Monday, June 27, 2016

Harold Ayala gets baptized!

June 20, 2016

Hey family, this week we were teaching Bro Harold Ayala.  He finally made the decision to be baptized! He was baptized on Saturday night.  It was super awesome.  There were a lot of people that came to support him.  He's 18 years old, and ready to get the Priesthood.
Harold's Baptism
We found him at the beginning of the transfer from the ward list.  We went looking for some addresses, and found Harold. From the first day he was super excited.  We looked him in the doorway, and he just smiled and told us to come in.  We walked in, sat down, taught him about the restoration of the church, gave him a Book of Mormon and from that day he has kept every single commitment we have given him. He has accepted everything.  He set his baptismal date.  He's read all of the passages we've assigned him from the Book of Mormon.  He's had good questions, and has never had any big problems.  He has come to church every week by himself. He's brought his friends, he's brought his family, and he's done everything he could. Now he's been baptized.

We are so excited for him, and the ward is so supportive and excited as well.  The Bishop has been talking to us and said that he's going to give him the Priesthood this next week.  Harold's going to start preparing for that, then the Bishop wants to call him as the 2nd counselor to the Young Men's President. So he's going to have a great calling, and be able to help do some great things here.

The baptismal service was really awesome.  There were so many people there for him.  We had a returned missionary from the area that baptized him, and has become his good friend. He took him to a couple of dances, so he's made a lot of friends in the stake.  There were so many members from all over the stake that came to support him.  The best part was that the members ran the whole baptism, FINALLY.  We've never had a baptism like that.  We have always had to do something. But this time, we told everyone he was getting baptized, and they just took over.  We cleaned out the font, but other than that, they did it all.  They planned the whole program, they did everything and helped him a lot.  It was awesome!
Elder Selman, Harold Ayala, Elder Burk

On Sunday, we went with Alexander, the Elder's Quorum President.  He's pretty funny.  We've been working a lot with him lately, trying to get some of the Elders going.  He's helped us a lot with the less active members, and investigators. So today we went to find his 2nd counselor who is currently less active. Whenever he comes to church, he's quite the jokester.  He's kind of funny, he served a mission, and got married in the temple, but he just doesn't come to church because sometimes he has to work, but mostly because he's just lazy.  So we went to go visit him.

Alex has been pretty stressed out running the whole Elder's Quorum by himself.  He's only been in the church for 3 years.  But he's rockin' it.  He wanted to serve a mission, but he was too old.  So, we work a lot with him.  We try to help he and his counselor plan things out. They didn't really understand how to do it.  So we sat them down and said, "Look you guys should have a meeting together once a week. Let's decide right now, when are you going to have your meeting?" Then the less active counselor, is like, "I don't know."  So I turned to him and said, "Ok, how about next Tuesday, here, in your house?"  Alex is like-"Yes! I'll come here." So we're like, ok, sweet.

We helped him pull out a piece of paper, and write everything down, Tuesday at 8:00 you two are going to meet here, one of you guys is going to bring food, and the other one is going to bring the list of companionships for home teaching.  Then you can both go through it together.  You can pick two companionships each week and go to visit them.  You can get them excited to do their home teaching. Once we explained what they needed to do, they started making goals and stuff, and it was awesome.  We're pretty happy for them. This should help make the Elder's Quorum a little bit stronger.

This week I was studying in John with my companion. In John 11 it talks about the miracle of Lazaras when he was raised from the dead. My companion pointed out to me how much it teaches us here about what Jesus really felt.  When he was in a different city, and someone told him he would have to go back to find Lazaras and help him because he was sick.  Then the messenger leaves, and Jesus turns to his apostles and tells them that they will go there right now, and help him. The apostles ask him why they should go back, they were just there. Then he explains in vs 11 why they need to go back.  It says, "Our friend Lazaras sleepeth, and I go there to wake him from his sleep." His disciples didn't understand that Lazaras was going to die. But Jesus knew that. And he knew they would get there late, but that it was necessary to go and help, in an answer to the faith of the people that were there.

So they go.  And Jesus and finds Martha there crying.  And he tells her that her brother shall rise again.  And she thinks he's just talking about the resurrection.  Then Mary walks out, and she cries as well. And it touched him enough, that he did what no one else would do, knowing what would happen.  In verse 35 it says, "Jesus wept." Now, I had never really understood this scripture before.  As a child in primary I knew this scripture just because it is the shortest one in the bible.  But I never understood its importance.

Jesus wept, not out of his own pain, but because of the pain of someone else. This is an example of real compassion. The word compassion, in the Spanish guide of the scriptures, says, "compassion is to suffer with someone else. " Jesus, in this moment, was suffering with someone else.  He could see that she was really in pain and he decided to cry with her.  He knew that everything was going to be alright.  He knew more than anyone else, what he was capable of doing. And that of course Lazarus would be resurrected like everyone else, but that in this moment he would also raise him from the dead.  But first, Jesus stopped and decided to cry with her--displaying for us what true compassion looks like.

Sometimes we can help people.  Sometimes we can come up with a solution to help people get over their troubles and their problems. But sometimes we can't.  From this scripture, we learn that what we can always do is to have compassion and suffer with them. That doesn't mean we'll always feel exactly what they feel, but we can try to put ourselves in their shoes.  We show them love by sitting next to them and crying with them.

Now let me be clear, I'm not a cryer--I haven't cried in a long time. But after reading about this story from the scriptures, I realize that this is something I need to better at, having true compassion for people in this way, and be willing to suffer with someone.  My first instinct is to look at someone and tell them to just suck it up.  But the Savior is teaching us that the best way is to suffer with them, is with patience and long suffering.  So when you see people in need, choose to suffer with them, and help them get through their problems. When we suffer with people, and have compassion for them, it shows them that you care, and that you are there for them. See how awesome the scriptures are?! That's why we're supposed to study them daily.

I love you guys, I hope you have a great week.

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