|Elder Brayton and Elder Perez|
June 12, 2017
Dear Family and Friends,
This week has been one of those weeks in the mission that it is so difficult to not get sad but at the same time, a week that strengthens your testimony a ton. I got to have a very life changing experience for me! It has strengthened my testimony in the plan that God has for everyone of his children and for our families. The first came from an interview that I conducted with Patricio(Pato). This was the first time that I had actually met him face to face. However, I am familiar with his situation. He has, just a couple of weeks ago, been informed that his 10 year old daughter has terminal cancer. She has been allowed to return home from Santiago with a life expectancy of only 3 more months. I can only imagine that this is something that would destroy any parent to know. Instead of giving up or getting mad at God, Pato decided that he needed to strengthen his own faith to be able to help the rest of his family be strong whenever that day comes when his daughter passes away. In the interview, he told me that he just wanted to know that he would be able to see his daughter again. I was given the opportunity to testify of the Plan of Salvation that God has for everyone. I was able to promise him that if he is faithful to all the commandments that he would be able to see his daughter in the morning of the resurrection. Never in my mission have I felt the way I did in that room with Pato. I ended sharing my testimony and crying a lot. This past week, Pato was baptized and confirmed!! He is excited to be able to continue learning and strengthening his testimony.
Whenever I found out about the situation with Pato we made a call to the mission president, who made a call to the area presidency, whom made a call to the First Presidency. All of this so that they could all be praying for Erica (Pato's daughter). After the interview, we told Pato what we had done and we offered to give his daughter a blessing. He accepted without hesitation. The blessing was something super special. We felt prompted to give her a blessing of complete recovery. During the blessing thoughts of this little girls future blinked across my mind. Her graduation, her marriage and her with her own eternal family. Also during the blessing both me my comp and I said that we felt like every single member of the Quorum of the 12 and the First Presidency with us as we layed our hands on her head. It was something that I will never be able to describe fully -- but something that has touched me deeply and left everyone present weeping.
The other thing that happened this week was the passing away of the little brother of Jerko. Jerko has been meeting with us for a couple of months. When his little brother passed away he called us and asked us to pretty much lead the funeral. The traditions here are different, but basically it isn't uncommon for a family to have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to have someone from a church to speak at a funeral. The family was extremely grateful when they heard that everything that we do is non-profit. At the actual funeral we were able to speak in front of about 50 people about the Plan of Salvation.
This week has made me so grateful that I am sealed to my family for time and all eternity. I am grateful that others can learn about these blessings that God has for us and that they can also partake in the blessing that are available. I love you all and I am so thankful for all of my friends and family and the support that I get from each of you.