A Special BaptismWe had a really special baptism. The man who got baptized was super prepared! And it was a really special day for him. He was pretty emotional, but was able to bear his testimony after and it was amazing! This man's wife is a member of the church and he had been with her 14 years without joining the church. About four weeks ago she left him, and that was when he realized all that he had had that he lost because he was so focused on the wrong things. That's when he came looking for the church.
In his testimony he said (more or less), "I always knew that this is where I needed to be (in the church) and I always said that I hope when God tells me that I need to be here that He won't give me too hard of a wake up call." Which is ironic because he tells us that he hit rock bottom in these last 4 weeks.
But his testimony was so powerful because he said, "Before I looked for physical, carnal things to fill me. And I was filled, on the outside, but on the inside I was empty. When I came to church for the first time I was empty, but this church is different, the things that happen here fill me. Now everything in my life has meaning. I feel like I have harvested the first harvest of my life, reaped the fruit of all the things I have done in my life up until now, these past 42 years, and I'm ashamed of the harvest, I want to throw it out and start anew. Now God has given me a new, good seed to plant and I hope that my next harvest will be more worthwhile. I know it will."
He also shared two scriptures that were really meaningful for him, and that actually kind of sum up pretty good his conversion story and experience these past four weeks. He shared Enos 1:4 and Ether 4:15,
"And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens" Enos 1:4
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"Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you-yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel." Ether 4:15I am really excited for him because I know that as he lives the covenant he has just made, to keep the commandments always that God will bless him!! This is just the beginning for him:)
EarthquakeThen that same day we were teaching a lesson to a young woman and it started to earthquake!
Here in Chile there are earthquakes all the time. Since I've been here there have been at least five. The thing is there are teremotos (earthquakes) and temblors (earthtrembles). The temblors are under a 6.
Yesterday it started trembling, and then it trembled harder, and it kept trembling for a couple minutes! Usually it starts trembling and by the time you get your senses together to realize its a temblor, its over (I've only felt one other one - for the other three I was asleep). People are saying that it was a 5.8, but the US is saying it was a 7.4. Where I am it wasn't as strong as in other areas. The missionaries in the sector that I just left said they couldn't stay standing because it was so strong!
So that was kind of exciting. The funny thing is that the people here are so accustomed that we were in the middle of reading a scripture. The young woman paused reading long enough for us to realize it was a temblor and then kept reading!
• • •And then this morning we went to our bishop's house to watch him make pan (bread)! He is a baker and has a little store. It was amazing! He's been doing it for 22 years so he's pro. We pretty much just watched in awe and ate all the good things he made...sopaipillas, french bread, ayulla bread, empanadas, yum!
So life is good. I am really happy. I love being with my companion, we have a lot of fun and find lots of reasons to laugh!!! She's really teaching me how to enjoy every moment and to enjoy the journey.
We are SO excited for General Conference that is coming up. I hope you all have a chance to watch at least a part of the Conference. A prophet and apostles of God are going to speak to us, and it only happens twice a year. Check out lds.org for the schedule and how you can have the chance to watch conference! You won't want to miss it!
Have a good week!
Love, Hermana Bowns