Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Old habits die hard

Dear family and friends,

This week was full of surprises and miracles! I sometimes dont recognize the little miracles that Heavenly Father puts in our path, but I am so grateful for what He does to help these people progress. 
On Thursday night we visited with one of our investigators that was having a problem with drinking coffee. From what I have seen, that is the hardest commandment for the Hondurans to live, other than the law of chastity, because everyone grows coffee. He was a reference from our mission leader. He had never been baptized, but has a very strong catholic background. We told him that he couldnt wear his cross necklace, too. He told us of his desire to be baptized and we have been teaching him for about a month. This thursday we werent sure how he was progressing, so we took a member with us to visit. The member helped explain the importance of living the commandments and why it is important to be baptized. At the end, he told us that he had stopped drinking coffee, and that he wanted to be baptized on Saturday!  We were so happy for him and the spirit was felt very strong in that lesson. 

When it came time for the baptism, Elder Deeble, my companion did it, and as they were entering the water, I laughed a little bit because he crossed himself as if he were still Catholic. I dont think he understands all that well still, but he is progressing!  Afterwards he gave a small testimony thanking everyone, and then finished with "Lets give a big round of applause for our Great God!" It was so incredibly awkward that everyone started to give a little clap! it was priceless.  I could see some other people snickering too. it was good to mix it up a little bit though! haha

One Sunday morning a man got baptized. He is an investigator of the sisters that are in the area next to us. We help in fellowshiping him, inviting him to activities and saying hi to him also. He is 24 years old and was a drug addict. He used to smoke a pack of ciggarrets every day, but recently he was slowing down to 2 or 3 a day. This week we told him that he could get baptized if he stopped smoking completely for a week. He said that he could do it, and he did! He is such a great examp`le to me because his desire to be baptized was so strong. I had the opportunity to interview him, and he asked if I would baptize him too! I was so grateful for that spiritual experience, and that Jon Carlos gave up so much to be able to be clean from his sins. While changing he told me how happy he was, and after the service he began to cry. I was touched by the miracles that we waw in these people this week, I know that it could not have happened withoud the hand of God.  

On a long bus ride back from Gracias, Lempira, we contacted and sat next to 2 travelers, one from England and one from Scotland. They were both 18 years old and after a little bit of time talking about their countries, we found out that they were atheist. We asked them why and they said it was something very common where they were from. We bore our testimonies that God lives. We explained to them about sin and the eternal consequesnces that come if we dont have faith in Jesus Christ and repent. They asked us many questions. The main topic for them was gay marriage and sexual relationships outside of marriage. They told us that they didnt see those things as a sin and asked why God would allow it if it were something bad. We took the opportunity to explain to them about agency and that just because there are bad things in the world doesnt mean that it is ok before the eyes of God, but that since before this life we have had the ability to choose between right and wrong and that is something that even God cant take away from us. They were very interseted, but didnt want to step out of their comfort zone. We challenged them to pray to see if God exists and they said that they would. I am sure that if they actually do it, they will feel the spirit. I know that God lives and that His plan is eternal. It makes me happy too! 
I love you guys and I cant wait to see you in such a short time! I pray for you always and that we can be together forever!  I hope that you guys have a great week this week! 

Elder Dowell

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