Week 89 – The Heat is Here

At Mileishka's baptism

May 30, 2016
Hey guys!

The heat is definitely here! This past week we got a little of everything...snow, rain, cold, wind, and yesterday it was hot and sunny. But I think that the heat is here to stay for a while now. It seems like I've been praying for the warm weather for months and now we are praying for the cooler weather to come back. 

Lake Tahoe
This week was a solid week. I say this every week, but Elder Torres has so much fire and energy it is awesome. He gets excited about lots of little miracles that I sometimes overlook and it is great. On Tuesday night we got to drive up to Lake Tahoe and do a baptismal interview, and it was so pretty! Lake Tahoe is really a beautiful place, with lots of boats everywhere that make it even more beautiful. I uploaded a few pictures of our adventure up there.

Exchanges with Elder Ash!!!

I got to spend a day with Elder Ash again on exchanges, and it was fun to reminisce on good times and be with him again. It is crazy to think that in 8 weeks he will be home! I can't believe that time is winding down. But that means it is time to sprint through the finish!

Definitely the highlight of the week was the baptism of the Luciano's daughter on Saturday evening. We've been planning her baptism for quite some time now, and it was great to see the plans finally happen. It was honestly a relief for me because we've been working so hard with that family, and things just kept coming up and getting in the way – and we kept having to push the baptism back. But the service itself was really powerful. We had the family come an hour early, and we gave them a church tour, because the mother has never even been in the church yet. It really set the tone for the service because the Spirit was there before the meeting started for the family.

Just before the baptism
I had the privilege and blessing to baptize Mileishka, and it only took me one try despite her being 3 inches taller than me – haha!  After the ordinance, she got up and shared her testimony of the church and although it wasn't very long, everyone knew that what she said she meant. She told us that she prayed for many days and plead with God to know if the church was true and if she was supposed to be baptized, and that God answered her prayer and she felt in her heart the Holy Ghost tell her that it was the right choice. It was awesome. 

Mileishka on her baptism day with her parents
Her father was very emotional throughout the whole thing, and afterwards her mom told us that she felt something pulling her into the font with her daughter when she saw her standing in the water. She told us that she also wants to be baptized, but in time. The counselor of the bishopric conducting the meeting gave the usual "welcome" to the branch, and in his short talk he mentioned that angels and those on the other side of the veil are rejoicing. When he said that it rang true to me. I know that people on the other side of the veil really were rejoicing, and because of that, the Spirit was so strong in the meeting. In a revelation about the priesthood in Doctrine and Covenants 84:20 we read, "In the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest." I know that this is true, and that is why the Spirit is always so strong at baptismal services.

The view on the other side of the mountain from Reno
Yesterday, the 6 of us missionaries in the branch kinda ran the show. Sister Daniels and I spoke in Sacrament meeting, Elder Torres and I taught the 2nd hour class, and then all 6 of us taught the 5th Sunday 3rd hour lesson about missionary work and how the members can help us. It was certainly a great opportunity for us to gain the trust of the branch. We have set a goal to have 20 lessons as a branch each week with a member present for the lesson, and we told the branch about this goal so that they can get on board. There has been a new push for member involvement across the North America Southwest area that we live in, and so we are doing our part to get the members involved as well. 

I have gained a testimony of prayer on my mission. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. I know that we can get answers to our questions and that we can receive help when we are in times of need. We can pray about anything, no matter how big or small or stupid it might be. Heavenly Father loves us, and he has promised us that he will not leave us alone. This is why he commands us to pray and "counsel" with the Lord in ALL of our doings, not just occasionally or when we are really in serious need.  It is through prayer that we can truly develop a relationship with God, because prayer is the way that we can really communicate with the Lord. I am grateful for the blessing that prayer is in my life.

Alma 37:37…"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."  (I remember this used to be one of the scriptures on the fridge back at home a LONG time ago)

The Church is true.


Elder Richmandawg

Look at all those boats!!

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