Well - here we are, coming to a close. The next post will be the final of Elder Babbel's amazing journey in the Peru Trujillo North Mission. Next week we will be meeting Jonah, after two years, in the wonderful country of Peru. There have been some amazing stories and events, great eternal friendships have been made and he has grown spiritually and physically (I'm going to feel short standing next to him!) Please enjoy his latest letter.
So this week has just been so wonderful!! We had such an amazing miracle happen with the Familia Juárez that we are teaching! Gianluca, the 14 year old son, is getting baptized tomorrow at 8am right before church, and how it happened was just incredible. Here's a little excerpt of my letter to President Marble:
We knocked their door around 4 months ago, and it has been a slow process, but in the past week, we have taken leaps and bounds. , we visited them with our bishop and his wife...during that lesson, we bore testimony of the importance of the family and how the Restored Church can bless their's. After sharing our own experiences of how the Restored Gospel has changed our lives, the mom of the family, Hermana Sandra, completely opened up. She has a very strong character, very demanding, and is very cold with people she doesn't know. She is, although, a great person that always tries to help other people and be very fair, but in her own manner. In that moment, she explained to us that her character and manera de ser was like that because she used it to cover up the guilt that she feels from her past mistakes, but she's become tired and can't keep covering it. She started crying, almost uncontrollably, and said, "Quiero ser feliz, pero de verdad". We testified of the Atoning sacrifice, and she realized the only way she could be happy was through true repentance. She and her husband are now committed to getting married in preparation for their own baptisms, and their true goal is to be sealed as a family. Hermano Gianluca, one of the 3 sons, now has the full and complete support from his family for his baptism , and has a great testimony. He is pushing for the baptisms of his family, and we will see them in a near future, after their marriage. We have seen the Lord's hand in everything that has happened with the Familia Juárez. I know that God has prepared them, and that we have been used as instruments in His hands since the first day that we knocked their door.
It's been such a great experience with their family, and after many lessons, testimonies, and visits from members, they are finally gaining their own testimonies. So many people could gain a testimony if they just gave it the chance, and after, they would see so many blessings in their lives. So many past mistakes that aren't just covered up and half-forgotten, but rather, wounds that can become completely healed, without marks or scars. Repentance is real, and I know because I have lived it, and continue using it every day. It really works!
Anyway, it's been great working with them and we are excited for their future. During the week, we also had 2 interchanges, with Elder Garrison and Elder Latimer (Casa Grande) and Elder Guerra and Elder Schwan (Esperanza), and we were able to work hard, find new people, and have some great lessons. We are working really hard and having a great time. I love being a missionary! Hope you all have a wonderful week! Love you bunches!