Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Following the Spirit in Finding a Lost Sheep

Letter #95
June 22, 2015
Area: Baytown
Companion: Hepworth

Hey guys, you all had a nice week as it sounds, but it sounds like it has been pretty hot in Utah, it has been in the 80s and 90s here, but it has been raining a ton, and I mean A TON, Houston has already broken records for the most rain in a year, and it is still the first half of the year... We can't help but think that with this weather we will eventually get a hurricane this year, but the question is, will I still be in the mission or not? I kinda want that experience, but I don't at the same time, especially knowing that Mom would be freaking out ;). By the way Dad, Happy Father's Day! I just wanted to send you a picture, so I had Bro. Gálvez take/send the picture.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!

This last week was filled with many miracles as well as disappointments. We saw success with mainly Andrea and her husband, Ulises, and Hermana Gálvez, the nonmember mother of two member boys, one of which is in Peru on a mission. We found Andrea and Ulises last Sunday and taught them about the Restoration, then this week we went back there with our branch president and his wife, the Mendoza's, to teach them about the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation, but only Andrea was there. While we were talking about the purpose of this life, we mentioned baptism a second time because they had already accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 18th of July, and she just opened up completely, telling us that she and Ulises weren't actually married, but they were already working on getting Ulises divorced so they can get married. She expressed their desire to be baptized, but their desire to be married first, which made us really happy. We were able to help them the next time we went over to because our Branch Mission Leader talked with us about how he had gone through the same situation and he wanted to refer them to the lawyer that he had used to be able to get divorced to be able to be baptized. Andrea and Ulises were thrilled to hear about the help that they could get and are progressing nicely, they just weren't able to make it to church due to work and a sick child. They have even mentioned that they don't drink or smoke, just a little coffee here and there. We have plans to talk to them about prayer and fasting this next week so we can fast for a miraculously fast divorce process.

We were extremely excited to be able to talk with Hermana Gálvez about a date for baptism this week because she finally found out when her son is getting home from his mission! We went over to visit her with the Relief Society president, and her husband, because they LOVE Hermana Gálvez. We were able to talk to her about the Word of Wisdom because that was supposedly one of her biggest issues. (she used to drink coffee, but when we asked her if she had any problems with any of the forbidden substances, she said she was fine with all of them, she even explained how she only drinks water, juice, and the occasional cup of milk. though water, juice and milk are all okay:) She is really prepared to be baptized--she just needs to continue reading and praying. Her son, Brian, is coming home on the 27th of July, so we planned on inviting her to be baptized on the 1st of August when we went over for dinner on Saturday for her other son, Justin's, birthday, but they had company so we didn't feel comfortable extending the invitation with them there.  Instead, on Sunday when we stopped by to give a couple of ties to Justin for his birthday, we made the invitation and she accepted! We now just have the task of continually following up and helping her learn the rest of the stuff needed for being baptized. She had asked what the benefits of being baptized were, so we got to teach her a little about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, then she remembered her sons talking about the temple and being able to go inside, so we talked about baptisms for the dead and how they are similar to what she was going to do. She has a lot of good questions, and we are really looking forward to helping her address them and gain a stronger testimony.

So if all goes right, we should have at least 3 baptisms during this new transfer, but I am hoping for many more than that! I am desiring to finish what I have started, and do it the right way, giving my 110%! This last week was great for us in the fact that we had more lessons and more contacts than all of the other weeks, and we saw so many miracles. We were able to follow the Spirit in finding a lost sheep on Saturday, and are looking forward to helping him get back to church because he was "only kept from the [church] because he knew not where to find it!" He has a son in El Salvador preparing to serve a mission and 3 other kids and his wife, and they are all active.  He is only here in the United States for working to help his family. I felt extremely stupid when we found him because I have been feeling the need to go down that street these past few weeks and apparently his wife was asking him when he was going to go back to church and he had said he would go when the missionaries passed by and found him and gave him the address...well, we've done that now!

The branch has been growing little by little.  People have been lead to moving to Baytown, and there are now about 3 new families that have moved into the branch--soon to be more families and individuals, including this man we found. We look forward to the progress being made in the branch, and in our area. The Hermanas have been finding a lot of success as well.  They are still getting along great, and I look forward to seeing them have a lot of success this transfer.

Elder Stanley Scott Dye

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