Monday, November 4, 2013

Elder Bryce Young in Santa Maria


Haha, the pizzas are real pizzas, mom. Tortillas is a Mexican thing. It's hard to find tortillas here. They were for a big family night, yes. At family nights here the members have a tradition to invite basically the whole ward. Iza makes a delicious banana/cinnamon pizza. Oh, how it is delicious. 

On Halloween we knocked on more than 30 doors but no one gave us candy. And I spent so much time ironing my costume. We did see a black cat and see a few orange houses, though. That's the closest we got to Halloween. 

We went back to visit the little boy with the bouncy ball and his family. It was one of the saddest moments I've experienced teaching a family. After hearing about how the gospel can bless their family, the dad told us that he respects our beliefs but doesn't agree with a lot of things. He started listing things, but as he listed them and explained he realized that we believed what he believed on about every point. But he didn't accept to read the Book of Mormon because he didn't agree with the concept of vicarious ordinances as he understands it. It was sad for me because I saw the Mom listen to the message of the Restoration in interest. I saw the little 4 yr old boy, Rian, run to his room to get his little Bible and accompany us as we read. As I bore my testimony about how much the gospel can bless their family, I felt an overwhelming feeling of love for them and I told them that I loved them. I saw them in my mind as the family they could become. He said he plans on having two more kids and I imagined them all growing up together with these two wonderful parents, knowing how they can build a safe home as a refuge from a cruel world. Seeing all this in my mind and hearing him reject what he didn't understand was very hard, especially after witnessing this happen countless times on my mission, and knowing that we were at THAT house for a reason. I've never felt so strongly to knock on a random door as I did that day. I left dwelling the gift of agency we've all been freely given and its purpose. I hope that someday he and his family can be invited again to accept the gospel. 

João Vitor got baptized yesterday. I really like João. He's a special kid. As he left the bathroom after changing clothes he said "Estou tão limpo!" - "I'm so clean!"
I'm excited to continue visiting and teaching him this week. 

This week we gave a blessing to a member, Fransisca. She was feeling a lot of pain and couldn't sleep. She felt a lot better immediately after the blessing. She went to church this Sunday for the first time in many months to bear her testimony. She said she couldn't let a month go by without sharing her experience with others. She said she felt something tell her twice that she should call the Elders while she was lying in pain. She bore her testimony about the priesthood. I believe her experience was a blessing for her and for others because many testimonies of this subject were subsequently given.

Have a great week!

Elder Young

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