Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Baptism, Farewell Tour

This week’s letter will be short, because this is the third time I have had to restart writing an email because dads laptop keeps doing weird things and deleting what I have written, the keyboard keeps on causing me to mess up, and I only have a few minutes.
Tuesday was my last normal day of the mission. We worked hard, talked to some new people, did a bunch of contacts, and then to end the night we had the baptismal service. She chose me to baptize her, so I had the privilege of performing it. She was so happy, and shared with me how clean she felt as she left the water. Many members attended, and have helped a ton in her conversion process. Her husband and convert of mine, was excited as well and told me that in 1 year, they will be sealed in the temple! I am so happy to see their deep conversion to the gospel.
Wednesday, I went to the mission office to have my final interview with Pte. Madariaga. We talked about what I had learned on the mission, and made goals and plans on what I will continue to do forever to stay strong. It was one of the highlights of my life. I also had the grand reunion with Dad, and to my great surprise, with Jake as well! I am sure you have all seen the video. It was so surprising! I could not believe it. It was really exciting. We went to the temple with all the “dying” missionaries, and had a fancy dinner.  A family who I had baptized early in my mission, attended the temple session with us, they are awesome.
Thursday up until today have been days dedicated to saying goodbye to converts, members and friends. I have gifted many things, and have been gifted even more things! It has been really exciting. We have all felt very very happy and positive in the farewells, which is what I was hoping for; I didn’t want it to be a “cry-fest”. I got permission from Pte. Madariaga to play a soccer game with the guys from Bella Vista. They are good and play rough, but my team won, and I scored a few sweet goals. Yesterday we attended church! Oh, what a special special day it turned out to be! Jake bore his testimony, which I translated for them into Spanish. Dad gave a small, powerful message. Alex, someone who I had baptized there, expressed his gratitude for me and the changes he has made due to finding the gospel. Then I closed the meeting with a simple message about happiness, missionary work, conversion, love and enduring to the end.  The Spirit was so strong in the tiny chapel there, with basically every seat occupied. I felt so much love for those sweet people, who I do consider some of my very dearest friends.
Today we got to see the Iguazu Falls, they are one of Gods many beautiful creations. We are heading into Asuncion tomorrow, then to Argentina until Sunday, when we arrive back home.
I feel like ending this letter with how the Book of Mormon ends. In Moroni 10:32 and 34, it says, “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourself of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny
yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then his grace is sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace in God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. “And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth riumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.”
It’s message is simple: Do your best. Give it your all. Make and keep
covenants. Be perfected in Christ, and love Him and His Father with
all your heart. And if you do it, you will be perfected and cleansed
of your sins through the Atonement of the Only Begotten Son of the
Father. That is the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is
what it is really all about. Do your best, and live to see the
miracles and tender mercies of the Lord.
I am so sad my mission has ended, but I am looking forward with faith to the future, and cannot wait to see, meet, talk with, and serve each and every one of you. I love you all so much. I love this gospel, this mission, and my Lord and Savior. Keep us in your prayers.
- Elder Babcock

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