It was a long week that went very fast, full of work and fasting and prayers, divisions with members, eating at the fanciest restaurant in Guatemala with the mission president's wife after my exit interview, and getting free rides in buses. Yesterday we had a crazy miracle of having NINE investigators come to church! We're teaching this wonderful family who are from one of the parts of Guatemala where there are a lot of indiginous folk, and they are so sweet and receptive. They're teaching us a few words in their native language, which is called Maam, and they laugh every time we try to imitate them because we cannot get the accent right.
I got some wonderful news this morning when I checked my email--the young mn we were teaching back in Progreso, Kevin, GOT BAPTIZED LAST WEEKEND! I'm so proud of him. Of course it's sad that I couldn't be there for his baptism, but I'm so happy he was able to make this important covenant at this crucial stage in his life.
I've been thinking a lot lately about our baptismal covenants. I remember that I gave my farewell address about Mosiah 18:8-10:'And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things,and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts,what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?'
My favorite part is the response of the people Alma was teaching:'And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.' (Mosiah 18:11).
The gospel is all about JOY. We exist because our Heavenly Father wants us to have joy! Sometimes we go through hard stuff, but it's just to make us learn and have perspective. Every one of us that's made these covenants should remember them always, and use them as a source of comfort and happiness! That's the whole reason I'm here.
The gospel is true. Christ lives. REJOICE EXCEEDINGLY! I love each and every one of you.
p.s. here is the photo outside of the fanciest restaurant in Guate. Actually it's not even that fancy, but it's a lot fancier than what I'm used to. I'd take a chocobanano over this stuff any day.