This week was great. This last Sunday the Perez Martinez family got baptized and it was amazing. They were so happy and almost half the ward showed up (which is really good). Just about four hours ago the Ortiz family also got baptized. What a great p-day right? There is nothing like starting off a preparation day with three baptism. We had been waiting a long time for this family to get baptized. Let me tell you the story... It all started about three and a half monthe ago when I wa in this area for the first time. We got a referral from the Elders who were working in one of the neighboring areas. We went to meet them and that is when we got the chance to meet Aaron Ortiz for the first time. He was this chubby, short friendly man who worked as a taxi driver. We got to meet him and he told us all about his life. He was born a Jehova´s witness but said that he never liked the religion. He and his family have been through a lot of hard times and he said he has always been looking for the truth. We got to meet his wife as well, who is a wonderful women. We started teaching them and then I was changed. I returned three weeks later to continue teaching them with Elder Jessup. Just two weeks ago their son, Didier (who I told you about a couple weeks ago), was baptized. Aaron and his wife, Alejandra, were married the next week and baptized the next. This man is amazing. He is learning so much and just a couple weeks ago he told us that we will see him speaking in a large church conference before we know it. I have not doubt about that.
We will be starting the changes, or tranfers, this next week and we have to find place to put 16 new missionaries. The mission is growing like crazy. The last transfer only one went home and 23 arrived. The transfer five are going home and 16 will be arriving. I hope we can keep all of this under control. It is going to be another fun week of little sleep. You got to love it though. When I get home I am going to be the best driver in utah. Driving in Mexico City is quite an adventure, but it is great to get to know the city.
I hope you are all doing good. I was studying something the other day and I want to share a little bit with all of you. In the Zone conferences, Elder Jessup and I get the chance to teach the elders. Yesterday we talk about the persistence. To start, we shared a scripture that I have always liked, but I have always overlooked parts of it. I am talking about 2 Nephi 31:20. " Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." In spanish, the words are just a little different which help us see and meaning that a lot of people have never noticed before. While the english version says, "...having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men...", the spanish version says, "...having a perfect brightness of hope and love for God and for all men...". Do you see the difference? I used to think the scripture was saying that we must have hope and then love for God and all men. It is actually saying that we must have hope and love for God and all men. We don't just need love for God and all men, but we need hope for them as well. How can we have hope for all men? I want you to think about that. Do you have hope in all men? Do you trust that everyone is a good person? Do you give everyone the same chance to be part of your life or to be your friend? Or do you just trust want to trust a certain few and the rest are just "hopeless"? Nobody in this world is hopeless. Never give up n anybody. Have hope in all men!!!! We have taken the name of Christ upon us. We made a covenant Him in which we said that we would try to be like Him and His father. Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father never lose hope in us. How many times did God have to talk to the people of Nephi, gathered in their ruined city, before they understood Him? How many times, or dispenations, has God put the gospel on the earth once again? How many times have you prayed and asked for forgiveness? Christ and our Father have had more hope in each one of us them we will ever be able to have in them and the people around us. I invite you to have hope for all men. If you do, you will come to find that the world is filled with trustworthy people.
I love you all and I know Christ lives and this is His only true church on the earth.
Elder Taylor Ricks