Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hola familia,

It's been a crazy week. I am now in Vancouver. It's rained a lot since I've arrived. It reminds me a lot of Amy and how much she loves rain. It will probably start warming up soon. They had a warm week last week.

My new companion is Elder Uribe. I already knew him. We served in the branch in Pasco at the same time. He was in my old area while I was with Elder Godinez. His family currently lives in New Jersey but is originally from Chile. From Vina del mar area. It's not in Amy's mission.

Good news from Pasco! Arnulfo and the Flores family got baptized this last Sunday. I was really happy to hear that. Also Felix Santos who Elder Godinez and I taught and baptized just got back from Mexico and is in Pasco. I got that message today from him in an email. So I just missed him.

I have a story to tell you that hasn't completely unfolded yet. While I was in Vancouver the first time, we were teaching a family whose names are Ricardo, Daniel, and Sebastian. For some reason or other the missionaries stopped teaching them. I was talking to Brother Abdalah, a member in the branch, and he told me that Daniel was in the hospital. I still don't understand very well what for. He has a lot of swelling and pain in his abdominal and chest area.

Well, we went and visited them in the hospital. When we got to the hospital both Ricardo and Sebastian were there as well as the whole Abdalah family, which wasn't planned but still amazes me that it worked out that way. We talked to them for a little while about how Daniel was doing. He has lost a lot of weight. He's really skinny now.

Then we started to share some scriptures. It was interesting how the spirit guided the conversation. We shared scriptures like 3 Nephi 13:28-32 and Alma 7:11-12. We talked a lot about Christ and the atonement at first. Then we began to talk about the miracles that Christ performed and by what authority he performed them. We testified that that authority had been restored to the earth again through the prophet Joseph Smith. I then felt prompted to share some experiences I had with giving Priesthood blessings. One of which included a very young child being healed according to the faith of her mother. As I shared all of that I had tears in my eyes. Many experiences flooded back to my memory and I felt an overwhelming feeling of love from our Heavenly Father.

We then gave Daniel a blessing of health. He was eager to receive it. He was blessed to be healed according to the faith that he showed in reading the scriptures and praying while in the hospital. It was a very spiritual experience for each one of us in that room.

We're teaching a number of good families. One of which is on date to be baptized in the end of May. We've been working hard to find even more people to teach and little by little we're finding more. There are definitely a lot less people here than in Pasco. It makes for a good challenge.

I don't know if this would interest you. There was a branch activity on Friday night. They talked about emergency preparedness. They talked a lot about natural disasters and what we needed food wise and other things to be prepared. The family that has a baptismal date, Andres and Isabel, were both there.

I have a testimony of the importance of obedience to the small and simple commandments. For example, reading scriptures, praying, holding family home evening, paying tithing, and doing home teaching. I've had the opportunity to meet many different families and members of the church. You can see where each one is at in their level of understanding of the gospel and how strong their testimonies are of certain principles. There is a huge relationship between that and their diligence in doing the small and simple things. That relationship certainly exists in missionary work as well. The more closely I've followed the rules and commandments that we have, the more effective and happy I am as a missionary. One simple example is talking to everyone about the gospel. We're told to talk to everyone that we see and come across. Even since I've got to Vancouver I have improved in large measures with this. Recent days have felt much more productive and like I'm doing everything the Lord is asking of me as I've put forth extra effort to talk to everyone I come across.

This gospel is true and it means everything to me.

Love you all
Elder Ben Arnold

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