (and we are) "Why aren't his hands healing?". I testify that they are, but how much more could they do if every single one of us shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ, THE TRUTH, with just one person. We'd go from 15 million members to over 30 million (if those with whom we shared it didn't share again) in a short time. We have the commandment to do so. The prophets have said, "Every member a missionary". This is our commission and this in the challenge I give to each of you who is reading this: Help build the Kingdom. Este es el Reino de Dios en la tierra. ¡Edifique lo!
My prayer is that each of us will take every opportunity possible to share what we have with others. I love this Gospel with all my heart. Y yo sé con ninguná duda que esta iglesia es la iglesia verdadera de Jesucristo en la tierra hoy en día. (And I know without a doubt that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ in the earth today.)
I love you all and miss you bunches! I look forward to hearing the success stories of each of you as you strive to share this Gospel with those you know and love.
¡Todo mi amor! ¡Suerte en nuestro mandato!
-- Élder Todd
"Hurrah for Israel!!!"