Monday, March 16, 2015

Leadership Council & Clara's Baptism

March 9, 2015 Letter

Hola Familia,

Congrats JT! I'm sure your excited for your call (JT got accepted into BYU) and congrats to Elana and the Hammond Family (on her baptism); what a wonderful step!

Well this last week, school has started down here. Summer break is officially over for the Uruguayans.

This week was wonderful! We had Leadership Council this Tuesday and were able to change some of the regulations that we use as a mission that should help us to work and teach much better. We now are going to require as a minimum 3 church attendances to the 3 hours before baptism. We are also going to make a strong emphasis on Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 to make sure that the person is meeting with EVERY requirement set forth in the scripture. 

We also gave some training on the teaching, and commitment that we leave those we teach. We have also put plans to work more with the less actives, and recent converts (the recent converts must also come to all three hours if we want to include them in the retention indicator).

We are trying to increase the amount of CONVERTED MEMBERS, not just membership ID numbers.

We had the baptism of Clara Rosano this weekend. It was a beautiful service. We had many members who could attend along with two of her children and two of her grandchildren. She is so special. She is a woman with so much faith. She was diagnosed with bone cancer about 7 years ago received a wheel chair from the church a few years later (one of her therapist is a member and was able to nominate her for one). 

She has had a very hard life, but has never stopped believing in God and in Christ. She was outside one day when we went to contact an inactive member from the directory, so we talked to her and she told us that she had received the wheel chair and that the missionaries had passed by a few times but never again passed by. She lives in a very large terrain about 60 yards from the road behind 3 other houses. 

On normal circumstances we would have never found her because she almost never leaves her house and we would have never made it back to her house. We started teaching her and she accepted everything, and was so desirous to keep learning more and more. She read everything we would leave her. One of the many miracles that we got to see with her was that she was able to quit smoking.

She was talking to us one day about when she "USED TO SMOKE" and she always talked in such a way. Like she used to but now she doesn't. Sometimes it can be mildly ambiguous in Spanish. So from the clues she was giving us we decided to teach the other lessons before the working on the Word of Wisdom because it wasn't a very urgent thing at the time.

It turns out that the day after she met us she felt an impression that she shouldn't smoke anymore. We hadn't taught her anything about smoking or anything of the sort, but she followed that impression and went from smoking 40 cigarettes a day to zero. And now she says she hasn't even felt the urge for them.

We should have verified with her much before, otherwise it could have been an impediment in her progress, but she has been so in line with the spirit that she knows exactly what she needs to do.

She has a 3rd grade education. In the interior of the country, when she was a girl it wasn't a requirement to go to school. She stayed home and took care of her brothers and sisters after her mother died when she was 10. She can read everything we give her and understands every concept clearly.

For the baptism we had 3 of us in the font. Two to hold her and one to do the ordinance. It was a wonderful experience that I'll never forget.

Well that's that.
I love you all so much!

√Člder Benjamin Taylor

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