We've got some disturbing news this morning... I'm being transferred! Saying goodbye to Santiago will be difficult. So many amazing things have happened here. It just wouldn't do justice to describe my experiences here in words, but I'll be taking the things I've learned here into the eternities, along with the friends I've made on the way. Needless to say, God knows me and loves me, and I've come to understand His love a little better. I intend, day by day, to learn how to love better, so that I might understand my Father's love for me, and be useful in His hands. I'm still weak. Weak things can become strong.
KariMae and Dwemy were baptized this last Saturday! You can tell in both of them they have a desire to keep their promises to God, and that they have a higher potential. They are both younger, so we had the youth speak at the baptism. I think it helped them realize that the Spirit works through small means -- for example, children -- to bring about big change in our hearts, and that the Holy Ghost makes intersession with our indefinable, yet undeniable, feelings. I like how Paul puts it in Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." I know that is true, and by priceless experience, I've witnessed that the simple testimony of a child, out of their own will to do good, is more powerful than the wisdom of men in whatever glory it is arrayed.
We performed a simple little arrangement of "When I Am Baptized" for the musical number at the baptism. I was on ukulele and we sung the second verse in a bit of a round. It was pretty cute, haha. I love the lyrics of that song. I know when I am baptized, my wrongs are washed away, and I can be forgiven, and improve myself each day. I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain. I want to be the best I can, and live with God again. What a sweet, simple, true message, that we should never forget.
I'm not going to lie, I'm really excited to get a new companion. It has been really difficult with Elder Espanto, and I feel it should be classed as a miracle in it of itself that we were able to accomplish what we have these past two cycles. I have witnessed, in part, the fulfillment of the prophecy in D&C 35:13-15 "Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit; And their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their buckler; and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me; and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them. And the poor and the meek shall have the gospel preached unto them, and they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming, for it is nigh at hand—" I know that if the Lord hadn't been with us in this work, we would have been helpless to do nothing. But because it is indeed the God of Israel at the helm, the work goes forward, we are strengthened in our weaknesses, and the Spirit continues to thresh.
Last week, something interesting happened to us that I'd like to share and leave up for interpretation to you.
We were at our desks one morning when Elder Espanto was joking President Rahlf would come and surprise us at the apartment. President had already made a surprise visit the week before, so I assured him I was confident another happening wouldn't occur for a while. He then suggested that maybe the prophet would come and visit instead. He thought it was pretty funny to speculate on our possible reactions, and finally suggested we would be freaked out if Jesus Christ came Himself to the apartment. I laughed, and we continued on our personal study. A few minutes later, we heard someone calling out from the gate. It was a beggar. We came out, and he asked us for money. We said we would only give him food or water if he needed. He said he didn't want food or water, only money. That lit off a red flag in my mind that he was probably not the real deal. It's a pretty common occurrence here, as in other parts of the world, that if a beggar is only asking for money and denies the necessities of life, there's good possibility that he's either a phony or an addict of some sort. He left, denying the food and water we would have given him. After we had come back inside for a few minutes, another beggar came to the door, this time asking for food and water. We gave him some biscuits and plenty of water. While he was eating and drinking, the money-asking beggar that had came earlier watched us from the distance. He looked distraught. After the man had finished eating and drinking, he thanked us graciously and left. When we came back inside, Elder Espanto looked down and said in a bit of shock, "remember how I said it would be crazy if Jesus came to the apartment? Well, that might have been him."
I think the story brings up a lot of very interesting things to ponder about, and can be interpreted from several angels. Rather than explaining it myself, I thought I'd leave it up to you for interpretation. I'd be very interested to hear your insights on the matter, any of those who are reading.
Until next week, where I'll be in my next area, and probably have a lot more things to say! Ingat!