(Excerpts from his email)
hey this week was actually really good for us. we had 6 people in church and paola is getting baptized this Wednesday hah. we also got a baptism on friday. its an 8 year old girl so technically it doesn’t count for us but the family is super cool and the dad isn’t a member so we have been there helping them out. her older brother has autism and its been an experience with him, learning a lot of things and just being patient and lowly of heart haha. we were able to take him to the chapel one morning just that family and it was amazing. a brother one time shared that God sends his children that are most pure and special to the world with problems like that so that nothing in the world can affect them. they are so pure and special to our father in heaven that he sends them here with trials but they will remain pure their whole lives and return straight with him. I could really feel that. His name is Lalo and for his autism he doesn’t like going to new places they freak him out so at first he didn’t even want to go in the gate. we finally got him in and he sat on the grass for a little while and then he walked in to the chapel alone. we showed him the whole chapel and then he went into the sacrament hall. It was something really cool. His family is a little different for everything that has happened they don’t get out much and they never have any one to talk with cause Lalo can’t go out much or he runs away. So we were all in the sacrament room the 6 of us and Lalo went and started like touching the piano. He started touching all the keys and was just super happy. It was one of the most special moments of my mission. I could feel the spirit super strong and just to see the whole family relaxed and smiling was super cool. We will see what happens the dad of the family is super cool and always talks to us but he kinda puts up a wall when we try to talk to him about the gospel but we aren’t gonna let him go. were gonna do everything we can to get him to the baptism this Friday so he can see his daughter get baptized and just feel the spirit.
M: That really is a neat story. Was Lalo baptized, do they need to be? How interesting that you have had this experience and it makes you think how great the Lord is to have allowed you some time with Dylan Beppu just before you left for your mission. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that you had a little bit of time with Dylan so as to help maybe a little with your time with Lalo. What the Bro. shared with you, i have also heard, that these spirits are just here to gain a body, they have proven their faith and gained exaltation. They are here to help us to grow and be better. But I would guess that they, like little ones who have just left the spirit world, are so close to the veil and can feel the Spirit so strongly. He felt joy cause he was close to home.
EP: No lalo doesn’t need to be baptized cause he doesn’t have any level of understanding to be baptized. he’s like a child less than 8 years old mentally so he doesn’t need to be baptized. my companion told me that when he passes away the work needs to be done for him in the temple but right now he is totally clean. I didn’t even think about that but its true. Lalo obviously is a totally different situation but looking back on it I’m sure that has helped me be a little more understanding and patient. ya it was super cool and after he didn’t want to leave. we are gonna take things one step at a time but the goal is to get him to church one of these days with his family. that would be super cool .
M: Hopefully the family will find some support in the church. I know that dealing with an autistic child is not easy and if Lalo can find some comfort and happiness in the church and find friends among the members, that will help the family tremendously and hopefully will also lead to dad's conversion. Keep working with them and him. Yes, patience is key and a bit of understanding that their mind works very differently.
So how are your other investigators doing?
So how are your other investigators doing?
EP: ya hopefully the young men’s president is super cool and is gonna be working on it. he already has a young man who he thinks could help. the young man is Gus and he’s awesome. super cool and just a great kid i think he could help out lalo and just be a friend.
paola is getting baptized this Wednesday finally. Liz - it was one of the hardest moments of my mission. we had a lesson with her and she asked us at the end if she wanted to get baptized was there any way she could get baptized before getting married. she really has a true desire to be at church and live the gospel. she is amazing and she loves the church but she cant get baptized yet. i had to tell her that she had to get married to not live with her husband/boyfriend until they get married. It was super hard but hopefully they can get things figured out quickly and get married and she can get baptized soon. We also found a family of 5. Alejandra, Manuel, Nico, Amir, and Ruben. We were playing soccer one Monday and we talked to Nico and he told us we could go to his house. They are super awesome. Super humble they really don’t have much but those are the best kind of people usually. They went to church this Sunday everyone except for Nico and Manuel the dad. The mom and the other 2 kids went and it was awesome. They went a little stressed a little out of it but they loved it. By the end of the 3 hours they were all smiles and just happy. Like you guys said there is a difference between fun and happiness or even happiness and joy. Joy comes from the gospel and its something so much deeper so much more lasting. They were probably truly happy for the first time in a long time. That is one of the best feelings about being a missionary just seeing the changes in peoples’ lives. Seeing how the church and the gospel touches hearts and blesses lives but it doesn’t just have to a missionary thing. The ward was great for us this week and there were a bunch of members talking to them telling them hi and just making them feel welcome. That is the biggest part about the first time at church. Most of the time the people don’t understand anything at all, It’s all so new and different they don’t understand anything but they can feel something different and if they feel the love of the members they usually don’t leave and want to be back every week. we are excited for them. there is a lot of work to do and a lot of help that this family needs but only the gospel will help them like they need.
M: That is so great son. You see, the Lord is blessing you for your patience and endurance. He is now opening the windows of Heaven, again, for your obedience. It is amazing to me to watch, see the struggle, the hard weeks of nothing, the prayers for something and then slowly the Lord opens doors, hearts and minds and you now find yourself in a place where the work is moving forward. Thank the Lord daily for His mercies and love and awareness of your struggles and desires. You have been blessed over and over again. Like Alma said, everyone deserves to know that we can have happiness now, here in this world, through the gospel of Jesus Christ. So amazing!
EP: Ya i know and now i don’t want to leave here but we will see. ya I’m pretty happy and excited it should be a pretty good week. hopefully more good than bad haha.
M: Ah but with the bad comes so much learning and growth. So you good?
EP: i am good. its been a great week work wise some other things that were kinda ugly and frustrating but like you said good and bad all serve for us to get better. we learn we improve and we repent haha. the lord blesses me daily and i am happy. i love you guys