Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dec. 6, 2016- Two newest members in the Dorsal ward

So for the second change in a row, the assistants called to give us changes but this time my companion will be going and I’ll be staying. I’ll definitely look back on this change as one of my favorites all in all. We worked like crazy to bring life to a dead sector and we did it. There’s still more work to be done, but we’ve already seen the fruits of our labors with 2 baptisms this past weekend. Elder Ortiz is a super good missionary and he’ll be doing great things for the people of Los Andes this change.

This change I will be training again and I’m 90% sure he’s a Brazilian. Hopefully he learns Spanish fast because I only can say 2 things in Portuguese. (UPDATE: He’s from Colombia) I’m excited for this new challenge and I’m hoping to grow how God wants me to grow from this experience.

So it was another super busy week, highlighted with baptisms, so I’ll start with that. 

The first baptism came on Saturday and it was Ignacio Cabrera, friend of member Juan Pablo. We met him because he had been coming to church and activities for some time now and always loved participating. When it came time to talk about baptism, he was excited. He described his desires to come out of the water clean, leave his past mistakes behind, become a member of the church, and pass the sacrament with his friend Juan Pablo. However, he also had fears about what his mom would say. She is a faithful member of the Evangelist church (Iglesia Evangelica) and for whatever reason she’s never been a fan of this church. She didn’t love the idea at first either, but she said she couldn’t say no because of how happy it makes her son and how great of an effect it has on his life. On Saturday he was baptized by a recently reactivated young man named Jose who helped us in teaching Ignacio and is preparing to serve a mission.

Ignacio's baptism
The second baptism came on Sunday and it was Cristian Jara, husband of member Andrea Ramos. I’ve said quite a bit about him in past weeks, but needless to say he was READY. He was actually going to be baptized on Saturday, but his wife gave birth on Thursday and didn’t leave the hospital until Sunday. In the end, everything went well and Elder Ortiz baptized for the first time in his life. Although this step in Cristian’s life certainly made his wife happy, he certainly didn’t do it just for his wife. Through diligent prayer and scripture study he knew this message was true and he has grown in his personal testimony ever since. Right after the baptism he found out he needed to move right then (a day early) so we quickly changed to go help only to find out he’ll actually be moving today. At least we got to meet his little baby Joseph Snyder Jara Ramos.
Cristian's baptism
Cristian and Andrea's new baby Joseph

In between those two baptisms (Saturday night) the stake had a big Christmas concert. It was super well done and super well attended as well, but I mostly mention this because some people from Rosende (my first sector) went. They told me Mario (first convert) is now the young men’s president, he baptized his daughter, and helped his wife to become active once again in the church. I also found out Andony moved away to the Santiago South Mission, but he still comes to Rosende every Sunday. I feel grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to share the gospel with these two amazing servants of God.
Friends from Rosende (my first sector)

3 weeks until Christmas!! See you guys then. I’ll tell you about my new comp next week. Enjoy the pictures!!

Love,

Elder Birrell

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