Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 102: Victor's Baptism and my last email as a missionary



Hola
Wow! I cannot believe this is the last letter that I am going to write as a missionary. Time has really gone by fast. I know that this is what everyone says, but it is true. I have really enjoyed the time that I have had to serve side by side with the Savior. 

Well first things first. Victor got baptized!!!!! Wohooo! It was definitely one of the coolest baptisms that I have ever been to because we got permission to go to the beach. I also had the privilege to perform the baptism. :) I loved being able to take my shoes off, and put my feet in the sand, and walk out to meet an old friend. But best off all, I was able to do it with one of my new friends and with one of my brothers. 

After the baptism Victor said that he felt new. He said that he felt like he was under the water for a long time, but that when he came back up, he felt clean. I know that when the ordinance of baptism is performed correctly and by someone who holds the proper priesthood of God, that God forgives all of our sins and mistakes and lets us start over again.
It was also amazing because I know that God knows us personally and will always answer our prayers. I also know that he will often wait until the moment that we are about to lose our faith to answer our prayers. 2 years ago when I saw the area of the Ciudad Obreg√≥n Mission and that part of the mission touched the ocean, I always had the hope that someday I would be able to baptize someone in the ocean. I never prayed so that this dream would come true, but I had the hope that if it was in God´s plan it would be possible. Now I can say that I know that Heavenly Father knows us personally just like he knows me and that my last week of the mission, he was able to make one of my dreams a reality. 

This week was also big holiday for the Catholic church in this region. It was just like semana santa, but I think that this week was crazier than semana santa. It was the Festival of the Holy Ghost. I honestly did not understand the tradition, but on Saturday morning thousands of people got together in Huatabampo and walked from Huatabampo to Etchojoa. It is a pretty long walk, but when they get to this monument in Etchojoa, they start to pray. The funny thing is that this monument happens to be right in front of the our church building haha. So we had a bunch of people praying in front of the church. We have thousands of people that are willing to walk many kilometers early in the morning, but very few that go to church on Sunday. You would think that doing the right thing would be easier. 

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the Earth. I know that Jesus Christ reorganized it through his prophet Joseph Smith. I know that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and I know that he rescued me. I know that the Book of Mormon is true because I have read it both in english and spanish, and because I have prayed to God to know if it is true and I have been given an answer by the Holy Ghost that I cannot deny. I can feel the power of the Holy Ghost as I read and analize the words written by ancient prophets and a feeling that tells me in my mind and heart that these things are true. I know that this is God's church because if it were made by man, it would fail. I know that there is no way that a 21 year old gringo would be able to convince people to change their lives and make the harder and more correct choice. I know that the Holy Ghost is the only one that can touch peoples hearts and that it is through Jesus Christ that people can change their lives. And that it is only through the Church of Jesus Christ that people can receive the saving ordinances of baptism that will grant the cleansing of sins for all those who have repented. I know that my Heavenly Father lives and loves me and knows me personally. I also know that this is true for every person on this Earth. That He loves each and every one of us, and he wants us to be happy and return to live with him. I know that through repentance we come closer to God and that we can receive relief for regret and peace for stress. I know that families can be eternal, and I am happy that I have been able to give up 2 years with my family so that others can be with theirs for an eternity. I love the Savior. He is one of my best friends. I look forward to the day when I will meet him because I know that He lives! 

This has been one of the greatest experiences that I have ever had in my life, and one that will change my life forever. 
I am sad to see it all end, but I know that this is just the start of a new beginning. 
I have found my friends :)

Con amor
Elder Snyder