"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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A difficult but most rewarding week...and many baptisms

Hey there fam and friends. I hope that this letter finds you guys alive and enjoying the March Madness! Great time of year for everyone!  March Madness and I have 6 weeks left! I have a ton of mixed feelings to say the least... I don’t know what to think about the time that I have left and what is going to happen in six weeks... life is going to change. This week was one of the toughest weeks on my mission but at the same time it was one of the most rewarding weeks that I have had on my entire mission. So lets get down to it shall we! 

So this week was the weekend of a big baptism and wedding. So the familia V. has been trying to get married for years and so he worked little by little to get the money for the papers and by the time he would get most of them done they would expire. So he has been at a lost cause trying to make this happen... so just about a month and half ago, he and his familia were having some challenges and his wife said a prayer and asked for help. Well, that same day we as missionaries found him. Can you believe it? It is just another example of how this is the Lords work and we are just His messengers. So that’s the story…the short version! The change we have seen with them is unbelievable.

This past week they got married and baptized, and that’s a whole new story in itself. So everything here government related is very complicated. So we had some miracles happen to say the least. Without going into details let me just tell you that what we accomplished in a day should have taken a good week. There is NO DOUBT the Lord was really on our side. So we got all the papers accomplished to get them married.

Another challenge and a common one was we didn’t have much money and neither did they so we took some money out from home, thanks dad! Well, we wanted them to appreciate the wedding and everything that we were doing so we thought that we would go to work to get all the money back and also to have a little party after the wedding. So this familia sells donuts for a living as I’ve told you before, that’s how they make their living. So they are famous here in C. for selling them. And BTW they are so good.  They also sell pastelitos de pina. In English it’s like a dessert - pineapple thing that are amazing!

So we went to work and sold about 800 between those and the donuts.... we helped them start making them at :830 am and were on the streets selling until about 9:30 for two days this week to make it all happen. It was quite the experience to say the least.... all I can say to wrap it up very easy is this, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS AND WE ARE SOOOOOOOOOOO BLESSED TO LIVE IN AMERICA. NEVER GO A DAY WITHOUT THANKING THE LORD FOR WHAT WE HAVE. COUNT THE LITTLE LITTLIEST BLESSINGS.  It was an amazing experience.

So on Friday they got married and on the same day they got baptized. They were very emotional for all that had and did happen. It was a tough week to try and get it all pulled off but in the end it was the most rewarding week on my entire mission. After the wedding we went out to a restaurant, a Chinese one, that was amazing too! That was a whole other experience.... it all comes down to one thing…we need to be MORE THANKFUL... my mind was blown but I am so happy that what we did for them we could tell beyond belief that it was well worth it. Elder W. and I pretty much made it all happen haha between him and I we sold about 400 donuts and all, we got it done big time!

I also gave him my suit jacket and he was SO happy about that, it’s about the little things in life to say the least. I am so happy to be here and doing what I am doing and being able to experience things that no where else I could or would have the same experiences. I learned more this week than I ever thought I could about myself, life and others. I could go on for days about the lessons that I learned and all but it all comes down to one thing, GRATITUDE. I have a lot to say but I really don’t know how to say it.. it was just a marvelous experience. 

I don’t have much to say about this week except it was amazing and hard - hard - hard and just the most rewarding week ever. It was great, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I am staying here for the last six weeks of my mission and don’t have changes this Wednesday. I will also be with the same companion and he better get ready because we have much to accomplish in 6 weeks. I am kicking it and doing great and just dealing with all this heat, it sucks to say the least but all good! 



Elder Long  

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