We had District Conference yesterday in the Paterson District. IT was a really good meeting, though some of the female speakers spoke for a REALLY long time, so the district Presidency kept their talks to 5 minutes each. President Jeppson got up there, stood with power and authority and said in a thunderous voice: "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God... and I'm a mormon. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." He is the human closest to God that I have met.
After the conference, we went up to talk to Richard de la Cruz (21, Dominican), one of the Paterson Elders' investigators (though he attends church in Passaic). WE know him pretty well and he actually loves us. The reason why he attends in Passaic is because he got to know the church through his girlfriend, Jenni Bello (18), who is our member. She talked to him about the church little by little and tried pushing him to get baptized, but he quickly lost interest. So she decided to put the preaching on hold and just be an example and invite him to church every week. He had been coming 2-3 months consistently when he came up to us after a wedding last week and said he was seriously thinking about getting baptized. We were excited, to say the least. THEN, after the conference yesterday, he came up to us and told us that NOW he was ready and wanted to be baptized. So we set him right then and there to be baptized September 29th. Pretty amazing. EXPERIENCES LIKE THIS make your mission the most sacred and wonderful time of your life. The gospel changes lives.
Another cool story: Last night, E. Dahl, Diaz, Daniel, and I had the opportunity of having a part in one of the greatest gifts Christ gave us: the act of USING the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I haven't had a lesson like this one in a long time, so it was wonderful to show our love and help this man, named Jose.
Jose is a member's boyfriend, from Puerto Rico. He is not a member, he's actually a former investigator who came to church a few times in the past. Needless to say, in the past month he found himself working too much and with negative influences which lead him to make some negative choices. He came to US finally, believing that we could help him get out of what was slowly destroying his life. We told him when we went to teach him last night, that it was Jesus Christ and His Atonement that would heal him, not us. The spirit guided the entire lesson as we praised him for his humility and desire to change, invited him to repent, and watched him cry and feel "Godly sorrow" right then and there. We left the appointment smiling, him too actually. I remarked to elders in the car, "One thing I loved about that was we SAW, first-hand, the gift of the Atonement on that man's face. We are in an eternal work, we are literally changing people's lives and helping them to USE the Atonement through personal repentance." Just amazing. This is why we are here.
OTher than that, everything is going SMOOTH. We love LIFE because we get to teach people how to make everything better. I love you all and I'm grateful for your membership, activity, and love for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.