Saturday, November 17, 2012

Visits with the Mission President

Greetings from Paraguay!
This week I officially started what will be my last transfer of my mission. It has brought up many mixed emotions, most of them being sadness and also excitement to endure to the end and work as hard as I can to end with a bang. We had an awesome week, the members are incredible, especially our Ward Mission Leader. He went out with us 2 different days to visit our progressing investigators, and it had a huge influence! Yesterday in Fast and Testimony Meeting, he bore his testimony of the joy that he feels working with us missionaries, and encouraged everyone there to find people for us to teach. I feel so thankful for members of the church like him who understand the doctrine of missionary work being a duty of everyone in the church. One of my favorite quotes has always been: "After all that's been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel" by the Prophet Joseph Smith. We had more lessons with member present this week than any other week I have had here, and we saw the success when Sunday came along and 6 of our investigators all showed up, all of which had been visited by us this last week with a member present.
We got a surprise call from President Madariaga telling us that he would be in town Sunday night to do visits with us! We went with him to visit a few investigators and less active members. We also had interviews with him, and mine was very spiritual.
My spiritual thought from this week comes from a lesson we had with a Family. 1 year ago, the mother of a Hermana passed away, and so the visit before we went with President, we left them with Alma 40:11-13 to read, which talks about the Spirit World. As we opened our scriptures to read it with them, I was anxious and ready to read the scripture, teach the doctrine, etc. But, wisely, President takes a second to ask, "Tell me Sister, what was your mother like?" Hermana sits there for a second, and responds by saying that when her mom was younger, she was really doubtful about God, religion, etc. Then, she was diagnosed with cancer, which proved fatal. But before she died, she started receiving the missionaries, felt in her heart that the church was true, and wanted to be baptized. Due to health problems, she was unable to be baptized, but had desired to be baptized up until she passed away. At that point, I felt so humbled and thankful for the wonderful example of President Madariaga. Because he followed the Spirit and asked an inspired question, we were able to understand exactly what portion of the gospel she needed to hear. He then explained that because of her change and faithfulness, and because of vicarious ordinances in the Holy Temple, she could receive baptism and other saving ordinances, and also receive a glorious resurrection with her whole family. Hermana felt peace in her heart as she heard the news. She committed to go to the temple in December with her mothers information, to be able to perform baptism for her deceased mother. I am thankful for temples, and give my testimony that the power does exist today to save those who have passed away. I am thankful for the example of my family members from home who write me and weekly tell me of experiences they have had while in the temple this last week. I know that families can be together forever, through the sealing power of the Priesthood.
I love you all. Keep us in your prayers! Elder Bednar is coming to visit us on the 27th of October, we are all excited!
Until next week,
Elder Babcock

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