Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 32....Growing the Tree of Faith!!!

This week was a really good week for us here in Los Sauces. We are still working hard. We have a lot of people preparing for baptism. We have Francisca who is 12, she has a baptism for the 16th of May. And we have this great family... THE FANTASTIC 4.... the family that Elder Miller and I have been fasting and praying for our whole time together. They have a date for the 30th of May, the last week my comp is in the mission. We are really excited to see these people progress and be baptized. 

This week was a really good week for Francisca. We showed her the baptismal font, we gave her her baptismal gown and we had her fill out her baptismal records. She told us there is no doubt in her mind that she is getting baptized. She also chose who was going to baptize her. She chose my comp, because it will probably be his last baptism here in the mission. I think it will be a really spiritual experience. We are super excited. But of course there is always a setback. Last night we went over to teach her and we had a great lesson. After the lesson we asked her mom if we could talk to her. So we went outside with the mom. We asked her if she would give us permission to baptize her daughter. She looked at us and my heart dropped. She told us that she doesn’t think Francisca is ready for this type of decision. She told us that she doesn’t feel comfortable letting her be baptized so soon. We testified to her that her daughter was progressing so much, that she was a completely a different person. We told her to talk to Francisca and we would be back this Thursday to see what her answer is. 

Last night I was so devastated. I went home and I wanted to cry. I just sat there and kept asking God... WHY??? WHY is this happening?? Then my comp and I began to talk. We then decided we should say a prayer together. So we knelt down and offered a really spiritual prayer for Francisca and her mom. We then started to read our scriptures. I was reading Alma 32:41-43... This gave me a lot of confidence. These scriptures are scriptures of Faith. It talks about growing the Tree of Faith. If we want a tree to grow we need to nurture it and be patient for it to grow. I started to think of this in our situation. If we want Francisca to be strong in the church forever we need to nourish her tree. We can’t rush it!! We need to nourish our tree with our Faith, great diligence and patience. If we do this, (it says in vs. 42), with time you will recognize your fruit and you will have fruit sweeter and whiter than any other fruit. This was such a comfort to me. I know that we will baptize Francisca, but in the Lords time. We just need to keep working with her so that she can be prepared and grow this Fruit. 

For my spiritual thought this week I want to share with you guys something I learned that has really helped me. I was really studying a lot this week about the Power of the Atonement. I found something interesting that I would love to share with you all. I was reading in 
1 Nephi 7:17, at this point in the scriptures is when Nephi and his brothers are to go back to Jerusalem and invite Ismael and his family to join them in the wilderness. Nephi´s brothers tie him up and he is stuck. It was interesting to me what Nephi prayed for. He says "Oh Lord, according to my Faith in thee, free me from the hands of my brothers, yea, GIVE ME STRENGTH TO BREAK THESE BANDS which hold me captive." Nephi prayed for the strength that HE might break the bands. I was reading the talk given by Elder Bednar and he said, If it was me, I would have prayed for the Lord to break the bands. Nephi understood the power of the Atonement. This power is called the enabling power. As children of God we have the power that comes from the Atonement to receive extra strength in times of need. As we rely more on Christ and his atonement, we will become closer to Him and be strengthened. There are many examples of this in the scriptures. I challenge all of you this week to search and read about the enabling powers of the atonement. The Atonement is about making bad men good, but more than that it is about making good men saints. I thought the atonement was only to receive remission of our sins, but it is a lot more than that. We are Children of God and can become Saints, as we use the Atonement of Christ in our lives. 

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