Dearest Family and Friends,
Wow!! This has been an amazing week!!! I can't even believe it!! Fermin was baptized yesterday!! Finally!! It was a joyous evening! It was an experience that I won't forget. :)
So, first I'll talk about his baptism. It was soooo amazing!! A lot of people showed up to support Fermin. It was absolutely incredible! We could see the light come into his eyes after he came up out of the water. He was so happy! Us missionaries had the opportunity to bear our testimonies at his baptism, and so did Fermin! It was such a sweet testimony! I can't believe how humble he is. He shared how excited he is to be a member, but how he is not perfect, but he will spend his
life trying. just trying everyday. He is such an example! It was so sweet when he received the Holy Ghost the next day. The branch is truly embracing him, and he is embracing them right back! He will have NO problems after we leave. :) THAT is what missionary work is all about. You need the members. :) He is in good hands!!
I have noticed something very incredible this week. When I first came into Chamblee, there were a TON of less actives, and hardly anyone came to church. I was really concerned for the strength of the Chamblee branch! But the amazing thing I've noticed this week is how much it has grown!! The elders have helped reactivate an entire family, and they are preparing to enter the temple!! The active members who were a bit wishy-washy in their testimonies are WAY stronger!! We have been working with a couple less actives who now come to church every week! It is amazing to see the growth of
Chamblee! WAY more people are coming to church! We taught Fermin with a member family, and because of the experience they had with him, the family is way more active! The experience strengthened their testimonies as well! Wow!! I cannot believe how amazing it is to watch! Missionary work is not all about baptisms....it's a big part, and it's very important, but a mission can be influential in SO many different ways. This tiny little branch has grown stronger! The already faithful members are MORE faithful, and the ones who were struggling are more sure now! It's amazing to watch, and I am SOOO blessed to be a part of it!!
The last thing I would like to share this week is how much I love being a missionary. There is truly no greater joy I've ever
experienced in my life than being a missionary. I know that I'm going to have many more joyous experiences in my life. I'm sure that getting married and having children of my own will be more joyous, but for the moment, the experiences I'm having are changing my life. They are changing who I am. I am not the same person I was when I left. My mission is molding me into the person I need to be for the rest of my life. My progression only goes up after my mission. That's the goal. My mission is not the end. My mission is preparing me for the rest of my life! I can see why the Lord wanted me to serve. I am learning things, and having experiences I never would've had without coming on a mission. I am forever grateful that Heavenly Father asked me to come and serve. It's not always easy, but if it was I wouldn't learn anything. I am so grateful for this experience. Thank you for your love and prayers. I can feel the strength of those praying for me. I love you all so very much!