A Full Heart

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Terricito with Sisters Kastner, Sherwood and I! Isn’t he adorable??

Hi everyone,

Today I have a very full heart, for a couple of reasons.

On Sunday, Terry Jr (or Terricito), the nine-year-old son of a less-active family, was baptized and confirmed. It’s the family from Venezuela who gave us those yummy ayacas. πŸ™‚ Terricito was just glowing, and his family was too. πŸ™‚ The baptism and confirmation ordinances were performed in Spanish, and it was very special. I played the piano, and Sister Sherwood and Terricito’s older sister sang “Me Encanta El Arcoiris” (I Like to Look for Rainbows) in Spanish. πŸ™‚ Sister Sherwood and I also gave the talk on the Holy Ghost, and we talked about how he is our contant companion and our best friend and helps us be happy and safe in our lives:) Right before the baptismal ordinance, we walked into the room where the font was, and Terricito’s mom was beaming from ear to ear and whispered to me, “I’m so happy!”

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With Terricito’sΒ amazing sister!

When Terricito was confirmed, Sister Sherwood and I listened hard and took notes, trying to translate from Spanish to English. Sister Sherwood’s mom is actually from Mexico, so she understands Spanish really well. When we compared notes, we had gotten the same things, so that makes me feel good about my Spanish-speaking abilities:) Terricito’s dad doesn’t speak Spanish, so we gave him the notes and it was really cool. πŸ™‚

The other big news is that transfers are here and I’m leaving Strasburg. I wish I could stay here forever, but I’ve been here for four and a half months and it’s time to move on. I have truly grown to love the people here, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve them and help them come closer to our Savior. It’s been strange for the past few days, teaching people and knowing it’s the last time. But Sister Sherwood is staying and I know that she will take very good care of them!

Last night we visited Terricito’s family one more time, and it was so special to talk to them about how the baptism was just the beginning, and they can keep growing and keep progressing in the gospel. Sister Sherwood and I learned how to pray in Spanish as a surprise for them, and as I said the closing prayer I really felt the Spirit and how much Heavenly Father loves this family and all of us. All of the people I’ve been teaching are just at the beginning of their journeys back home to Heavenly Father, and I’m glad I was able to be a part of it. But I know that Heavenly Father will continue to place people in their paths to help them along the way. πŸ™‚

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The mother and daughter in Strasburg! They came to the baptism and loved it! πŸ™‚

An eight-year-old boy was baptized on Saturday too, and his grandpa gave the Holy Ghost talk and gave the boy a pencil and told him to try to break it. It was easy to break. The grandpa told him that one pencil was like his baptism. But then he gave him another pencil that represented receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and another one that represented receiving the priesthood, and another one that represented going to the temple, and being sealed, and having a family, and praying, and reading the scriptures, and going to church, and he just kept listing things off and giving him more pencils. And when the boy had a big handful of them, his grandpa told him to try to break them all together. He couldn’t. His grandpa said that when we do the things that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have asked us to, when we keep growing and keep progressing in the gospel, we become spiritually strong. And then, even when adversity comes, we can’t be broken.

I love that object lesson. πŸ™‚ All of us are progressing in the gospel. It doesn’t matter where we are or how many pencils we have, just that we’re moving forward. Because when we’re moving forward, we’re becoming spiritually strong. We’re becoming the people we came to earth to become, the people Heavenly Father knows we can become. And He will be with us every step of the way. πŸ™‚P1010996

I’ve been thinking about how I can keep progressing. I challenge all of you to think about how you can progress, too!

Thank you for your love and support. I love you all!

Love,
Sister Stratford

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