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Monday, April 3, 2017

April 2, 2017 - When you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes

Elder Cannon, Jose Rios!!!!!, Hermano Martinez, Me!!
Look at Jose's huge grin! He was soooo excited!!
The title was the license plate holder for the car in front of us on the way to the stake center to email and I thought it was pretty funny, but accurate. 

Anyway this week was soooooooooo good!!!! We spent most of the week helping Jose prepare for his baptism. We got everything organized and taught him a few more things this week, mostly just to help him keep his excitement about getting baptized. He honestly knew everything like 2 weeks ago but I think this added time helped him to become truly converted to the Gospel. 

When Elder Uceda came to the mission a few weeks ago he showed us Matthew 28:19. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Then he explained to us that in Spanish and the original Greek version of the bible where it says "teach all nations" it actually means to "make disciples." Which he then explained to us as someone who has truly been converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so instead of just teaching, we are called to make sure people are converted. Which is exactly what happened with Jose.

Elder Aguirre came back up for the baptism!
It was good to see him again.
He is so converted I am just amazed. He was so excited for his baptism and was so ready for it. The experience was so special for him. He had a big huge grin on his face the whole time. He told us later that he felt really good, a lot calmer, he said. It was honestly so amazing! 

He was baptized in between the second session on Saturday and the Priesthood session by Hermano Oswaldo Martinez, who has been his biggest fellowshipper. After the baptism he went and picked up his kids and then went home and watched conference on his phone. He loved President Monson's talk in Priesthood session. He also watched bits and pieces of it all Sunday, but his kids were making things difficult for him he said. 

We went by last night to talk with him about his whole experience and he honestly bore us the most sincere and heartfelt testimony. It was so cool! We asked him how his Book of Mormon reading had gone and he told us that he had finished it the day before his baptism! He had read the whole thing in nearly 2 months and understood a lot of it, and learned a lot from it as well. We then asked him what was the favorite thing he had learned from the Book of Mormon and he told us "Que Dios es misericordioso." Which being translated is "that God is merciful." He bore us his testimony about how much he had learned about God's love as he read it, how much he had learned that God's plan was perfect, and how much he had learned about God's mercy. 

I could feel the spirit so strong as I listened to him bear his
All the missionaries at the baptism.
testimony, and honestly it strengthened my testimony so much of the Book of Mormon. Then he said something that was so simple but it felt like I had been sucker punched by the spirit in a good way. He said "Thanks for knocking." So simple! But when he said that I just wanted to cry. 

I can remember that night so visibly. Elder Aguirre and I had been working so hard for nearly 2 whole transfers, and we were knocking this one set of apartments when at the same time we felt like we were in the wrong place. It was weird, but things just didn't feel right, so we decided to try somewhere else. So we left and went to a street where we had knocked on nearly all of the doors. The first door we knocked was the one that counted. Jose opened for us and let us right in. Looking back on that night now I realize that he had been so prepared to receive us, and as we taught him the first time there was just something different about him. Something I had never felt when teaching another investigator and now here we are and he is so prepared. 

As we were preparing to leave after the lesson last night we asked him if he had any questions for us. He told that he did, and then asked us how he was to get an envelope to pay his tithing! Took me off guard, but it was so cool! Because it showed again just how much he desired to keep the commandments. 

Umm, so basically that was the highlight of the week, but Conference was soooo good!! It was so spiritual and honestly amazing. To me it stood out a ton how much they talked about the Godhead. They talked a ton about the Holy Ghost and Christ, and quite a bit about the Father. Also I loved all the talks about doing the simple things. Like reading, praying, and doing service. My plan was originally to email you a bunch of the cool things I liked but I forgot my notes...oh well. It was super spiritual though. 

Oh quick story with this one. If you have seen Nacho Libre you will recognize these things. They're called Elote's. Pronounced L-O-tay (for the L and O say the letters name, and for tay it's like the beginning of Taylor). Anyway Elder Cannon and I have never had one and one day we were in a trailer park that had a Palatero, which is basically an ice cream truck. We're were talking to this lady when we noticed a bunch of these kids had elotes. So of course we asked where they got them and they told us they were only 2 bucks at the ice cream truck. Then Reymundo, the one with his arm around me, he's also a member, said "we'll go get you some!!" So we handed him some money and he left on a dead sprint probably about 200 yards down the road to get us our first elotes. 

About ten minutes later he was back with our elotes, and to be honest they may be against the Word of Wisdom, they were so good. It's corn on the cob, with Mexican style sour cream, fresh cheese, and then chili powder stuff. It was sooo good!! Definitely exceeded my expectations. Then on Friday we saw the Palatero again, so of course we had to stop.

I think that's all for the week. Love you all! 
-- Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

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