Saturday, August 16, 2014

We are seeing miracles!

Dear Family and friends and everybody else,

This week has been incredible for me we have been seeing A TON of miracles.  First we had 4 people come to church this week which hasn't happened here in Santiago for more than like 5 months! We have set some baptismal dates.  We are starting to work with the branch here and it's starting to get better. and one of the biggest for me is that we thought we weren't going to have a baptism this change -- the first change that I have had since my very first one that I haven't had a baptism --  and that discouraged me becuase one of my goals is to baptize every change on my mission.

But I have seen that the Lord is merciful and if you truly do your part and are always worthy,  that is when the miracles come and we will be having a baptism this week and not only that it's a man and there hasn't been a baptism of a man here for more than a year!! That's  another miracle.
I have been learning a lot like Sister Toma said, about being grateful ALWAYS and I love the talk by President Uchtdorf where he talks about how we can put aside the bitter cup of resentment and drink from the goblet of Gratitude and that is completely true.  When you truly understand that problems and trials are for the better it's a lot easier to be grateful for the little things and the big ones too. Also I have been thinking again of love and reading a talk by President Monson about how we can't truly love God if we don't love our neighbor and I love a scripture that is in James that explains how can you love God that you have never seen and hate your neighbor that you see every day and that has been helping me see past the faults of the people here in Santiago and to treat them differently even when they are treating me like garbage. 

And one thing I am grateful for is that I am in the hardest and most tiring area in all of the mission with no one really around you but your companion.  That has also been making realize how grateful I am for my companion and I told him that because I couldn't be here alone -- you would go crazy and leave. But also for the opportunity too be a part of this mission.   I don't know if I have said this before but the 12 Apostles and Seventy have told our Presidents before that our mission is the best mission in all of Central America including Mexico and one of the best missions in all of the world and that they are watching us and to get that kind of credit from the 12 Apostles and Seventy that are over all of Central America is incredible to me, a lot of pressure for my President haha,  but for us it's a privilege,  the mission is a privilege not a sacrifice like some might think.

That's cool that dad is teaching at education week.  Doesn't one of the apostles also give a talk or something? 

Oh also something that happened this week for the first time.   I saw a full funeral and its A LOT different here. One of the members died so we did the funeral in the church and one thing they do is they carry the coffin all the way to the burial site so you just see a ton of people walking in the street following the coffin that the guys carry on their shoulders.  Then they go to the site and the girls begin to cry like CRAZY and wail and scream and everything.  It's like HELL haha and when they try to put the coffin in the sepulcher becuase its all above ground here,  the girls start freaking out and try to stop them.   it's insane haha guys have to grab them and take them away haha the truth is I was a little sad becuase some of them don't really get the plan of salvation and there was no real respect but I liked the talks at the funeral  service they taught really well about the plan of salvation but that's what is happening here in Santiago.   We have changes next week but I doubt that we have changes here so who cares haha 

But love you all

Elder Toma 

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