Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Antonela's Baptism

Dear Braxton,

I do want to tell you of our little miracle.  On the way down to Monticello, we got just past the 5th South exit in Bountiful when we started to hear a slapping sound.  I looked out the window and could see something flapping as the tire went around on the trailer passenger side.  Clain told Dad we had a flat tire and he needed to pull over.  Dad was in the middle lane of the freeway and was able to move over to the outside because there was no one in either outside lane.  He pulled off and stopped.  We had thrown the rubber off the tire, but it had not popped and was not flat.  

A nice young man pulled off in front of us and backed up.  Dad was afraid we had hit him with the rubber, but he said we had not.  He just thought he might be able to help us.  He was on his way to a chiropractor appointment in Bountiful, but had an extra half hour before his appointment so he stopped to see if he could help.  He had a nice jack, so we used his.  We were on a nice flat spot and it was easy to change the tire and put the spare on and then we loaded the bad tire in the truck.  

I had texted Curtis some photos and told him what had happened.  He and Alex were coming down later Thursday night.  Curtis said we should go to Discount Tire in Bountiful.  So when we got back in the truck, I asked Siri on my phone for Discount Tire in Bountiful.  It was three minutes away, just off the Woods Cross exit which was just in front of us.  We drove there and the parking lot was full, so we parked on the north side of the building.  We were able to pull into a driveway and stop so that we were not blocking any cars and people could still get in and out of the Arby’s parking lot.  We had them fix the first tire.  Dad brought me the receipt.  Then he asked me to go to Arby’s which was right next door to us to get lunch.  I asked him what he wanted and then I went to ask Clain what he wanted.  As I saw the spare, I had the thought that we needed to replace it, too.  So I told Dad and asked what he thought.  He said, “Yes, he thought we should.”  A year ago we had replaced one tire and put the one we replaced on as a spare, but it had a bulge on the sidewall. 

After I got lunch, and came back, I talked to the kid who was fixing it.  He had brought some duct tape out and was taping up under the wheel well.  It had scraped off a coating or something leaving bare wood up there.  He taped it so it wouldn’t get wet if we hit water or a storm.  Dad will have to put tar or something up in there when we get home to protect the bare wood, which is the underside of the floor.  The kid said we should make sure all the tires had the same amount of pressure in them. Dad and Clain had filled the tires from 40 to 65 that morning before we left.  That may have been what caused it to throw the rubber.  The new tire had 80 pounds of pressure in it.  So we had to go out of the Arby’s parking lot and into the Discount Tire parking lot on the other side.  Dad pulled out and there was not a car coming either direction.  And he was able to pull right back in.  

While they were working on the air, Dad came and said he felt like we should change all four of the tires and put the good one from a year ago on as the spare tire.  So we did.  We both felt like by heeding these promptings we were able to save ourselves from having far worse problems on the trip.  The Lord gave us a warning with the first tire and in a way that we were safe from harm or accident and he prevented us from having a much worse problem somewhere on the road where we could not have gotten help as easily or as cheaply.  We paid $575 for the new tires.  In many ways, that was a real bargain. 

Another interesting thing, when I paid the bills the night before we left, I could not make the checkbook balance again.  There is $1100 more money in our account than what there should be.  I know the Lord is blessing us and providing for our needs because of your missionary service and faith.  I know we are being blessed all the time because you have the faith and desire to serve the Lord and bring people to Jesus Christ.  Thank you.  I feel very blessed and loved.  I know the Lord provides for us every day and in our times of need.  I know he is aware of our needs, our wants, our desires, and our fears.  He helps us in every way possible.  He is there in even the tiniest details of our lives.  He cares when we have ten year old tires on the trailer that will cause us to not be safe and he provides ways for us to get them changed so we can be safe in all that we do.  I testify that our Heavenly Father knows us and loves us and He is aware of our every need.  I testify that missionary blessings are very real! 

I love you and I am so very proud of you and all that you are doing to bless the people of Chile.  Keep on serving and loving the people and the Lord. 

Love always and forever,

The baptism went amazingly well and I saw so many changes in the family in the course of the meetings. Their hearts were opened to the message of the gospel and were softened from their hardened state. The family of 7 were able to open up and all of them came. Before we were only able to bring a portion of the family, Antonela and her Dad. Sunday all 7 were there and Antonela was baptized. We are going to visit them this week a couple times and on Sunday it will be her confirmation. The family is doing really well.

We had 46 people at church and we were able to bring a recent convert to church that hasn`t gone in 3 months. We are doing all that we can to help the people and the Lord is providing the miracles and the preparation in the paths. He has so many other people being prepared and that we are finding through His guidance. I know that He is guiding the family and teaching many lessons to the family through choices and mistakes and refining each and every one to follow the promptings of His spirit. The Lord blesses and takes away blessings according to our choices. I am sure of this divine truth.

Things are going so well. We are loving the work and being guided spiritually. The Lord has been revealing more divine truths to me about my life and my future. I am very grateful to Him for showing me parts of my path to come before-hand to prepare me even more for those special moments.

The Lord has placed special people close to each and every one of us so that we can serve them and help them recognize and accept Jesus Christ and His Restored Gospel. We are instruments, like you once taught me through an email that you sent me, and when we are living so that he can mold us, we can help shape others. I have started being a more effective instrument and letting Him use me more effectively through the refinement that he is working. It is a necessary process and He knows His tools and uses us when we let Him work. This truth has changed my mission and I am accepting His work and not mine. I know that He is guiding everything and makes all the decisions in the work and I am just here when He needs me to be. I promise as you and those in the family let Him work through us, He will give to each of them the opportunity to serve and help His children return, accept, or continue living the Gospel with more strength. He has chosen children still waiting specially for each of you to help learn and accept the Gospel. He is just waiting for you all to be ready to let Him work. 

Thanks Braxton.  Profound wisdom from you today.  I hope you are writing in your journal about the special experiences you are having with the spirit.  I hope you will share some of those special things with us when you get home. 

Tell us more about the other investigators you are teaching.  How are they 

We had 3 investigators at church, the boyfriend of Antonela`s older sister and the mom of a recent convert. The Mom isn`t married, but we are going to work to get them married, so that she can be baptized. She has a testimony, just needs to get married to be baptized. I know that she is being prepared right now and the Lord placed her here to be prepared for baptism with us right now. We are working towards so many results, but the people need to make the decisions and believe for themselves. I believe in all of them and I am just waiting for them to choose correctly to be baptized.

How old are the other siblings in Antonela’s family?

16, 11, Antonela is 9 and then 6, and 2. With the parents.

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