Monday, January 11, 2016

"It's a Small World After All" - Week 79

January 11th, 2016

     About a month ago, Elder Gaitan and I were walking one night on the side of a fairly busy road in our area. Very unexpectedly, someone from a motorcycle passing by shouted out to us, "Elderes! Elderes!" Surely he must be a member, we thought. Nobody calls us Elder unless they're a member. Well, he drove on over to us, and began to explain his story. His wife and one of his daughters are members. Four years ago they were contacted by missionaries, taught as a family, married as a couple in court of law, and his wife was baptized. He wasn't quite "into that" at the time, and was never baptized. Soon after the baptism of his wife, she became inactive without the support of her husband.

     Four years later, he decides that he's done with the street life, and wants to preserve his family before he loses it. His name is Felix Ramos, and his wife's is Yirenny. They have three children, one of which is now 11 years old, and eligible for baptism. They're an absolutely beautiful family. That night on the side of the street, he told us that he wanted to find the "Elderes" again, but had no idea how to come in contact with them, so he prayed for a sign from God, and God responded. We were shocked. That almost never happens in the mission. Now is his time, when back then, it simply wasn't. We've been visiting them frequently, and Felix and his daughter Natalia will be baptized the 30th of this month. Now that's a miracle.

     As though it weren't enough with this "family of gold", yesterday they all showed up to church for the first time in almost four years. But someone else arrived as well. Perhaps its just a small world because this is a relatively small island, and the Church is still young in the DR... or perhaps fate is a concept much more intertwined than we may think. One of the missionaries that contacted, taught and baptized the Ramos family four years ago is none other than my dear friend and former MTC teacher Alwin Nuñez, who apparently served in my current area during his mission. What was planted long ago, will be reaped for more to sow.

     My friends, there is no such thing as coincidence. The Lord is ever mindful of His Children, and He loves us enough to have provided His Son, Jesus Christ, to make this great work possible. I love the mission. I love these people. I love this gospel. And I love my God.

Much love,
Elder Brady

Jose Rodriguez, me, and Alwin Nuñez

* This last week I was delighted to receive a message from a family in the DR. Elder Brady and Elder Gaitan were able to help her prepare flowers for her daughters marriage just days before she and her husband left to serve as the only missionaries currently serving in Cuba. Looks like I found my new "floral assistant"! :)