Whew! This week was amazing! I know I start off every week the same way, but it's simply because every day is AMAZING out here! I love it so much, and I love being a part of such a huge growth right now. I am blessed everyday, and I realize it. :)
For starters, as you can see by the pictures attached, the baptisms of Gloria and Kevin went really well yesterday. There were SO many people! We were so happy to see so many ward members show up to support them, because although a lot of family members came for Kevin's baptism, not one came for Gloria's. Can you believe that? Not one of her family members came to support her special day. It was sad. She is so amazing though, and did not let her family members not agreeing with it stop her. Obispo did an amazing job when he stood up to speak and bear his testimony, though, when he told her to look around and see the new family that she has now to support her in her growth in the church. :) It's so true! We are one big happy family, and we are all here to support one another once we become members of the church, as it explains is Mosiah 18:8-11. I love this ward, and I love this church.
Also, this week we had Zone Conference! I loved it. :) We had a few great talks shared, and we received great training from the Assistants. I am really going to be sad when one of them goes home this transfer. :( They do a really good job together, and I always look forward to learning from them. They taught us all about planning and how important it is to involve the ward so that our investigators are not only growing in the doctrine side of the gospel, but also the social side of the gospel. I feel like our members are doing a wonderful job of that. It feels so good to have investigators come to church and not worry about them not feeling comfortable or not knowing where to go, but rather having a member jump right in to help them out. Love it. :)
Sister Bowen also gave wonderful talk about Spiritual Crocodiles. I am sure you have heard about it before, but she related her talk to Elder Bednar's talk. We watched a little clip about the story from Elder Bednar about a guy that was traveling in Africa and was told not to leave the gates of the compound. He disobeyed and left, thinking that all would be fine, he would just go exploring. Little did he know that hidden in the water hole that he went to walk through was a crocodile. It's a sad story to hear about, but it is true. It showed a couple more clips of animals that are timid and nervous to approach water because they are afraid crocodiles are lurking, awaiting to catch their thirsty prey. All of this is then related to spiritual crocodiles we have today. Although things we do in life, at times may seem normal and harmless...if we aren't careful and don't pay attention to what we are really doing, we may get caught in the trap of a spiritual crocodile. I love this talk because it really helps us and warns us to understand that although sins may feel good when we do it, the spiritual, and sometimes physical, damage can be immensely difficult to overcome. I sure hope that we can all avoid the pitfalls of Satan and his spiritual crocodiles as we strive to do our best and follow Heavenly Father. I love you so much, and I am so glad to be able to know of this knowledge. It's through the wonderful power of this gospel, that we are prepared to avoid these dangers. I hope all is well with you, and I pray that you can avoid the spiritual crocodiles of life as well. It is all worth it in the end. I testify of that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
"You can make excuses or you can go out and make a difference."