Sunday, November 9, 2014

Baptism & Halloween

Ben's letter from November 3, 2014

Hola Presidente,

This was a great week, despite the constant drizzle these last few days.
Elder Rollins and I had our first baptism. It was of a small girl named Victoria. Her parents are both members (sealed in the temple). The father is inactive (until last week, when he came) and her mother in the process of reactivating. When Victoria was 8, her parents were going through a time of inactivity. Missionaries made contact with her and began to reactivate the mother. Her mother was extremely touched when her daughter was finally baptized, Victoria was as happy as could be, and her father came to church for the first time about 7 years and the district president invited him to stand in on the confirmation of Victoria. It was such a tender moment. The father later commented to us "hay pocas cosas en la vida que no se olvidan." We hope this will be a good experience for this family, and that may be a stepping stone in the conversion of her father.

Yanina (getting baptized this Tuesday in Rocha cause we don't have a baptismal font) is doing amazingly. She is extremely excited and has made great friends with so many members already. She has unknowingly/accidentally taken upon herself the responsibility of Visiting Teacher to some of the older widows in the branch. She goes by and visits them because in her own words, "if we're all brothers and sisters, we should act like it, and [she] needs some sisterly love." We're already working on getting her assignment right after her baptism to leave with another sister and do visiting teaching on a regular basis. She already started her family history and wants to go to the temple as soon as possible to be baptized for her mother. She also fasted with us this weekend and was super excited to be able to bear her testimony on Sunday.

These have been the first baptisms this branch has had in over a year and 3 months, so there's a lot of new excitement being generated and we want to keep it going.

We were blessed with great attendance this week despite the rain. There were 25 people and our little sacrament/living room, it was full. We had great participation in the testimony meeting.

We have been working with Presidente Trinidad on a "Vision" for the branch. We felt strongly that the branch should go to the temple before the end of the year. And get the branch started on family history to be able to bring 5 names to the temple for each person before the end of the year [we have 3 less actives and 1 recent convert that are very interested in family history]. We are going to be reinstituting Wednesday night activities to work on this together to as a branch, to have unity in something, all with the goal of getting to the temple as a branch before the end of the year. Some members have expressed that they feel like the organization of the branch is dead and that it's slowly letting some of the members fall into spiritual decay.

We're doing really well and are super excited to get this ball rollin', bring some excitement to La Paloma. Have them all working on and helping each other in a common cause.

This is our new 2014 Chevy Sonic.
I love the car. but, will we ever not have a red car, haha. (The minivan was burgundy, the Explorer was dark red, the Sebring is red and the Suburban is red. We were going to get another color if we ordered a 2015, but it was too good of a deal to take a 2014 that was on the lot. Maybe our next vehicle will not be red.)

Congrats On Qualifying For State Plainfield Marching Band!!!

Things are going great here, In case you were wondering: Halloween down here is new [started 6 years ago] and the kids don't go door to door, they go from store to store. It's just the businesses that give out candy, and not even every business does it. It's really sad...

Justin, Lily and Will on Halloween

Well I love you all so much. Take care.

√Člder Benjamin Taylor

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