Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Perfect Week: The Temple And A Baptism

The House Of The Lord
Tortillas for the week: 20

This week we went to the temple as a zone and I had a very special experience within the sacred walls of the temple. As I walked with Elder Rodgerson down one of the hallways I looked at him and said, “We are home Elder.” He looked at me and said, “Yes, we are home.”  As I thought even more about that experience I now know where my home is, it isn’t in Provo Utah or Guatemala or Farmington New Mexico or in a church, no my home is the temple because it is the Lord’s house. If any of you want to go home, go to the temple, it literally is the house of the Lord.  As we walk in we can feel Heavenly Father say welcome home, I have missed you, I testify that is what happened to me. I didn’t want to leave, I wanted to stay, I didn’t want to say goodbye, all I wanted to do was to stay in His presence but I knew I had to leave because I have to do his work in bringing His children home. As I was in the temple I was thinking to myself am I doing what’s right because there are times when I am not the best missionary, there are times when I don’t work as hard as I should or I think about worldly things too often or become to causal about things. As I was pondering about those moments and asking Father am I doing good, despite of all my shortcomings, I picked up The Book of Mormon and started to read Ether 12, I came across a scripture that I love and love even more now, Ether 12:37 “….thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.” Elder Holland gives greater insight to this verse. He said, “May I refer to a modern ‘last days’ testimony? When Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum started for Carthage to face what they knew would be an imminent martyrdom, Hyrum read these words to comfort the heart of his brother: “Thou hast been faithful; wherefore … thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father. Before closing the book, Hyrum turned down the corner of the page from which he had read, marking it as part of the everlasting testimony for which these two brothers were about to die. ” That one verse in Ether 12 spoke to me as it comforted Joseph as Hyrum read it to him. I first read, “yu has sido fiel” (you have been faithful) and I was overcome with love and the feeling that yes I am doing good and I am guiding the branch as best as I can and despite my shortcomings Heavenly Father loves me. It is through the atonement that, “por tanto, tus vestidos estaran limpios” (my garments shall be made clean) and, “y porque has visto tu deblidad seras fortalecido” (And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong.) I knew that I will overcome all my weakness, probably not on my mission but throughout my life I will be able to. The prophet Joseph grew in strength; he was not made mighty in a moment. It came to him as it will come to me and to all of us line upon line, here a little, there a little. I knew in that moment that the mountain I am climbing right now that I will reach the top. As we come face-to-face with our own weakness and seek the Lord in faith, humbly willing to do His will, we will receive His strength, and out of weakness will be made strong. I testify of the power of the atonement to overcome all of our weakness. The message in verse 37 and throughout The Book of Mormon is to Come Unto Christ that we may be made clean and that our weaknesses may lead to strength. Go to the temple and feel His love for you and know you can become clean and strong despite your weaknesses. As I left the temple I was filled with a renewed peace and hope. I felt like I was on cloud 10 and even higher. That experience in the temple was a much needed tender mercy.
Ana Paula's Baptism
Elder Mcilmoil, Ana Paula, Elder Herrera
On Saturday we had a baptism; Ana Paula was baptized! It was so special. The talks were direct and to the point. Those we spoke focused their messages on Christ. You could literally see every one that was there felt the spirit of Christ. We started the baptismal services singing “Come Follow Me”; isn’t that title so amazing, yes it is a simple phrase but filled with great instruction. The song was perfect since the first talk was focused on following Christ’s example. The speaker shared this scripture from The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 31:17, “Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.” Elder Josec also spoke and he talked about the cleansing power of the atonement and was it amazing! As he spoke you could see the love of Christ touch Ana Paula’s mom. Her heart was definitely softened. He shared a little poem called Cristo la razón (Christ the reason). It talks about what He did for us and the pain He felt and that He did it all for us because He loves us. It ends with something like this, picture Christ standing here in front of you, smiling, with His arms extended wide open and He is inviting you to Come Unto Him because He loves you. As I was listening I could hear Him say Come Unto Me, let Me heal you, it is ok, I drank and didn’t shrink, neither will you, because you are with Me and I am here with you. The spirit was so strong. After Elder Josec’s talk, Elder Herrera, Elder Josec, Elder Castillo and myself sang, “señor te necesito” (“I Need Thee Every Hour”) in Española. I invite everyone to listen to and read the words to this hymn. My heart filled with peace as we sang the words “no tender voice like thine” because that is so true there is no tender voice like the voice of Christ. As we sang our voices kept getting stronger and the spirit was getting stronger when sang the words “Come quickly and abide” because we need Him as fast as possible. In the chorus it says, “I come to Thee!” and in that moment I could see a very powerful daughter of Heavenly Father saying I come unto Thee by accepting the invitation to be baptized. When we finished singing we left the church to go to a natural pool where the baptism would take. The baptismal service was going great until I entered the water, like I said it was a natural pool so the bottom was beyond slippery and I slipped and I almost went for a swim, luckily I was able to catch myself before going completely under the water. As Ana Paula entered the water she slipped and grabbed me; we both almost went for a swim. Luckily I caught a rock with my foot and was able to get ahold of it before we both went under. I finally found a non-slippery zone and at that very moment I instantly felt pain and I knew I had cut my toe; no good deed goes unpaid for....hahaha. After we were both were on a non-slippery area, I baptized her, it was amazing. Even though there was a bit of chaos in the beginning it truly was a very peaceful spot. As she came out of the water you could see she was changed, she was pure; she had a light around her, a light of cleanliness, a light of Christ. This was truly a moment I will never forget. After the baptism we went back to the church and had cake.
The Branch=Family
Sacred And Peaceful
At church on Sunday she received the gift of the Holy Ghost as we laid our hands upon her head with priesthood authority. What a week it has been, I have never been so busy, I feel like we were just running everywhere, but I couldn’t have asked for a better week; the temple and a baptism! I know that Christ lives and His Atonement offers the bright, shining hope of good things to come, of forgiveness, healing, strength, and power from on high. I invite everyone “to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever.” In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Ducks Forever
What I love about Mom is that she is my sunshine. What I love about Dad is that he is happy, happy, happy.

con amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
September 29, 2014

Scriptures of the week: Ether 12:37 and Helaman 5:12 

Be true to the faith.

“In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, you cannot fall.” Elder Holland

“I Need Thee Every Hour”
Verse 1: I need thee ev'ry hour,
Most gracious Lord.
No tender voice like thine
Can peace afford.
Chorus: I need thee, oh, I need thee;
Ev'ry hour I need thee!
Oh, bless me now, my Savior;
I come to thee!
Preparing For The Day

No comments:

Post a Comment