Hey family! Sounds like you guys had a great week. It's so crazy that Jonathan and Garrett are home now too! Seriously I feel like everyone just barely left! Tell them both hi for me and congrats, I'm sure they both served so well! Tell Mrs. Albin I'm so sorry about Molly :( I know how much they loved that dog!!! KACEY, JAKE, TJ---- stop fighting and make good use of your time. Turn off the video games and go play outside. You better learn to love each other NOW, because you're going to miss each other when you're older. Dad, thanks for the tip on Grace, I'll study that tomorrow. Glad the boys had fun at the ranch and I hope that the trek is a complete success! Hug Tyler for me! Mom keep working hard with school!!!! You're such a trooper, I still don't know how you do it.
I JUST GOT MY PACKAGE :) I haven't opened it yet, but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I love you guys a ton.
Hermana Flor just sent me a birthday present too. I just got it with your package. She knitted me a peruvian style winter hat, super cute. And she sent me measuring tape because she wants to sew me traditional Caraz clothes to wear home. I can't believe her. She's the most adorable lady. Keep the Castillo family in your prayers, they deserve all the blessings in the world.
This was a beautiful week. The Lord's reminding me that He loves me, He trusts me, and that this is HIS work, not mine.
President Archibald sent an email challenging us to reconsider our mission goals, write them down, and START achieving them. I'm obedient, but like everyone, there are little things that I needed to work on. As I've focused on serving the Lord because I LOVE HIM, I'm seeing miraculous results. I was reading a talk by Elder Holland a few days ago from the 2012 October Conference. It's about Christ when He met with the Apostles after his ressurection "Peter, Do you love me?" "Feed my sheep and save my lambs". It struck right at my heart. Do I really love the Lord? Am I really serving Him with my WHOLE being? It changed my perspective completely. I've been working like crazy.
Hermano S., the single dad that we started teaching last week...IS PROGRESSING! He has a date for, so keep him in your prayers. We're working with him, he has a lot of questions but he has the desire to KNOW and that's a great thing.
PLEASE PRAY FOR RAFAEL SEGURA AND HIS FAMILY.
Last night was probably one of the most special moments of my mission. For time, I'm going to copy and edit what I wrote to President (we got to internet late this morning). We were finally able to have our lesson with Hermano R. (the one who's wife is recently reactivated and who has a 10yr old that wants to get baptized). We had the idea to have the bishop meet with R. and his wife together, just to get to know him and help him see the plans and goals that his wife is setting as a member of the church. We were blessed to teach him twice this week, which almost never happens. He came home while we were teaching his wife about the importance of the temple, and so we turned the focus on him. Then last night we were able to meet with him. His wife always talks about how he loves movies, and we've been trying to figure out how to help him understand the importance of receiving an answer and the Restoration. We decided to share the short Joseph Smith video with him. The spirit was so strong. He asked a question about the sacerdocio, and Hermana Kim bore powerful testimony to him that the power of God has been restored and that HE can be the priesthood holder in his home. I bore testimony too, and we talked about how the priesthood is a blessing for all the children of God AND their families. It was amazing. Then we did what you told us to. We explained to him that we want him to be baptized on the . We talked for a few moments then I told him that his wife was going to pray, and explained to her to express her hopes for her family and the gospel, and for her husband to be baptized. Then S. to pray that his dad can get an answer and that they can get baptized together on the second. Then R. to ask God if he loves him, if the church is true, and if he should get baptized with S.on the second. It was beautiful. L. began crying before she even finished opening her prayer. We were all crying, down to R.. S. said "Estoy seguro que voy a bautizarme con mi papa esta 2 de agosto". Then R. prayed and told us that he would do it. Please keep praying for him that he'll be firm in his answer. We do everything we can to help him in his progression, but it's so hard to contact him and find him at home with his job. The great thing is this following weekend he has vacation for the holiday, so we're going to have a "teaching marathon" and visit every day that he's home. PRAY PRAY PRAY FOR LA FAMILIA SEGURA FLORES :)
I know that the Lord wants to seal Rafael and his family for time and all eternity. I feel such an inner peace this week as I know that I really am giving my all to this work. I'm trying each day to become better and to do a little more. Please pray for Rafael. I've never wanted anything more than to see this family get sealed in the temple, and that's going to start with Rafael's baptism. Pray that he can get baptized on the.
I KNOW that the Priesthood has been restored to the earth. I know that God is our LOVING Heavenly Father, Christ is His loving Son, and they both want all of the families in the world to have the blessings of the priesthood IN THEIR HOMES. For those that don't have priesthood holders in their homes...Dad....Brett...Jake...
any other priesthood holder that might be reading this...that's where YOU come in. You have a gift and responsibility to bless your OWN family and the people around you. This is something that you can't keep to yourself. You need to bless the lives of those in the ward that don't have the blessing of having the priesthood in their own homes. Be good home teachers. That's all I'm asking.
This is God's work. This is the work of SALVATION. Not just the work of baptizing, bringing new members to the church, learning Spanish and Peruvian culture... THIS IS ALL ABOUT BRINGING PEOPLE TO CHRIST, SEALING FAMILIES FOR ETERNITY, AND BRINGING TO PASS THE IMMORTALITY AND ETERNAL LIFE OF MAN. THIS IS THE WORK OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. We are the most important thing to Him in all the universe.
I love you all. Thank you for your sacrifices, prayers, and support on my behalf. Dad. Thanks for being a worthy priesthood holder in our home. Mom, thanks for supporting the priesthood and for raising two (and almost three) worthy priesthood holders. Brett and Jake, hold your priesthood worthily, and bless the lives of those around you.
I love you guys so much.