January 25, 2016
So when you’re here in South America, everyone is a futbol fan and as the word GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAALL is yelled at the top of your lungs, with all your strength and passion for the team you love when your team pulls a goalie, the missionaries are just as animated and energetic when someone gets baptized and is converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or in another word:
|Baptism of Matias|
There.... I got it out of my system now. Anyways, Matias got baptized and it was a pretty hectic day to be honest. We first went and did service for the Aguirre Gomez family by laying down concrete and then filling up the baptismal font for the afternoon. When we got to the church everything was good. Matias came an hour early and we were all prepared, only the members started showing up at 5:50 when the baptism was at 6. Also the police showed up to fill out a report because our church got robbed of our heavy volleyball net polls that were inside the shed outside of the building. So, we had to wait for them to fill out the report. Also the power went out and it was just your average 40 degree Celsius (100+ degree F) type day, so we were dying of heat and the water to the church was gone (luckily we had enough to fill the font). So being an experienced missionary with 18 months now out in the field, I didn’t even bother to stress. Yeah, it’s not my first rodeo and it always seems to be like a rodeo when someone wants to get baptized, but after all that, Matias was baptized and the power came back on, and we ate delicious cake and cookies made by the lovely hermanas of our branch.
One of the best highlights of the baptism of Matias was that he told me, after I pulled him out of the water and we were getting out, he said "Me siento un tranquilidad que nunca senti antes" I feel a peace that I’ve never felt before. It was a tender moment to see how someone truly has become converted to the Lord, Jesus Christ and feel the spirit. It was really a great day for all of us here in the branch.
This past week on Wednesday we had a special missionary broadcast from the apostles and leaders of the church on the subject of "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts". It was really great and I love it when they are training us missionaries in helping us become better teachers and be more converted in the missionary work. I loved all of the talks and Elder Dallin H. Oaks talked about how we must first learn the doctrine of what Christ taught, and then help the investigators take the step of repentance by obeying ALL of the Lords commandments. Then after we must then forsake our sins and our transgressions and remember them no more, and then be baptized, cleaned by the atoning blood of Jesus the Christ, the only one who could save us all. It really hit me deep seeing how important repentance is before we are baptized.
This Sunday we were all there in church and someone didn’t show up to give a talk so I once again had to give a talk last minute with no preparation. But to be honest it’s better that way because it’s a true test of how well can you follow the spirit as it quietly fills your mind and your mouth with what you need to say. I had to give a talk on baptism and I read from when Nicodemus talked to Jesus in John 3:4-6 on how a man must be born by water and of the spirit to enter into the kingdom of God and then in D&C 76:50-52 it says that on a more detailed level. It was amazing to hear the things that I could expound on. How important it is to help people to know these things, because if they do not repent nor be baptized, then shall they be damned. I talked about the exactness our Heavenly Father asks us in his work, from authority to ordinances, we must do EXACTLY as the Lord commands (3 nephi 11:40-41). I loved as well that we, as members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, practice this principle of repentance and re-baptism again and again as we go to church. I said that everyone here who had taken the sacrament this day has been baptized, but did we repent completely as though we were going to be baptized? This past week after hearing what Dallin H. Oaks said, I prayed probably harder than I ever have in my life so far. And when it came to taking of the sacrament, I literally felt the power of the Holy Ghost fill me as confirmation that I had truly repented of my weekly sins. It was only an experience that came after much prayer and much thought as to what my life really meant and what I wanted to do with it.
Overall this week was filled with many great spiritual finds and revelations. You’d think that being out for a long time as a missionary you wouldn’t have anything more to learn, but it’s quite the opposite, I’m learning more than I ever thought I could learn in such a short time.
|Isaac Taylor Bowen|
January 20, 2016 2:03 am
4.2 pounds, 17 inches long
I love you all and a great big hug to Aaron and Kaelee Bowen for the birth of their first born son Isaac Taylor Bowen! Love you guys and miss you every day!
|Celebration after baptism of Matias|
|Aaron is a Dad|
Elder Burke is an Uncle!
Such an honor that Isaac's middle name
|Alex and Brianna build "Elder Snowman Burke"|