Actually, it is not for 1000 days. It is just that 3 years times 365 days plus June 27 through June 30, 2008 equals 1098 days, and that is way too cumbersome to convert into a blog headline. Futhermore, our release date will not be determined until May or June of 2011. Therefore, 1000 Days sounded just about right, more or less. Having noted all that, we are humbled and thrilled (Pres. Uchtdorf would refer to the feeling as "joyfully overwhelmed") about having this marvelous opportunity to serve in La Mision Mexico Veracruz.

Con amor,
Pdte. y Hna. Pete and JoElla Hansen

Saturday, November 14, 2009

One Saturday Mom and I drove to Santiago Tuxtla. The elders there had a special interview lined up with a husband and wife, the Gutierrez. You may recall that Santiago is the branch we organized in March. There has not been a family baptized there since we have been around. The baptisms have all been singles. This couple was incredible!!! The elders said that this man would be the branch president someday. There is no doubt. The interviews were powerful and they were baptized that afternoon. They said that they were drawn to the Church because of the Church message and position on the importance of family. Included is a picture of the little alleyway leading to their very tidy and well-appointed home. The door to their home is the white metal on the left past the potato chips and across from the potted plants.

The first foto is of Elder Carter from Bakersfield, CA and Elder Courtright from West Valley City flanking the Familia Gutierrez on their couch. The second is of their baptism day. The members include her brother who is behind Elder Carter. They are members and live in the town of Moctezuma which is a very long two or three hours away. Elder Courtright arrived in the mission field on the Tuesday before the baptisms.

Elder Carter told me that a gospel principle which has really motivated Bro. Gutierrez has been his learning of the priesthood. He is fascinated by all of that. On Thursday night before the baptism, the elders called. They had just left the home and were very sad. Sis. Gutierrez had decided not to be baptized for awhile. She felt that she needed to beg forgiveness from her mother-in-law for leaving Catholicism. That is the mother of her husband who is excited about the priesthood, get it? I don't.

Anyway, I told the elders to get back over there and give her a blessing to fortify her and to teach them about the power of the priesthood. Tell them that you love them and that the most important moment in their life will be to be baptized as a family. They did that right after their next appointment.

They went to the Gutierrez home. They were surprised to see the missionaries again. The elders said that they needed to visit them again. They told them that they loved them. They talked about the temple and about sealing. They taught them about power in the priesthood. They asked if Sis. Gutierrez would like a blessing. She consented. As soon as they closed the blessing and lifted their hands from her head, she said, "Yo voy a bautizarme con mi esposo." "I am going to be baptized with my husband." The elders called and reported weeping.

In his interview, I taught Bro. Gutierrez that he would be able to baptize his children. He was amazed and thrilled by that, and also to learn that soon he could give blessings to his family like the elders did to his wife.

Sis. Gutierrez serves as first conselor in the Relief Society presidency. Bro. Gutierrez has now received the Melchizedek Priesthood and is first counselor in the Santiago Branch Presidency

It is good to be a Mormon.


Clay & Amy Hansen said...

There is a special power and spirit that accompanies priesthood blessings. What a great story!

Linda Doll said...

What a wonderful, well-told
story . . . and you are so right - it is G.R.E.A.T. to be a Mormon!