Week 96 - Girls’ Camp = Miracles!

With my man, Elder Ash
July 18, 2016
Hey everyone!!

I say this every week, but the mission just keeps getting better and better. I have never had so much fun or been so happy in my life.

Our investigators are all doing great. This past week was crucial for many of them, and it seems that they all made steps forward. 

Fun activity with our zone
The Coto Family is doing awesome. Their 15-year old went to girls’ camp this past week with the stake and absolutely loved it. She told us that she didn't want to leave. She also came home and told us that she wanted all of the books we have so that she can study them and read them. The parents are kind of shocked because two weeks ago their daughter was an atheist and didn't want anything to do with any church. The parents attended church again yesterday and they liked it a lot. We are going over tonight to teach them. Last week's lesson in church was about temples and so when we went over to their house last week they had lots of questions about temples, and they loved the idea of being sealed together as a family. At one point in our lesson this past week Hermano Coto said, "This is what we have been looking for, not just any church but a real religion." Hermana Coto sobbed throughout church yesterday again. Please keep this family in your prayers that they can continue to progress! We love them a lot.

The Luciano family all came to church yesterday and are back on track after two weeks of sickness and stuff.  They now feel like part of the branch and are really well fellowshipped. The next step for them is the M word.......marriage!! They avoid the subject but with time I know it will happen. They brought one of their neighbors who is a 19-year-old boy to church again, named Johnny. This was his second time at church, and last night we had a lesson with him and set a baptismal date for August 13th. He is super solid and really likes church. He is a funny kid. 

Francisco is doing well. He is working two jobs right now and is super busy. His fiancé comes home in a week, and he wants to get baptized soon after that! We just have to get him a few Sundays free. He got his new job through a member of the branch, and the member said that he will have every other Sunday off in a few weeks, so we are hoping that turns out to be true. I love that man a lot. He is seriously considering moving to Provo where nothing is open on Sunday haha.

Alicia is doing well, we were able to set up a Family Night with them and a family in the branch for next Tuesday, so we are looking forward to that. 

Me and Elder Short
On Saturday, we had a branch Elders Quorum activity and played soccer. We went (but didn't play) and we had 6 investigators show up, including Hermano Coto and Johnny! Soccer is the big sport in Hispanic countries, and so everyone gets excited about some soccer. It was fun. 

Have you ever thought about how wonderful the principle of repentance is? So many people hear that word and they freak out; it has a negative connotation. However, repentance is one of the biggest blessings that we have in all of our lives. Jesus Christ has paid the necessary price for all of our wrongdoings and mistakes. Because of his sacrifice, we can be set free and feel free, too!  Repentance is the 2nd principle of the Gospel, and follows faith because if we don't have faith then we will never even have the desire to repent. However, when we do grow our faith, we understand the wonderful blessings that await us when we repent.

Christ wants us to use His Atonement, which is why he says, "Come unto me". Sincere repentance begins when we stop our wrong actions and feel sorry for doing them. We then confess them to our Heavenly Father through prayer, and when needed, also confess to a church leader. We then do all that we can to "un-do" our mistake and strive to never do it again. There are MANY examples in the scriptures of people who had a change of heart and repented and felt the joy and peace that comes. One of them comes from the Book of Alma, when Alma the younger is sharing his conversion story with his son. He says, "Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy." He felt both ends of the spectrum, the sorrow that comes from sinning, and the joy that comes after repentance. I know of the joy that comes from true repentance, and I invite everyone to seek for that joy each week as we take the sacrament. 

The Church is true. Christ stands at the head of it, and it is truly his church.

I love you guys!


Elder Todd
Golfing into a lake as an activity with our entire zone

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