Oh, boy. I've got sooooo much to be thankful for...
This Thanksgiving was the most special thanksgiving of my life. Our investigator, Rene, was baptized.
So, here's the rundown:
After working with Rene for 5 months, he came up to us last Sunday and told us he wanted to be baptized. I was absolutely stunned! He wasn't ready to be baptized on Sunday though, because he had some issues with the Word of Wisdom. He was still drinking coffee and smoking. We were really devastated, because he was supposed to leave to go back to Guatemala on Wednesday...
Well, on Wednesday, we had a missionary meeting called Return & Report for all the trainers and trainees in Weston, Mass. with our mission president. We went through the temple and it was a really special day.
Anyways, we had talked to President Miller about possibly talking to Rene about the issues he was working through. Rene met us at the Weston chapel and we translated for him and he had a little interview with President Miller. President Miller asked him if he'd been able to cut back on the coffee and tobacco and Rene told him that he had. He asked Rene when he was supposed to leave for Guatemala, and Rene said on Friday (which was news to Hermana VerHoef and I!), and so President Miller asked him if he would be able to stop drinking coffee and smoking. Rene said he wasn't sure because he'd never tried before... And President challenged him to do it. Rene accepted and President asked him if he wanted to be baptized the next day! On Thanksgiving! And Rene accepted!!!
So, on Thanksgiving, instead of having a big turkey dinner, we had a baptism.
It was one of the most spirit-filled baptisms I've ever witnessed. Rene has changed so much in the past five months we've been meeting with him. He has truly repented of his past and is a new person. His son, Carlos (who was baptized just one year ago), baptized him. He wept as he came out of the water and hugged him. We all wept.
I think I was sent to Boston for this man.
This family has changed my life.
I love the work. I never want to come home! I could live everyday for the rest of eternity as a missionary, and I plan to do so!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ truly is transformative. It has taught me how to love. I've experienced such a pure love for Rene and his family and I will never be the same. I have so much to be thankful for:
A beautiful family who loves and supports me
A Savior who knows me
And the opportunity to share the message of the Restored Gospel with the world.
I love you all! Count your blessings, for they truly are many!
WARNING: VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED
our toilet exploded and Elder Davis came and was a champ and fixed it for us.
Funniest picture ever.
Hermana VerHoef (I LOVE HER)
Heel clicks in front of the temple hahahaha
When we found out Rene could get baptized :)
Alphabet soup for Thanksgiving Dinner <3
Hector, Rene, and Carlos (my favorite family in the world!)
Say hello to our Thanksgiving Miracle :)
Rene Castillo (the man, the myth, the LEGEND) I love this man.