Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Letter March 18, 2013

Hello hello hello! What a week. I think I say that everytime, don磘 I? haha. First, a few quick items of business:

Where did Tera buy the Angel Moroni tie that we wore at Gary磗 funeral? I wear it often and everyone always loves it and wants to know where I got it. Thanks, Tera, for such a wonderful remembrant of Uncle Gary. I often feel like we磖e both doing the same kind of work, just on opposite sides of this life.

I got a letter from BYU folk dancers! It made me sooo happy! It had tons of messages that said, 创merry christmas创 haha so that made me laugh. I hope at least a few of them are reading this so they can know how extremely grateful I am for their kinds words and encouragement!

Random funny story: We get told many times a day by people in the streets about the new Catholic pope. Many times. If you haven磘 heard yet, he磗 from Argentina, making him the first American pope. It dawned on me that a song I heard during senior year of highschool prophesied this grand event. If I remember correctly, the band磗 name is 创We no Speak Americano.创 We love to entertain ourselves while walking the streets by singing, 创Papa Americano!创 hahaha. If you have no idea what I磎 talking about, look up the video haha.

Yesterday I gave a talk during church as asked by the branch president. I was allotted 15 mins and assigned to speak about the Restoration. Simple. The first speaker finished quickly, and I was left with about 35 minutes. I feel like I really was lead by the Spirit of what to say--what the people in that room needed to hear. I felt good about my talk. I filled the whole time-slot and felt like I left everyone with a stronger desire to read the Book of Mormon. I was happy. I found out later that day that there was supposed to be a third speaker: the stake presidency磗 first counselor. Ha. No one told me, and I had taken up the rest of the time left in the meeting. Soooo....ya. We磍l see if our branch president ever asks me to speak again...haha. I felt like crap. And several people have ensured me that they were not happy that they didn磘 get to hear him speak. Yay! :D

This week during an intercambio in Lebu, I learned how to complete a Rubix Cube! I felt cool haha. What I liked best though was after a long day of work just getting to hang out with my friends from Colombia, Paraguay, and Argentina. It磗 so fun to see how similar/different we are depending on where we were raised. It磗 also a wonderful testament to me to see that no matter where you are in the world, the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is always the same. Christ lives, He restored His church and priesthood authority through a living prophet, and we can be forgiven of our sins and live with Him again if we live His restored gospel.

Last Saturday our progressing investigator suddenly told us she didn磘 want to get baptized. It was a drastic 180 and wasn磘 very good news considering her baptism was scheduled for the following Saturday. Her Evangelical neighbor had talked her out of it by telling her that a month wasn磘 enough preparation to get baptized. Through much fervent prayer, many long discussions, and the help of the Lord, we were able to help Bersabeth reconfirm that she did indeed meet the Lord磗 requirements to be baptized. I can磘 say that I did anything, because I know I didn磘. No matter how much my companion and I explained or taught, she wouldn磘 change her mind. Finally, she offered a humble, simple prayer and the Lord answered. To all of us. What a great feeling to know that Bersabeth truly felt the Holy Ghost testify to her that this is indeed the true church of Christ with His power and authority to baptize. It磗 been an eventful week, but we were blessed with a fantastic baptismal service. The Spirit was so strong and I was so grateful that several inactive members and one of our investigators attended. I know that everyone felt the confirmation that what we teach and claim in this church is true. It磗 either all true, or it磗 all a lie. We can磘 teach great things that help people come unto Christ yet be lying about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. This is either Christ磗 true organized church restored to the earth, or everything we do and believe is a lie. It磗 simple. It磗 somewhat harsh to say, but I promise that it磗 the truth. 

I give my personal witness that the Book of Mormon is true. Joseph Smith really did translate it from ancient manuscript through the power of God. A person will get closer to Christ by reading that book and abiding by its precepts than by any other book on earth. I know it.

Have a wonderful week! 
Much love,
Elder Long :)

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