WOWZA! What an awesome/ stressful/ emotional week. Mario and Melani were married on Friday, baptized Saturday, and confirmed Sunday! They are amazing. Have I mentioned that? They were so happy. Laughing at their “tella tubbie” outfits, squealing at the cold (and green) water, and then each bearing their testimonies at the end of the service—they are just my favorite people ever! They have already invited me to their sealing in a year from now in the soon to be Trujillo Temple! And I’m GOING. Deal, mom? :)
Oh yeah, also they’re the best missionaries EVER. Their neighbors (and best friends since before we showed up- Hermelinda y Victor—otherwise known as “vecinos”) came to the wedding, baptism, and church on Sunday because of the invitation (and persistence) of Mario. This experience with them reminded me so much of this story that Elder Bednar shared in this recent General Conference talk, "Come and See":
Another important episode in the Book of Mormon describes what happened to a man named Enos after his earnest and pleading prayer was heard and answered by God.
“And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
“And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
“And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.
“And I said: Lord, how is it done?
“And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. … Wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.
“Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them” (Enos 1:4–9)
Just like Enos, Mario and Melani have felt that sweet change in their hearts and feel the strong desire to share it! I’m just so proud of them.
The same day as their baptism—AKA one of the happiest memories of my mission—was also one of the saddest: we ran into Erika and Michael again. They wouldn’t look at us. We tried to talk to them, see how they’re doing… they lied to us, then told us we weren’t welcome anymore. I must admit, I couldn’t even hold back the tears until we walked away. They were my family, too. I feel like with these two experiences this week, I have learned a LOT more about the Savior’s love for each of us. My companion told me she would feel totally successful and happy with her mission even if Mario and Melani were her ONLY converts, and it’s absolutely true! The Savior still would have made His infinite atoning sacrifice even if it had just been for one of us. He would leave the 99 to go after the one lost sheep! Hermana Molina is such an awesome example of that love to me! WE LOVE M + M.
With our great disappointment as well… I feel as if I understand just a LITTLE bit better our Savior’s love… even if their lack of desire and disobedience breaks my heart, I still love them. And wouldn’t change a thing we did! I still pray for them and love them, and I think I always will.
President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The world today speaks a great deal about love, and it is sought for by many. But the pure love of Christ differs greatly from what the world thinks of love. Charity never seeks selfish gratification. The pure love of Christ seeks only the eternal growth and joy of others.”
I LOVE this quote (Thanks Sister Coleman!). I’m doing everything I can to develop this kind of love for every one of the people I talk to in the street every day. I have a testimony that as we do as Moroni advises us and pray with all energy of heart, we may be filled with this love.
And as we are filled with this love, we will become like Him! (Moroni 7:48) I continually invite each of you to take this invitation and follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. “There is no other way or name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God.” (2 Nephi 31:21). Love you all and pray you have yet another fabulous week filled with this love.