This week was pretty darn good. Last Sat, E' Rod and I had a baptism! Marilyn and Diana Coronel (8 year old twins whose sisters are members but whose parents aren't) were baptized by me and Rod. It was a memorable experience worth telling in person.
We're continuing to see incredible, miraculous progress in the area. We have 2 baptisms scheduled for Aug 8! Gonna celebrate the anni of my favorite (only - hahahah not a very funny joke) parents! Jorge is 22 and supposedly is a golden investigator, who says he wants to serve a mission, and Jesus, 13, who has been reached out to by the Young Men and is thriving at church. He's got a tough family situation but is really changing, and is a lot happier.
We left on Monday, via double decker bus, to the northern tip of the mission to start our 1st week of splits. The bus broke down for 3 hours, and we got the the house at 2:30 am. Yeah!
But other than that, and also miraculously, we weren't dead tired or anything. Got after it all week. I worked every day with the junior companion of a normal area in the 4 zones we visited, in stead of the normal custom to work with the ZLs (E' Contreras worked with a ZL in their area every time.) The highlight was working yesterday in Alberdi 2, the area where I trained E' Miño. Got to say goodbye to some converts, and also show Elder Raffagnini a lot of the former investigators that stopped progressing. Ended the day with one last family night with the Brajeda family.
That brings me to the subject line. In essence, I'm coming to realize that love is the motor of life's satisfaction and happiness. The reason it's so rewarding to have a family and friends, is (should be) the love that one feels from and for other people. I have grown to love the Brajeda family as if they were my own. Seeing them happy and committed to the Gospel makes every day of sacrifice worth it. It literally brightens my day and feels me with a feeling I can't describe...
I'll talk more about this in my homecoming talk, but I've also seen a lot in my life and my mission the devastating despair that one feels when there isn't a lot of love (especially in family). For a lot of people, harsh words and little patience is called "tough love," but I want to boldly say that I think that's just a facade, an ugly excuse. There is NO substitute for kind words and genuine love, especially between spouses and siblings, parents and children.
Now, that being said, I think every person struggles to some degree with the lack of love/patience in family and friends. Hope is not lost. There is a simple command and promise in the Book of Mormon to which I serve as a witness:
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love (Moroni 7:48)
It seems simple, and I know that many think they lack so much to be worthy to ask for this love, but nonsense! If we allow Christ's Atonement to work in our loves, regardless of the mistakes we've made, we can change! This promise has helped me really develop genuine love for many people, and let me tell you, it's a sweet feeling.
I want to invite you to pray, both individually, as a couple, and as a family, that ye may be filled with this love. If you do you, your relationships with ALL with fill you with happiness. It's simple.
To finish, thank you very much dear mom and dad for keeping your letters focused on tangible, important things. You guys are the best!
Elder Isaac Blake