Hey Family and Friends!
It is mango season!! Which makes me really happy!! I love mangoes. I think I am kinda addicted. They are so delicious and sweet here and are practically everywhere. Almost everyone has a mango tree in their front yard and mango trees literally line the streets. Because there are so many mangoes we get them free all the time and can just pick them off the trees as we are proselyting. I sure hope that their are mangoes in the Celestial kingdom!
Well enough about mangoes, as delicious and scrumptious as they are, they are pretty trivial. I am excited to share with all of you what really matters, the rescue of God's children and our work here in Paco Roman.
We are teaching this amazing "Tatay" Paulino who is a wonderful example of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. When he prays you can tell that he is really talking to our Father in Heaven. He has the most pure desires to follow Jesus Christ. He also though has a really rough past of illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol and medication. His family has left him and he lives by himself with little and sometimes no money for food. The missionaries before I came had been teaching him for 3 months and he was really open to accepting the gospel and wanted with all his heart to be baptized. He finished the Book of Mormon and now is half way through it a second time, but he still struggled with cigarettes and coffee. Elder Taimani and I had been praying for answers on what we could do to help him. We had the impression to give Tatay Palino a priesthood blessing. The experience I had as I laid my hands on this man's head were hard to explain, I felt the words flow easily from my lips as I gave this old man a blessing of strength and guidance. As I said the words he needed to hear from a loving Father in Heaven, he wept like a child. It was a wonderful experience.
We have been able to visit this Tatay everyday and ask him how he is doing and he says that he doesn't want to smoke or drink coffee anymore. The desire that he had is gone and he told us he feels sorrow for those many years he had wasted his life with drugs and alcohol. Every time we go to his house he relates back to Tuesday when we gave him a blessing, and says in broken English " I felt the priesthood" "I felt the spirit" he says "right here" pointing to his head. It just was a wonderful experience of reassurance of our faith and his faith.
I know that miracles do happen and that the priesthood power is a real power, miracles do not produce faith, but faith is what produces miracles. I know that great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ always produces miracles in our lives. I am humbled to know that I was able to be an instrument of the Lord in giving that brother the blessing that he needed. I know that our purpose as missionaries is not to be the light to bring others into The Church but to bring others to the Light, Jesus Christ. We are only the conduits of that light. That is the one thing that I desperately want to be is His instrument!
I love you all so much. I want to give a shout out to my Aunt Heather as she is fighting cancer right now! I know that when we have great faith good will always follow. As our living prophet says: Our future is only as bright as our faith!
You all have a wonderful conference and Easter weekend!