February 6, 2013
February 4, 2013
Hola Familia y Amigos!
This week was interesting. I would say that it was tough but then Sunday came around and we had an AMAZING lesson, it basically turned around my mood about the whole week in general
This week we have been searching for those 400 inactive members in our ward. That has been fun. Lots of them have moved, died or joined other churches. Anyone who doesn't think Home Teaching, or Visiting Teaching is important should have to serve a mission in south America so you can see how easily people fall away when no one is there to help them. Most people when they first go inactive just need a friend to invite them back again and they come the next Sunday, but after years and years of not hearing from anyone people get bitter. Moral of the story! DO YOUR HOME AND VISITING TEACHING!! ITS IMPORTANT!!!
Sunday we had a lesson with Alfunzo. Alfunzo reminds me of my Grandpa Pete. Not really how he is, but more his story. Everyone is Alfunzos family are members. EVERYONE! His wife, his kids, his grandkids. Not just members but active, temple going members. They have been members for the past 16 years, and Alfunzo has been ditching and rejecting missionaries for pretty much that whole time. A few months ago the Elders were able to make progress with him and they started teaching. They have been teaching him for a while and he has made a lot of progress, but not to baptism. When we got the Chancay the Elders handed him over to us, they felt like we could help him and his wife work out some problems because that seemed to be what was holding him back. Since then we have been kind of tag teaming Alfunzo. We teaching him with his wife, they teach him alone, Something like that.
Well this week the Elders had some crazy Health problems and were in Lima all week so we took over visiting Alfunzo. Saturday he taught us how to cook Pollo Broster! Que RICO! Sunday we had a lesson with him and practically the whole family. We were worried at first. Lots of little kids were running around and it was hard to maintain a spiritual environment. We talked about how we can become more like Christ. There were lots of long silences as me and Hermana Anderson searched in our souls for inspired words and questions. But at the end of the lesson we found it. The fear. He knows the church is true and he knows that he needs to get baptized. He is afraid of letting his family down. He cried. He told us he wants to get baptized. He just wants to do it right. We invited him to get baptized at the end of this month. He accepted. Maybe some of you might be thinking that it's too far away or something, but I know it was right. I know Alfunzo is going to be serious this time and I KNOW he will get baptized this 23rd of February.
That night we talked with our Branch President who is also his Son in Law. He said something that I haven't been able to stop thinking about. He told us "This isn't a baptism, This is an eternal family." I have thought a lot about that.
You know I wonder who were the missionaries that taught my Dad, or my Grandpa. I have no idea who they were. I know that both my Dad and my Grandpa got baptized after seeing the good example of the ones they loved. Just like Alfunzo. I know that his daughters loving testimony that she bore yesterday penetrated his heart in a way like never before. But I wonder who these Elders were. I wonder if they realize that their "baptism" wasn't just a baptism and their "convert" wasn't just one convert. They helped our family become an eternal family. I don't know who they are, but I am very thankful for the part they had in my family's life.
I know I'm such a sucker when it comes to Dads, but Alfunzo is really special. Yesterday he realized something. I think he has always known that HE should get baptized, but yesterday when we talked about how we can become more like Christ and what our lives would be like if we were more like Christ I know it hit him that his choices effect his family. He cried and told us that he knew he was letting his family down, that he needed to spend more time at home and less time in the streets, that he needed to learn to be more Christ like and loving with his grandchildren. I think yesterday he finally understood that becoming Christ like (first through baptism then after through the commandments) would bring him and his family more happiness. That's why I know he will get baptized.
I remember when I was little my Dad let me down once. It was something small but as a child I was really heartbroken. That day my Dad took me out to lunch and asked for my forgiveness. I remember hugging him. He looked so sad. A Dad never wants to let his children down.
That's the same look I saw in Alfunzo yesterday. He gets it now. He won't let his family down. Because Alfunzo getting baptized isn't just about Alfunzo getting baptized. It's about completing a family an eternal family.
I am SO thankful for the family I have been given.
I'm thankful for a Father who loves me, who played with me when I was little, who talked to me when I was older, I know my Dad always had my best interest at heart.
I am thankful for my Mother. My angel mother who has always been such a good example to me. I'm thankful that she stayed up late to talk to me and always helped me chose the right but without obligating me.
I'm thankful for my Brother Shay. I wish he had made better decisions in his life so we could still be together. But I trust that the Lord is just and merciful. I know he is alright.
I'm thankful for my Brother Seth. He always made me feel like I had to live my life right. Like there wasn't an option of making big mistakes. I think that always helped me.
I'm thankful for my Sister Haley. For always letting me come along. She has been the greatest example to me. I've seen how much she has changed and her family since they have come back to church. Her example for me is a testimony builder that this gospel blesses families.
I'm thankful for my Sister Alison. For her fun personality that fills the room, and for those talks we had about what I deserve. She never lets me settle for less.
I'm thankful for my nieces and nephews, my Aunts, Uncles and Cousins who have been there for me my whole life.
I'm thankful for the friends that I have who are so wonderful that I could consider them family.
My Family is the greatest gift God has given me. I am so thankful that families can be eternal. I am so excited for Alfunzo and his family. Because this isn't just a baptism. This is an eternal family.
Wow. . . . I'll be surprised if anyone reads this because it goes on forever. I just love this. I love the gospel and I love families. I sure do miss mine, but I'm thankful that in these 18 months away I've been able to be part of helping others.
The Gospel is true. God Loves you! You are all amazing.
Hermana Sadie Jean Taggart