This past week was fantastic. Olympia, a lady we have been teaching for quite some time, and missionaries before us as well, entered the waters of baptism, yesterday was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit was very, very strong at her baptism. It was a beautiful day.
I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I know that it was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It changes lives because it testifies and teaches of Christ with clarity and power. The Spirit bursts from the pages as you read and study the message it contains. On the plane ride over to Spain, I was reading the 34th chapter of Alma, where Amulek, Alma's missionary companion, testifies and teaches about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He says, "And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice," [so here is the purpose of the Atonement, number 1] "to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and [number 2] bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption." The Atonement fulfills a lot more than just 2 purposes but when I was reading that on the plane, the second one really impacted mean. The atonement, that sacrifice, that promise, is the means by which we can have faith sufficient to repent, and thus bring about the "great and eternal plan of redemption."
I know that these things are true. I love the gospel. I love my Savior.
I apologize for seriously lacking in sending photos, so here are a few...
1) My one year mark in the mission and the "cake" that my companions prepared (a cookie with Mr. Choc on it - Mr. Choc is like the cheap version of Nutella... it's good)
2) A car that made me think of Nick DiMarco, for obvious reasons, that was sitting right outside our piso
3) Elder Ferreira and me
4) Olympia's baptism