This was another awesome week here in El Milagro. This week we have been teaching some young men here in El Milagro and we have 3 new baptismal date for this transfer. I really enjoy teaching Young Men (in the church it is ages 12-18) because I know how much the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change their lives if they start living it at this young age when you are just beginning to mark your path in this world. One of the young men we have been teaching this week is 13 year old Franklin Villa who is our neighbor and best friend of the Bishop's son. We have been teaching him for a few weeks and invited him to be baptized a few weeks ago after teaching him about the Book of Mormon (which he had asked us for a copy of a couple of weeks ago after being assigned a reading during school one day in church) we invited him to be baptized. He accepted this invitation on the condition that God answers his prayer about the Book of Mormon and so every night for the past week he has been praying to know if what we have been teaching him is true or not. As missionaries we do not try to convince anyone of anything but rather we share a message that someone can personally, through a prayer, ask God if it is true or not. So we followed this same pattern with Frank and he had been praying for about a week, but still no answer. That is until we began to teach him 3 principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which are Faith, Repentance, and Baptism. As missionaries we love to focus on how faith is a belief accompanied by actions to match those beliefs. Faith is always followed by Repentance, but repentance is not just asking Heavenly Father for forgiveness of the things we have done wrong, but it is also an action of faith where we begin to change our hearts to be more like the perfect example of Jesus Christ. Repentance is the action of changing our lives to be more in line with what our Heavenly Father wants and has planned for us. Well we taught Frank about this change of heart and he prayed... and sure enough that very same night he found us in the street and ran up to us with a grin that stretched from one ear to the other and said (in Spanish) "Elders, I received an answer to my prayers. While I was praying last night I had this crazy feeling of happiness come over me and this bright light in my mind that I could just not get rid of. This is an answer right?" He then went on further to explain that after he received what he believed to be his answer about the Book of Mormon he told us that he immediately began to apply what we had taught him. He said that in his prayer he began to repent of everything he has ever done wrong in order to begin to follow the example of Jesus Christ. To say the least we were a little shocked and super excited that such a young man could understand the importance of these things and begin to apply Christ's teachings in his own life. It is soooooooo exciting and he is so excited for his baptism the 27th of this month. He really understands, like we would love everyone to, that our actions of repentance in this life are our way of becoming more like Christ. We are not perfect, but when we try to be more like Christ is when we can have peace and happiness in whatever situation we find ourselves in.
On a slightly less spiritual note, Elder Bedregal made a chocolate cake this week for one of our investigators birthdays... and of course it was delicious. This week we plan on making empanadas and another chocolate cake stuffed with peaches. Wish us luck. (He really loves to cook, so I will try my best to try and keep up)
This has been an awesome week here in El Milagro with Elder Bedregal!!!
Happy Mother's day to all the great Mom's out there in this world. Thanks Mom - You're the best!
Elder Jack Vassau