My testimony of families has grown so much deeper. I’ve witnessed how the gospel of Jesus Christ and his atonement strengthens families. Another things that has helped me understand the importance of the family is seeing how hard Satan attacks the families. This we I have witnessed how Satan is trying to do everything in his power to Laivino and Presalina from getting married and baptized.
Yesterday, Laivino wasn’t able to make it to Church (which happened to be District Conference with Elder and Sister Bricknell from the area presidency) He was sick and didn’t make it. We decided to visit all of them that evening planning to talk to Joaquim, Argentina, Laivino and Preselina. Only Laivino was home. In retrospect I see it as a blessing, because he was able to be more open with us. He said that he’s giving up, that he doesn’t know if he can marry Presalina. He looked so sad and began to explain that there was a lack of communication lately in between them, and how Presalina, after coming home from the District Conference, changed clothes and left the house without saying a word or where she was going. (this was yesterday, and she still hasn’t come back yet, we don’t know where she is.)
Sitting in that small poorly lit room with Laivino Elder Largent and I had both turned to Ether 12. We hadn’t planned this, but we felt we needed to talk about faith, that we needed to talk about hope. Ether 12 really explains these things well. We also spoke of when Jesus walked on water, and Peter decided to exercise his faith as well and he went out to Christ. He also was able to walk on water. We talked to Laivino about how he too had progressed so much. When we first met him, he didn’t believe in going to church, in studying the scriptures, in praying to God. Since we found him he has progressed leaps and bounds, everytime we come to his house he has a scripture that he has marked and wants to share with us. He also was like Peter who walked on water towards Jesus Christ. I’m sure that we all remember well that Peter began doubting in his mind, he began to fear. The moment he began fearing he began to fall into the water.
We explained to Laivino that marriage is so essential and God want’s him to live the law of chastity and also that baptism is the gate by which he can enter. I am completely certain that as Peter walked on water the adversary was doing everything in his power to stop Peter from realizing his potential and his progression towards the savior. The same applies to us today, as we come closer to the Savior we can’t begin forgetting to do the little things in our lives. We cannot become prideful or else we will fall. As Peter began to drown he called to the savior asking for help, asking him to save him. Immediately the Savior extended his arm to help him. It was only after Peter asked that Christ extended his arm to help. After this we read Ether 12:27 with Laivino helping him understand that if he would humbly ask with faith, for help, then God would help him overcome this difficulty.
I know that families are so meaningful and important to our Father in Heaven. We need to do everything in our power to help them become stronger with everyday.
The District Conference we had with President Bricknell was inspirational. He cares so much about this work and has a special place in his heart for missionaries. I was able to talk to him several times and could feel his love for us as missionaries.
Armando is doing very well. We hope that he’ll be getting the priesthood next week, along with a calling. Anastacio and Adolina, another couple that we are teaching, are going to be married in the collective marriage on March 1st. Elder Largent and I still believe that Laivino and Presalina and Joaquim and Argentina, also will be ready. I’m very grateful to be here, and am filled with great joy in helping the families that we are teaching.
p.s. I’m the worst at writing letters back. (many you probably already know that) but I’m sending some letters home with my Companion Elder Largent and he will send them off from there. That way it’s cheaper, safer, and quicker.