Monday, August 9, 2010

He's Home!

pictures to be added soon...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Termino con un Bautismo!

26 Jul 2010

Dear Family,

It is quite difficult to write now and the reason is obvious. So, I´ll just start talking about my week.

We had a miracle! Yesterday María Elena Román was baptized! As I explained last week, she wanted to get baptized for so long. She wanted her son to be baptized when he was 8 but his father wouldn´t give permission. He is now 32. Her parents were sealed in the temple with her brothers, but she was left out. She wants to be apart of that eternal family so much. I still remember our first visit, when I went with Elder Riggins. I knew of the problem, but through prayer, I received from the Lord that I could promise her that if she got baptized, her family would change. She changed during that lesson and decided she would get baptized, but when, she wasn´t sure. Only the spirit of the Lord could have made such a change within her.

She decided last week. Because of the difficulty with her husband, we had to receive permission from many people. First off, we prayed as a group and I felt strongly that we should give according to her desires. The scriptures of 3 Nephi of Christ having compassion on the Nephites ran through my mind. So, I decided in that moment to push for her baptism. At first, the bishop was against it (just as I was at first), but his counselor had an interview with her. Thursday afternoon, while having lunch at the offices during a training meeting, I received one of the calls that missionaries love. The Bishop said, "Elder, I just want to inform you that you´ll have a baptism this Sunday. My counselor says that you felt right, we shouldn´t withhold a baptism from her." In that moment, I got up and talked with the President because he was there. He gave his permission after receiving approval from the Bishop. But that wasn´t it, we had the interview with the zone leaders and then needed another interview with one of the counselors of the Mission President. But the counselor didn´t know where the church in San Justo was. So, we had to go with María Elena to Ramos Mejía. It was all quite hectic.

The baptism was quite lovely. She has a lot of family members who are church members here in Buenos Aires. A ton came to support her. It was great to see so much support for her faith and for her valiance. I don´t think I´ve ever seen such an example as her. And she gave me the honor of baptizing her. During the week, she was talking about her brother-in-law and I asked, "He´s going to baptize you, right?" She answered, "No, you Elder!" I was thinking "No! I want a member to do it!" But I responded that it would be an honor. And it was a really great honor to participate in such a way. So, Mom and Dad, you will have the opportunity to see the confirmation of her next Sunday in Sacrament Meeting.

So, about next week. I will show up at the airport at about 8 o´clock Sunday morning to accompany you to the church in San Justo. We will be in the car with you. I hope I´ll be able to guide you well, but I´m not afraid of asking for directions any more if we get lost. That night we (as in Elder Berglund and I) were thinking we might stay with you in the hotel. We might have to decide that on Sunday, but that might be the best. And Dad, there are a mixture of electical outlets, but I think I have all of the tranformers and adaptors, but if not, we can always go buy one here for about 5 pesos. They use the two round ones, or the plug that looks like a back slash with a front slash (this keyboard doesn´t let me use them both). Monday morning, we will have transfer meeting. It will last all morning. And there you will meet President Benton. You will hear his talk about the next transfer, I´ll probably play the piano, the transfers, and the testimonies of us who are leaving. We might be invited to the mission home afterwards or another day to get to know President and Sister Benton. The rest, I haven´t planned and I´m sorry, I won´t have much time to plan it out.

So, to end, I have absolutely loved my mission. I have been overviewing my mission quite a lot and I am so grateful for the tender mercies the Lord has given me throughout. He truely loves us. And this is truely his work. I realized that probably the only regret I have is not doing all the contacts, but I feel I worked hard, was obedient, and was a worthy servant throughout my mission. I feel I´ve fulfilled my purpose here. I have loved my companions and have never caused problems with them. I tried my best not to impede the hand of the Lord to God´s children. I have learned a ton and I know that He has a lot more to teach me. He is the Lord. This is the Church. And through the saving ordinances and endurance and obedience to the end, we truely can be with our families forever. I await that day to be with you all in the Celestial Kingdom.

With my love until I see you,
Elder Drake Ranquist