Monday, May 21, 2012

"We Meet Again" 5/7/12

My Dear Family,

Another week has come and gone. The time moves so fast. Winter is
coming on here. We've had several chillier days and the sun goes down
now around 6:30, which is kind of annoying as it limits where we can
be to areas that are lit for the purpose of safety. I don't like
having limits on where I can go, especially while doing missionary

Good news!! We had two more baptisms on Saturday. For reference's
sake, I'll call them Belle and Silvia, though those are not their
names. They've been working really hard to prepare for baptism and
overcame an addiction to cigarettes together. They are wonderful
women who have a great faith in God and Jesus Christ and are building
that faith daily by continuing to read the scriptures and pray and by
coming to the church every Sunday. Belle is 17 and has a beautiful
daughter who will be turning one in about two months and Silvia is 18.
They're best friends and have really helped each other in preparing
to be baptized.

Belle had some problems at first with her boyfriend, Steven (also
changed) who didn't want her to participate, but they split up. He
was really against the Church because he thought it was distracting
her from taking care of their daughter, but they worked something out.
(I'm still not sure exactly what it is.) He still visits often to see
their daughter and last night we had a lesson with them. When we got
there Steven was there are was giving us the cold shoulder, holding
the baby in his arms. He wouldn't even shake my hand. We started the
lesson with the three of them, Silvia, Belle, and Steven. Steven was
more just there bcause he was helping take care of the daughter, but
we notived a palpable tension. We were teaching about temple work and
doing baptisms for the dead, when he burst out a question about how
baptism works (he didn't come for their baptism on Saturday). Once we
explained it, he then asked if ours was the church where the preacher
puts his hand on someone's head and starts shouting "Demon, leave!
Demon Leave!" He was obviously making fun of what he thought was our
religion, including an example of someone shaking and convulsing under
the exhorsists (spelling?) hands, but we explained that we don't do
that. Immediately his countenance changed and he participated more in
the discussion, albeit with a certain irreverance. We did however set
up another appointment with him for tonight, so next week I can tell
you more about what happens there.

On another front, our mission President has extended the challenge for
us to read the Book of Mormon in 60 days. He gave us each a new copy
in our own language and told us that he wanted us to mark three
things. 1) Every reference to God or Jesus Christ, 2) every reference
to the gospel (faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and
enduring to the end), and 3) anything that touched our hearts or
caught our attention. I took to the challenge quickly and in the last
six days (the challenge was extended last Wednesday) I've read from
the front cover to 2 Nephi 6. In that space I've decided to conduct a
few other separate studies. Thus far I have found mention of more
than 40 different names for Jesus Christ. In the First Book of Nephi
alone, there are about 515 references to Him. Nineteen times in First
Nephi, he also talks about keeping the commandments. It's really neat
to see this stuff.

We continue to work hard and have been seeing many miracles. I know
the work is true. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints is the true church of God upon the earth. I know Jesus is my
Savior, and my Redeemer. I know God lives. He loves us. I know,
because I have asked, and I have received my answer. I have felt His
love and the truth of the Gospel.

I love you all. My prayers are with you. May we all continue to have
a "firm foundation" upon the rock of our Redeemer.

Elder Dewsnup

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