Monday, January 25, 2010

St. Petersburg Week 16

Hola familia!
What an amazing week!
Second week in the branch and we had the baptism of EDDY! Yayayayay!!!! It was so amazing! More than anyone we have taught before, I saw the atonement work in his life. He is a completely different person than when we first met him. He is happy. The last lesson we taught him before his baptism was on the temple. Dad, your letter was inspiration, because that is what we shared with Eddy (Doctrine & Covenants Section 109). He loved it. By the end of the lesson he couldn't wait to go to the temple. He lived in Canada for about three years and he said he always saw this big beautiful building up on a hill and always wondered about it. He knew it was a special place. When he put two and two together, that was the temple. When we told him that in a year he could go inside, he was so excited he threw his hands up in the air and was like, "Oh, I'm going!" :-) The Lord had been preparing him long before we even came into the picture, like everyone else that we have come into contact with.
Some mobile home parks are kind of "scary" more then less. We don't really go into the 55 and older parks. Most people say, "Don't you know that there is no soliciting in here?!" We assure them that we are not selling them anything. What we have to offer is free! :-) The elders just taught and baptized this amazing couple. Well, they just happened to be the managers to this HUGE mobile home park! She just happened to have a map of the whole park AND knew every house that was Spanish. so the map she handed us had highlighted marks on those homes. :-) So yesterday after church, we went to those homes and now have five families that want to be taught! Isn't that amazing?! We had a lady that same day say, "You know we could call the managers and have you kicked out!" I just chuckled inside. :-) Ironically, we were on our way to have cookies and milk with the managers. :-)
I'd like to share a few things that I learned this week at our Zone meeting on Wednesday. The theme was obedience. We used our "white hand book clarifications list" and had an "open table" discussion about obedience. Of course there was a little laughter, about talking of previous "goofs" or what not. We talked about how we need to follow everything in the white hand book because it will bless us with more baptisms and success. As they were all talking about this, I just bowed my head down and said a little prayer. I had an overwhelming feeling. What they were saying, was all really good, but I couldn't get the temple out of my mind. Specifically, the covenants that we make in the temple. I know the white hand book is inspired of God, but there is more now that we are trying to live up to. When there are more commandments, if we obey, then comes more blessings. So I raised my hand, and shared my feelings and thoughts about the temple. These are some of the things that I said (paraphrasing). "As we talk about these rules that we have, I can't help but think about the temple. The covenants that we make and the higher laws that we are held to. We have the white hand book to carry around to remind us of the "rules" of the mission, but we carry more than that with us. We have a daily reminder of our temple covenants. This (the mission) is the closest opportunity that we will have in our lives to live the law of consecration. This time is to refine us to be who Heavenly Father wants us to be. It is the same purpose that we give our investigators commitments to progress and repent. This is our opportunity to become what Heavenly Father wants us to be. We do everything for the temple."
Con Amor,

Hermana Vaughan-Schultz

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