Monday, January 17, 2011

Hello Cap'n Crunch's Christmas Berries!‏

Hello family!

This past week has been pretty sweeeet. And to top it all off I just found Cap'n Crunch's Christmas Berries in Wal Mart. Let's just get right to it, shall we?

This week Juan Carlos was confirmed, and he showed up with a white shirt, a sweeeet black tie, and a pretty spiffy black vest! Now we just need to work on his mohawk haha. I love seeing people get confirmed; and I love feeling the Spirit confirm to me that we're helping Heavenly Father bring to pass His purposes.Marco Antonio was baptized yesterday, and the baptismal service was really special. We had several investigators attend, and we watched the Restoration movie while my companion and Marco were changing into dry clothes.

Raul, the alcoholic we found the other week, completely disappeared this past week. My companion and another missionary from our Zone found him once while we were doing divisions and I was in another area, and they were only able to talk with him a little bit. We were a little worried about him on Saturday, because we thought that maybe he had been avoiding us because maybe he had started drinking again...but on Sunday, he went to Church by himself with his 8-year-old son, and told us he hadn't been drinking at all, he had just been working overtime! What a relief. He stayed for the baptismal service and loved it...if things go well, he and his son should be baptized this coming Sunday, but they might have to go out of town (yikes!), and we may have to postpone the baptism for the 30th. We'll see how things play out.

On Saturday night we found a really cool lady named Esperanza. We helped her take her groceries home, and she lives in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Mexico. It's called "Casitas", but we go there all the time during the day. We're just not allowed to go there at night time. But anyway, we went and talked with her and her mom and invited them to Church for the next day. We went to pick her up, and she was all ready with her skirt and dress shoes, and her daughter as well! She told us she had read the Restoration pamphlet, prayed, and already received her answer. She told us that she closed her eyes after praying, and saw Jesus with His arms extended towards her, and said, "Come unto me." Pretty cool huh? She'll be baptized on the 30th.

This week I've been reviewing the talks from the last General Conference, and it has been absolutely amazing. I have been especially impressed with Robert D. Hales' talk, where he explains how faith builds stronger character, and how we can become "permanently resistant to the eroding influence of sin and transgression." What really caught my attention was the word "permanently". He talks about how we need to put our faith in things that are true, like in Jesus Christ, in His Church, and in the counsel we receive from His leaders. And as we act upon that faith, it forges our character and strengthens us against future temptation, and we become who we need to become. "We become what we want to be by being what we want to be." After we act, we receive a witness that our actions were correct, and that the faith we had to act was true, and we confirm the validity of our actions. That in turn fotifies our testimony. He says: "Often such guidance is accompanied by powerful emotions that bring tears to the eyes and make it difficult to speak. But a testimony is not emotion. It is the very essence of character woven from threads born of countless correct decisions."

Like President Monson, I don't remember when I gained my testimony. I don't remember any specific event that convinced me that the Church was true. I just have received the witness a little bit at a time...over the last twenty years doing my best to make right choices. I just know that the principles and ordinances are true because I've lived them.

Family, the Church is most true!

Elder Budge