Thanks for all the email that I received today. I can't believe I'm already 19. I still feel like I'm 16 but I'm having a great bday hear in Chongoyape. I wish I could say I will write you all back to thank all of you pero seria mentirles jovenes (but it would mean lying to you). But don't worry, you will receive an email from me verrry soon. Thanks Mommmy and Dadddy for the package. I love all the treats and spiritual pictures and quotes, especially the 17 points of a true church. My comp and I are going to burn the peeps with that. I have a bunch of cool pics from the baptism also but this computer doesn't look like its gonna let me send them but we shall see.
Well it has been a pretty crazy week. On Tuesday we had cambios; it was pretty sad to see Elder Macias go. We got along like brothers but sadly we only had one cambio together. The good news is my new comp is pretty legit as well. His name is Elder Prado from Bolivia. He's probably the complete opposite of Elder Macias but he has many good qualities that are helping me to improve. Right now we only have about 22 members coming to church every week. There are a lot of menos activos and the baptisms have slowed. Elder Prado and I had the chance to sit down with some of the youth with the book of all the members, investigators and menos activos and we made plans to visit and reactivate the world here. The youth here are pretty awesome. Olenka and Ricardo will go proselyting, visit their friends, teach lessons and take out appointments for us.
Saturday we had the baptism of Paul in the River Chanquay. It was a first experience for me and pretty adventurous. We had to cross some streams and climb to find a spot secluded and deep enough to baptize. The water was super warm compared to the freezing baptismal fonts haha. I felt like John the Baptist as I baptized Paul and all the people congregated on the shore. We also did all the program just standing on the shore. I was hesitant to ask Paul to give a testimony cuz usually the youth are nervous little suckers but he did it and it was pretty powerful. He said that one night he spent praying for a long time to see if this was the true church and if getting baptized was the right decision and he said he received his answer as all his worries left replaced by peace. I can't imagine the pain he felt when his mom died but I know that he understands the beauty of the plan of salvation and that brings him happiness and peace.
We are working hard with the Family Guerrero: Salazar, Marcos, Isabel and Reina. With Elder Macias we put a goal for the 3 de Mayo that they could be baptized. They came to the ward activity but didn't come to church so we will see how it goes. We also just met an interesting fam Friday. We invited them to come to the activity. The 2 kids Emily and Bryan came. They came to the baptism and came to church on Sunday. They both already want to get baptized but we are gonna work with them and prepare them right so they understand it all.
Well my time is running out and I'm nervous cuz the youth have been acting pretty suspicious around me and I think they are gonna attack me with eggs tonight..pray for me.. Well I Love you all and thanks again. I've never been happier in my life. I know that this is the true church, God lives and Loves us and Christ gave his life for us not only to save us from our sins but from our weaknesses, our sickness and our hard times in general. We can always find strength, comfort and happiness if we use the atonement of Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives..love youalllll
besitos, Elder Harper