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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Companion and Baptism!

Dear Family and Friends, Well this week has had its twists and turns but has brought a lot of new and exciting things. I was informed last night that Elder Treadway, my companion, will be transferred to another area and Elder Rios will be my new companion. Elder Rios is from Columbia and is a fantastic missionary. He is like a really Macho guy and really knowledgeable about the Gospel. He´s also a really good teacher and I am way excited to learn and become better by being with him. I have gotten along with all the Columbians so far from my mission and some of my best friends are from Columbia so I am way happy! It was a great six weeks with Elder Treadway so that was awesome! He's a great guy. We had a wonderful baptism this weekend! Her name is Aldana and she is 14 years old. She was so excited to be baptized and just expressed how much she really got to know God by being with us for such a little time. She said she always knew God existed but until I heard the ´´Plan of Salvation´´ I didn't realize why he really loved us so much or what the big deal was. It was a special baptismal service. Lately as missionaries we have been faced with a lot of opposition. Many anti mormon writings have surfaced recently from ´´friends´´ of people we are teaching. They come and give them ´´literature´´ to help them ´´really´´ know ´´who the mormons are.´´ As comical as the antimormon things are it saddens my soul to think that people could write so many blatent lies about a group or organization that they know nothing about. In essence they are breaking one of the ten commandments, by ´´bearing false witness´´ and giving false testimonies to deceive their own followers. It is a little childish and unchristian to print anything filled with lies, half-truths, false concepts, and misleading statements. I am proud to be a member of the Church where while in Church we learn about the doctrine of the Church and don´t falsely misrepresent another church or belief system. If it really is the truth there is no need to talk bad or falsify things about the ´´opposition´´ because the truth will stand independent. I would advise everyone if they want to know what a Evangelical believes to talk to an Evangelical, what a Catholic believes by talking to a Catholic, or a Muslim, Jew, Atheist etc. We don't attack, we teach. We don't force, we invite. We don't need to spend our time talking about the other churches or groups for two principle reasons. 1) We are not their authorized representatives so what we say is an outsiders opinion and not always a factual belief or statement, and 2) We are confident enough in our message and the witness that God will give to the sincere seeker of truth that we don't have to speak badly of other churches or groups to ´´scare people away from them.´´ I invite everyone that has curiosity to ask people about their beliefs and convictions and trust that they can explain them. We need to be more understanding of beliefs and not be so afraid, because who knows it might be true. I am grateful for Jesus Christ as the master teacher and example. He lived what he taught and invited people to follow him. As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I invite everyone to come and see what Christ is doing even now in His restored Church and to follow His example of life and love. I love you all have a great week! :) Love Elder Passantino

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