Thursday, February 19, 2009
Small and Simple Things
My little Brother, Dallin, is serving in the Montevideo West Mission in Uruguay. He and his companion just recently had their first baptism together. For those of you who know Dallin he is very self-motivating and when he makes up his mind to accomplish something he doesn't stop until it is finished. So he is having some ups and downs in the mission field when investigators stop coming to church and fall through on their promises. He was so excited in his letter home when this baptism happened and it lifted his spirits more than any words we had written him from home. I am so thankful for a little brother with sure great determination and love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here are somethings he has written home via email:
Did I mention we had a baptism on Sunday. That´s right, we actually had a baptism. His name is Hugo. Elder Harmon did the baptizing, and I did the watching... I mean, I played my violin.Hugo and his new wife Silvana (She was a member already and they were living together, so we took them to the military hospital about a month ago to take out a marriage date for a civil marriage so Hugo could be baptized)... anyway, they wanted me to play the violin for the baptism because they had heard me before at Christmas time, and they chose Elder Harmon to perform the baptism... and yes, I was a legal witness to a marriage on Friday. Both of us were witnesses (testigos). It was the only way he could be baptized (to get them married) so, they got married on Friday and he was baptized on Sunday. It was a shame they didn´t let us throw rice though. It´s a tradition here to throw rice at the bride and groom. By the way, it´s all just paper work doing the civil marriage. I´m not kidding when I say, a major part of the ceremony was having the four witnesses come up one by one and sign three different documents, so I did it. I walked up on the platform and signed my name in three different places when they called me to come up. Afterwards, we went to their house and had some little sandwiches and pizza flavored bread (I still don´t consider it pizza without cheese), and soda (Fanta and Coca Cola). All the members serve Coke to the missionaries without shame. I am just used to it now. Anyway, that´s not the important thing. What´s important is that Hugo and Silvana can go through the Temple in a year and be sealed together and to their son for time and all eternity. That is what we should all want as members of the true church of Jesus Christ. We should all want to live with our complete families for the rest of eternity, and it is a major goal of Hugo and Silvana; that of being sealed in the temple in a year. If they do, I will be able to go with them to the temple (mission regulations). The very thought brings me the warmth of the spirit every time I think it. By the way, I played "The Spirit of God" at the baptism of Hugo, and some interlude after the ordinance, and the closing hymn "The Lord is my Light." I also played at a baptism in the other ward the night before for a 13 year old girl named Melani.
My two pairs of cheap shoes are already out of the race, and I am surviving off of the Doc. Martins. (thanks Ryan). (Ryan and I convinced him he would need a pair of Doc's! He didn't believe us at the time.)
I know this gospel is true. Sometimes I don´t say it enough, and as hard as it might be every day to go out and do what I do, I know that it was meant to be the way it is; hard, trying, depressing at times and glorious at others. I may not be the best missionary in the world when it comes to getting baptisms and motivating people to change their lives and keep commitments, but I know what is true. I know what to defend and where to stand as I do it; on the rock of our Redeemer who is Christ the Lord. That is where I´ll stand. That´s where I´ll fight. I wouldn´t do it if I didn´t know what it felt like to feel the Holy Ghost. I just wouldn´t do it. But I know what the Holy Ghost is, and I know of which truths it testifies. The Holy Ghost testifies of The reality of the Prophet Joseph Smith; who he was and what he had the faith to achieve. The Holy Ghost lends us a warm fire of peace and joy when we ponder and ask about the Book of Mormon. The Holy Ghost gives us an unmatchable feeling of love when we talk about the Atonement of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ when we speak of his account with reverence and courage. I know he lives and is waiting for all of us to open the door and let him into our homes and our lives. It is the only way.
This is Dallin's first day in Uruguay