This week has probably been the most spiritual week of my mission. That's a fairly big statement but I can't think of any other way that could accurately describe what's gone down this week. So many miracles have happened and my testimony that this is the Lord's work has strengthened 100 fold. I wanted to pick up a phone and call you the other day just to tell you about how amazed I was, how happy I am, and about the Spirit that I feel powerfully each and every day... but sadly, I can't. Darn rules.
I'll try to explain a few. You'll have to read my journal when I get home to really know more about this week. Everything kept getting more and more amazing leading up to the happiest day on my mission - Jenny and Fernando's Baptisms!
Their baptisms were amazing. As missionaries, we wake up atevery morning, but that morning I for some dumb reason woke up at . Normally I'd be irritated and think, "Gosh dangit I've still got a half an hour!" but I just laid there and smiled knowing that that day was going to be amazing. And it was more amazing then I can even describe to you.
Fernando and Jenny Trigo were baptized August 2nd, 2014 by their cousin, Angel, and their uncle, Presidente Lagunas. The baptismal service was beautiful. I'm so very incredibly thankful that the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of their coming unto Christ and His church. These kids make me want to be better in every way. Even if I end up leaving the area this week, these two kids will always hold a special place in my heart. I thank them for the miracles we have seen.
Let me tell you about one.
I was on exchanges with Elder Mckenzie, and english elder who serves in Haywarden (Our companions were at a District Leader Meeting in Omaha). We planned to go see Rosa and David, two investigators that I think I've written you about before. When we knock the door, David let us in and sat us down. He said that Rosa has been in a lot of pain with her back, that she hasn't been able to get out of bed sinceand that her back is on the point of breaking. Very faintly we heard Rosa call David into the back room. When he returned, He told us that she would like us to come back. When I entered that room, I saw probably the saddest sight I've ever seen. There was a woman who was in so much pain she couldn't even move. She was pale, weak, and all she wanted was another blessing from the Priesthood like the one we had given her one week earlier. I felt something for her that I haven't felt quite as strongly since I said, "see you later," to my family in the St George airport 10 months ago. The Spirit came in strong and I felt prompted to ask her if she had the faith that this would heal her. "Yes. I do," she replied.
We place our hands upon her head and pronounced a blessing of health, telling her that if she put her faith in the Lord, he would heal her and she would walk.
Upon finishing the blessing, the Spirit was heavy in that room. Probably stronger than I've felt it before, outside the walls of the Temple. All of a sudden the story of Acts 3:1-8 came to my head. So I went with it and said, "Rosa, do you have the faith that that blessing will heal you?"
"Yes." She said again.
"Then will you put your faith in the Lord, take my hand, and stand up?" I asked.
I had no idea where this was coming from. This lady hadn't stood up in a week! Her back was about to break! But the Spirit was strong and guiding me in everything and I knew she could stand if she took my hand and put her faith in Christ.
"Yes," she said, quickly grabbing my hand.
Using me and the door next to her bed, she pulled herself into a seated position on the side of her bed, somewhere she hadn't been in 6 days.
But then a tiny twinge of pain came, a tiny distraction came, and she let go of me.
"I can't do it." She said.
I knew she could! I knew that if she would put her trust in the Lord, anything was possible and she would walk. But just like Peter on the water, she got distracted, worried, and fell.
"I can't do it." She said again.
The Spirit was so strong, Elder Mckenzie looked at me and said, "I need to say something, can you translate for me?" He bore the most beautiful testimony on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He told her that Christ suffered for us so that he could help us through our pains, sicknesses, and problems. We then shared Alma 7:11-12 and I had the opportunity to bear my testimony as well.
No, Rosa did not stand up that day, but the Spirit was so strong that there's no way you could have denied it. I know the Priesthood is real. I know that the Lord knows us personally and individually and that if we will put our trust in Him he will bless us eternally. I know that Rosa will walk. I know that she will be healed, all she has to do is put her trust in Him who knows her best. Of that I am certain.
This is the Lord's work. There is not one doubt of that in my heart. I love this work. I love the Spirit. None of this week would've been possible without Him. This Church is true. Of that I testify in the name of Jesus Chirst. Amen.
Lots of Love,
Elder Zachary Paddock