One of my hardest times on my mission yet. Michael Salinas, an 11th year old boy who we have been working with since I first got here in El Paso, was supposed to be baptized last Saturday, We went to meet with him before the baptism - and his mother, who had gave us permission a week before, denied this poor child his first saving ordinance. He came to the door in tears. We pleaded with the mother to let her son be baptized - we poured our hearts out to her - and she wouldn't budge. I can’t remember the last time I have been so disappointed. I fear for Michael. Church is the only positive influence and structure he has. The challenges he faces are so great - and to see something he wanted so badly be ripped away from him - just an hour before his baptism - is heart breaking. I know the Lord will not be holding Michael as the one accountable at this time.
We just moved into our new apartment. The address is 1531 George Dieter #1101. It is so much better than the apartment across the street. Happy birthday to Elder Gavin Mapel this week! Thank you Grams and Pops for the care package! Congratulations to Amanda on her baptism - I am so proud of her for making this important decision in her life that will full and help her through the hard times.
Jeffery R. Holland, Craig C. Christiansen, and Gerald Clause - of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, The Presidency of the Seventy, and of the Presiding Bishopric - are coming to visit our mission for a zone conference. I am very excited to hear the words of these inspired men and for it to help me to be a better disciple of the lord.
This week has had a lot of positives through our struggles. We got two people we have been really trying to get to church to come. One of them set a baptismal goal date. I love the work that I have been able to do - and watching the Book of Mormon truly help people as they read it. It makes me so happy to see them be able to come to the realization that their questions are being answered. I received a letter from a good friend from high school. It was so nice to hear from someone who I have been wanting to hear from for a very long time.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is such an amazing thing. It can free us from all the worldly things that can bring us down. God knows we are not perfect. He doesn't expect instant perfection, but he does expect instant progression. We are not limited on how far we can go in this life - when we follow in Jesus's footsteps and obey his Father’s Doctrine. John 7:17 “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or I speak of myself.”
I know that the most important thing we can have in our life is the Holy Ghost - to guide our paths - and I know that God ALWAYS provides a way. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I can never deny it. I know that our Father in Heaven loves us and he blesses families. I know that sometimes bad things happen to good people. God allows it - so we can learn and grow. I love you all, especially my family, and am so happy for the support that I am receiving.