Dear Family and Friends,
It has been a week of MIRACLES. Joel was baptized yesterday! I'm going to give a little recap of his story:
Joel, formerly known as Gerald, was sitting on his porch one Friday afternoon.
We were biking past and I had the distinct impression that we should talk with him. We had already biked past at this point, but I felt strongly that we should talk with him. So I flipped my bike around and my companion followed right behind. I walked up and said "Hi my name is Hermana Ries and I don't know why but I feel like we should talk to you."
He was quick to tell us he did not have faith in God and that it had been a terrible day. He said that if he had both legs he would climb up the building next to his house and jump off.
I didn't really know what to say. So we offered to say a prayer with him, and afterwards testified that God did love him and was aware of him. We asked if we could come back on Monday. He accepted and I didn't think much else of the interaction, other than that I was grateful I had listened to the Spirit.
On Monday, we taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel. He felt the Spirit so strongly that he told us he wanted to be baptized. Ever since then Joel has been preparing for his baptismal day.
Living life with one leg has presented some serious challenges for Joel. Including being baptized. Seeing him carried into the font by two young Elders increased the faith of all those who attended the baptism.
After his baptism, Joel shared a quick (about 2 minute) testimony. He said, "I was fighting a battle with Satan, and I won. I feel like a new man." Tears filled his eyes.
Ramon also shared his testimony publicly for the first time this Fast Sunday and shared that he "loves coming to teach with the missionaries, because [he] knows it is God who changes the peoples' hearts."
One week from today is transfer calls. We will see what happens! All I know is that Galveston will always have part of my heart. Because of the people and the way it has changed me.
I love being a missionary. But what I loved more is the knowledge that I have of our Savior Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter if I am a full time missionary or not. I will always try to be His disciple. I love and serve and get up every morning and 6:15 and work hard until 10:29 because I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I know they love us too. I know with them, all things are possible.