"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou
dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."
-Joshua 1:9

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Loving my life as a missionary!

May 26, 2014

Hey my loving friends and family. I hope that this weeks’ letter finds you all alive and kicking and doing great! Time is... I really don’t know where it is going. It’s crazy fast and I am just soaking up all my time here. I love my mission more and more every day. There isn’t a day where it’s easy but it is the best thing I have ever done in my life. I love helping the people grow closer to our savior and know that this is the Lords work. So lets get down to the good stuff! 

This week we were just dodging bullets all week... just kidding haha! Nothing too crazy happened this week so nothing too crazy to report! But here it is. This week we were running around with our heads cut off visiting a ton of different people. We have focused a lot on just finding more and inviting more. The more that we find and the more that we open our mouths the more success one will have. So we have been tearing it up. This week we had a baptism. His name is M. and he is a stud to say the least. He comes from a super duper catholic family but is very open-minded. His mother has cancer but is a overcoming the sickness and is doing great. M. has seen the blessings that the Lord has given him and his family in recent months. What a perfect time we have had to get to know him. He is family with J. here and is always in the house when we are there eating and all. Little by little we have been sharing messages with him and his best friend who is a member. When I got here his best friend was not very active, but with me here my little friend C. didn’t have a choice but to get his butt back to church. He is a stud too. Now the best friend of C. is a member. They are on mile high right now. They have so much ganas to serve a mission... I think that I have been like a Tyler W. for them. These two 17 and 16 year olds mean the world to me. I have taken them in and now there on the right path. They are great guys with a bright future. So this past Saturday we had his baptism. We went down to the river in Nueva Armenia and its so beautiful there. So we baptized him the same way that Jesus Christ was baptized, in the river.

The hermanas also had a baptism this weekend too. I had the opportunity to do the interview to see if he was ready and all. It was such a powerful experience to see and hear his story and his conversion. He was very emotional and I could feel and see that the gospel of Jesus Christ has had a very big part in his life and the change that he needed. It was an unbelievable experience to be able to interview him and feel his love and testimony of the gospel in the 30-40 minutes that I was with him one on one. What a cool experience for me. So we dunked the two gators on Saturday and on Sunday they were confirmed. Great day! It gets better. We had 51 people in church! That doesn’t seem like a lot probably to you guys.. but here that is a lot. It was great! So pretty much we killed it this week. But that means NOTHING, this is a new week baby!

Okay, well this week I studied a lot about faith and a lot about patience. These are two virtues and characteristics that Jesus Christ has. We all need to be more patient and have more faith. Yes, I know that it is not always easy, but there are no ifs, ands or buts... we need these qualities. I was reading in Romans 5:1-5 and I really loved these verses. They are cince versus that we need to study and put into practice. I really love versiculo 3. We are all going to face tribulations and problems in our lives, that is normal but the question is how are we going to react and what are we going to different? When we are working our faith, at the same time we are working our patience. I love this because we all can apply it to our lives. God and his son Jesus Christ love us so much and want us to succeed in every way possible, they want the best for us. They have an abundance of patience and faith in us so why is it that sometimes we don’t in them? We must be patience. Blessings and good things will always come our way. That’s a promise from our Heavenly Father. BUT, we must be doing our part. We must be in line with the teaching of our Savior. There is no other way to put it. So if you are doing all that you can, keep doing it. If you are not, take a look in the mirror and make some changes. I ask each one of you to do better. We ALL can do better. And that is daily. We must not wait to be in front of the Lord and have to say that I could have done more... today is the day. Pray, read your scriptures, go to church, serve others and aim high in all that you do and put your best foot forward! 

Brothers and sisters, I promise you that this is the Lords work. We are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. When we do our part, the Lord is ready to bless us in many different ways. WE MUST DO OUR PART. I thank each of you for your love and support while I am here. You guys mean the world to me and it has made the difference for me while I am gone. I know that The Bible is the word of God and can CHANGE our lives for the better and that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ that testifies of our loving Savior. I know that when we read the word of God, our lives CHANGE for the BETTER. I promise you that my brothers and sisters. I love each of you and want the best for each of you. Say your prayers, serve others and you will be engulfed with the spirit. Now get up, stand up, and make a change! 

I hope that you all have a special week and do something DIFFERENT for the better. LOVE YOU all. 

Con mucho amor,
Elder Mariano Long 

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