Mi querida familia, (my dear family)
Wow, I can't believe (cousin) Ryan just got married, that's crazy! I feel like weddings are just normal now, haha. We just married another couple this week. We're way good friends with the licensed in the Registro Civil, and so he's been helping us help a lot of people get ready to live the Law of Chastity. Its great. This week was the best story I have ever seen. (Probably right next to the wedding of Agustin in Carmen)
It was so great, Bety has been pretty much a member not-baptized for about 5 years. Going to church and her 9 year old daughter was even baptized last year before her. She couldn't get baptized because her husband Armando wouldn't get married to her. Armando's brother is a member, but his mom- no. And I guess his mom didn't want him to get married to Bety because she's Catholic and said that they had to wait more time or something.. ( ?? ..yeah its pretty dumb) But anyways, I guess every time they've tried to get married, the mom freaks out and ruins everything. So its been a crazy week. Straight up novela (romance novel) no joke. So we were helping Bety turn in the papers and everything, and she got them all signed by Armando and the witnesses. And I guess she did it all without her mother-in-law finding out. And then we planned the wedding for Thursday, and Bety was sooo worried that if something happened everything would fall again. Because she had been waiting so long to get married (so that she could be a member of the church).
This is the awesome "Bety" and some folks from her Baptism- I'm on the far left :-)
Well long story short, they got married, and that night they told his mom and she got way mad at them i guess. But they're both like 27 years old already... Whatever =) Then Saturday was the baptism. By far, one of the best baptisms I have ever been in. The spirit was so strong in that room. Not too many people were able to come (but that honestly helped it to be more reverent) and we had her sister-in-law and brother-in law talk about the blessing they have had being members of the church (They also had to go through the marriage process before being baptized.) And Bety shared her testimony after the ordinance. It was amazing. She shared how she hadn't thought this day would ever come. She had always prayed that she could take this step, if it was God's will, and WHEN it was God's will. She was so happy. She then confessed that she had been crying the last 3 hours before her baptism in just pure joy. I was so moved. I loved her testimony, and I know it moved some of the other members who were there in the baptismal service. Then as we sang the last hymn, "I am a Child of God," I was just looking around the room as I directed and saw all the members singing this, and just imagined them all as children, it was such a beautiful moment. I was almost in tears too, just seeing all these men and women, and imagining them so humble and submitting themselves to God's will like a children submits himself to his parents.
I know that this church is true, and that we all must be like this. Then I sat down before sacrament meeting, and Elder Marchant sat at the door to usher (because turns out I didn't go to Playa Larga this week) and I set my stuff down to get some stuff from the library. When I came back, Bety and her 3 daughters were all seated right next to my chair, and I sat down to share my hymn book with her daughter. After the confirmation, Bety sat back down, we partook of the sacrament, and then the President announced that it was fast and testimony meeting. Bety leans over and asks, "Its testimony meeting?!" And I quietly replied yes and smiled. When a few minutes later after other members, she walked up slowly (never having done so before) and went to bear one of the most powerful testimonies I have heard. So sincere and humble. She is going to be an amazing member. I am grateful for the opportunities my Heavenly Father gives me to strengthen my own testimony by being an instrument in His hands to bring to pass the eternal life of His children. I know that He had been working a lot with Bety, and that He loves her so much as He loves every single one of us His children. I know that the Lord prepared the way from the beginning, since before we had even met Rolando in the Registro Civil, and that we met him with one of these purposes: That Bety could be a member of the Lord's true church.
We must become a "saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
I would also like to share with you a bit of what I shared with the congregation yesterday in my own testimony.
I would like to share with you all what I really know to be true. I know that we all come from the presence of a loving Heavenly Father. We lived with Him before this life, and His infinite love led Him to create a perfect plan for us, in which we could acquire a perfect happiness. I know that this perfect happiness is found in the eternal life. He portioned us a Savior, Jesus Christ, by whom every one of us could follow to receive this happiness. I know that He sent us to this world, with guides, prophets, who show us the way in which we can follow Jesus Christ. I know that living His gospel, and obeying his commandments, and participating in the holy ordinances and covenants in His church and temples will guide us to this eternal life. I know that He is with us when we search for Him. I know that His Holy Spirit resides in each and every one of us who strive to live according to His gospel, and be worthy and clean to feel its presence in our lives.
I know that Jesus Christ suffered for us in the Garden of Gethsemane as well as on the Cross, not to mention many more occasions in His life, to be able to carry out the Atonement. The Atonement is the greatest proof of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for us children. I know that they have blessed me with an eternal family, of which I am so proud to be a part of. Everything that happens to me, could never distract me from the eternal blessings of being with my so lovely family for all of eternity. I love them so much, and I know that we will be together forever if we can be together in His gospel here on earth. I know that these things are true. I am grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the only true church of Christ upon the face of this earth. I know that this church must contain the wholeness of the keys of the holy priesthood to bring to pass God's holy purposes for His children. I know that the Book of Mormon is true because every time I read it I feel the Spirit's presence lighting my understanding. I hope and pray that every person can feel this same Spirit and love that I have felt, because it is true evidence of a successful life. I love this gospel of my Savior, as I do love Him. And I share with you these things that He has made me know, in His holy name, even Jesus Christ. Amen.
Love, Elder Knight