Elder Lewis here, making a recording to send to you this week. This week has been good, I think I will start from today and work my way back. SO today, we went, first of all, to the temple. It was my first time in about 8 months, and I loved every minute of it. It has really helped my understand what power in the priesthood is, and I dunno, I read an article by Russell M. Nelson that said that If you want the Lord to teach you about his power and his priesthood and how we can use it, go to His temple, he loves to do his teaching there. That’s really true. I really learned so much. It was like going into it with a new perspective. These past 8 months have really helped me to appreciate that power and what it is.
Then we went and played Micro with the Elders Quorum, that was really fun. It’s kind of funny, here in Colombia, you guys joke about Mormon Standard Time, well Colombian standard time is 10 times worse. We started an hour and a half late. But it was fun. I have been getting better with my feet. I had a couple of good goals today. That was pretty good from where I started. I couldn’t score a goal on a Colombian to save my life. I guess we will have to play when I get back. I took a pretty good slip and kinda smashed myself against the cement… It’s a bit difficult to walk right now… haha. But, ya vamos! I just think I bruised my hip a bit. It could have been worse. One thing is that a Micro ball is really hard because to make it roll like it’s rolling on grass it has to be heavy. Somebody kicked it right into the face of the Elder’s Quorum president today. Got his nose pretty good. The ball is pretty heavy, it kinda stinks to head it in or anything like that because it’s kinda pesado…. Haha. But we came back to the apartment and relaxed for a little bit, and now I’m here!
Yesterday, we went to church, and we had 3 investigators in the church but… investigators… it just breaks your heart when they don’t show up…. But we aren’t getting down on that. We are just gonna try harder next week. Then after church we went and had lunch at a restaurant, because a member bought us lunch there when it was his turn to feed us lunch, so we went there and man… I remember Dad talking about eating Fish Heads in New Zealand… well they do the same thing here. They serve the whole fish. They just cook it. They just stick a stick through it and cook it. Luckily they take most of the guts and stuff out, but it’s a bit hard to get used to… then we went down a little bit further and met with an investigator that we have been trying to get an appointment with for a long time. We had a baptism in April with a muchacho called Victor, and Victor is now 12 and his parents… I don’t know.. we have a great relationship with them. They have a bread store, or a panaderia, and we go down there quite often to see if we can teach them a message. We ended up the other day helping them clean their store for a little while and that was really fun. They are really awesome. But we went and Victor’s Dad, Victor Sr. was there and it was a little bit slow and we just started to have a conversation, and that conversation turned into the day of Sabbath… crap… the Sabbath Day is a hard thing for them because their panaderia is really busy all the time. The conversation turned to that and we felt the spirit so strong that we should go ahead and share a message with them about it, and we testified to him that if he closes the shop one day a week, so that his son will able to attend church, their family will be so blessed. We shared experiences with him, our experiences with the Sabbath Day, and we could see that it touched him. He kinda shook his head a bit, but it touched him. He said that he would think about doing it, about closing the shop one day a week just to see if the Lord would bless him. I know that he will. But it was just an example of the Lord puts you in places. We have been trying to find a way to share that message with them for a week, and there it was, just having a conversation. The conversation actually started out talking about beer companies here in Colombia, but it turned to that somehow. The Lord had prepared him. He was already thinking about it. Thinking about how his son really doesn’t have a lot of time with his dad and I don’t know… It just reminded me how grateful I am that my parents took time with us. That’s part of the thing that I shared with him. I could tell that that really touched him. Then after that we went to Elvira, una investigadora, she is an investigator that has read the Book of Mormon two times now, and because of work hasn’t been able to attend church. BUT she has worked things out, and she will be able to attend church from now on! So we are hoping to get her baptized in July. Her only concern is that… well she just wants to repent. She wants complete repentance. She wants it so bad. She had an Evangelical church take advantage of her and in the name of diezmos, or Tithing, basically rob her and that left her with a bad taste in her mouth of Christianity. But now she is just so humble. She is so teachable. She puts her faith in the Lord. Tithing is a hard thing for her to accept, but she says “I’m gonna put my faith in the Lord.I don’t see why it’s a commandment, but if you say that it is, then it is. And I know that the Lord will bless me.” I feel so blessed to be teaching her. That’s really how I feel. So that was Sunday.
We met 2 new families, Familia Sanchez, there are 3 people, a mom and 2 kids, and another family of about 5 people this last week. There are new investigators coming out of the woodwork and we are hoping to really get going. Saturday, there was an open house at (?) and we went and helped out there, and then our zone leaders informed us that there was a baptism that night, and that if we brought investigators then we could attend. I knew who they were baptizing. His name is Juan Encico. And Juan has had so many problems. So many troubles, including a good struggle with homosexuality. In the last 3 months he has really just bent his knees before the Lord and allowed the Lord to help him with that problem. Now he is a member of the Church! We brought Griselda, one of our investigators, to the baptismal service, and I will tell you that when he was baptized, that may have been one of the times that I have felt the spirit the strongest in my life. It was visible in every person that was there. Griselda, I heard her say “wow. What is that feeling?” well, while the rest of her family aren’t progressing, I know that she is, and although it’s hard for her to understand the scriptures, she is still reading. I am so grateful for her. I am so grateful for Juan and his decision to be baptized. I’m not gonna lie, I judged him a bit when the Zone Leaders told me about him and his past, but with certainty, when he was baptized, I felt, I don’t know it’s something that you feel not really that you hear, “ I don’t remember his sins anymore, and neither should you.”
Well, I just want to close with my testimony of baptism and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the Evangelio, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That through Faith, Repentance, Baptism, reception of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End that we can get clean and stay clean from our sins. I am a witness of his love. I have seen it. It was such a tender mercy of the Lord to let me see that baptism, for me personally. Because even though our main investigators right now don’t want to get baptized, I felt that we should be there and see someone come unto Christ like that. Maybe that strengthening experience will help me so that I can teach with more power so that we can have some more baptisms. I testify of the way that the Lord works. I know it is perfect. I feel it in my chest right now as I speak of it. I testify of this Church. I know the Book of Mormon is true, that it is the keystone of our religion. I testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I testify that the priesthood has been restored, and that without it we would be utterly lost. I know and testify of these things. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
"Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven,
and I, the Lord, remember them no more."