Sunday, March 20, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011 — I Will Be Serving in . . .

This week flew by. Being the last week of the transfer, we were working really hard to leave the area better than we found it--just in case one of us was transferred. As always, when we work hard and lose ourselves in the work, time passes by extremely fast.

Also, this last Tuesday, we went to Coquimbo (the large neighboring city to La Serena) to have our usual zone meetings over there and a special meeting with President Gillespie. It was a very short meeting, but a very powerful meeting. During the meeting, we discussed a few mission rules and then studied about our power, authority, and responsibility as missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ. One of the things that we talk about is living on a higher level (un plano más alto). Right now I am living on a level, higher than any other level I have lived in my life. My calling and authority depend on this way of life.

However, this way of living will not end when I "take off the tag." I like to think as the mission as "boot camp for life and eternity." The principles that I am learning and by which I am living right now will be carried with me throughout all time. I am so thankful for this opportunity that the Lord has given me to serve, to learn, and to grow.

Yesterday was Daniel´s baptism! The baptismal service was truly beautiful and powerful. Daniel was baptized by Andreas, a [Church] member with whom he has become close friends, and Ingrid (an investigator from Brillador B was baptized by one of the Elders from that part of the ward). Daniel´s mother and father who both are not members (yet) came for the service along with Daniel´s niece and nephew who have come to church with him these last two Sundays. The Spirit was so strong in the chapel, you could really feel the powerfulness of this sacred ordinance. When Daniel came up out of the water, he was literally glowing with happiness. He and Andreas embraced in a tender hug as they both were affected by the joy of the moment. I have to admit, I shed a few tears as I witnessed this moment and thought about all that Daniel has done and how far this man of miracles has come.

Now for the moment that you have all been waiting for.......transfers. I will be getting on a bus at one fifteen tomorrow morning to head down to Viña del Mar to serve in the Achupallus zone with my new companion Elder Lecaros. I am very excited to head to a new area. I have heard that Achupallus is one of the most beautiful areas in the mission and the work is progressing well there. Of course, it is hard to say goodbye to my first area, to those I have taught and guided, to the members and to the missionaries that I have worked with, but I am very ready to leave and find the people waiting for me down south.

. . . I love my mission!

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