Monday, April 13, 2015

Our Last Week in Puerto Rico part two

March 1, 2015 continued

The interviews we did in Ponce were once again wonderful.  The conversion stories and testimonies born continue to help increase my testimony. 

Frankie Ruiz
Juan and Celia Cruz
Hector Nieves
Miguel and Iris Alvarado
Richardo and Millie Sanchez and their son
Luiz Sanchez
Rafael and Carmen Ortiz
Rafael and Carmen Ortiz and their 3 grand-daughters
Saul and Emma Velez
 Saul and Emma Velez and daughter Bethzuida Velez
 Most of the interviews we did in Ponce were in Spanish.  One of the interviews, Wade had a question and stopped and asked in Spanish.  He then asked the question in English. (Wade speaks good Spanish, but we have decided that Puerto Rico Spanish is a little different.)  I had been listening, not really understanding the Spanish, but with Wade's question I tried to figure out what he needed to know.  I answered them and asked if that was what they were saying.  (Most of the people in Puerto Rico can speak some English but they also understand very well)  They said I was right. I know that the Lord was helping me that day.

Another couple we interviewed gave a great story.  When we started the interview the man said he didn't have a great story but his wife did and he turned the time to her.  They had been members of the church for 36 years being baptized in 1979.  They were sealed in the Washington DC Temple in 1986. She told us this was her testimony of the Book of Mormon and that the Book of Mormon had saved her life. In 1995 she was walking to a meeting at the church.  She was walking through the park ad was attached by a man with a knife.  She had a Book of Mormon that she had wrapped as a package to give to someone along with a five dollar bill in her purse.  The man took the book and the money and raised the knife to kill her, but a bright light came over her and he ran away.  Two days after the attack she received a letter from her attacker with the money.  He apologized and said he was going to kill her but their was a bright light.  He said her God loved her.  He kept the Book of Mormon.  He was later baptized and has been to the temple.  In 1999 he came to visit her in Orlando where they had moved.  He gave her a fifty dollor bill.  He told her that he was married, active in the church and had named his little girl Celia Milagro - Milagro is miracle in Spanish.  This story was in the July 1996 Liahonia.  

March 4 2015
We had 2 interviews today.  (I was having a rough time because of the news of my Sister in Law passing away).  Both were wonderful.  One sister had been a member her since she was eight.  She dated her husband who was not a member but because of her and her family's example he joined the church and they were sealed in the temple.

The other sister is currently serving a mission in Puerto Rico.  She is from Puerto Rico so this was a little unusual.  When she joined the church her parents were not happy about it.  When she put her papers into to go on a mission, she was called to another mission in Texas.  Her mother would not let her go.  Arrangements were made for her to serve in  Puerto Rico and her parents were given special permission to visit with her when they wanted to.  When we first arrived, I was surprised when this family came in and went into one of the offices and then this sister missionary joined them in the office.  I was told it was her family.  This young lady has such a strong testimony of the Gospel.  She is a great missionary.  Hopefully her family will feel the Spirit and soften their hearts about the church.  

March 5, 2015

We did our last interview.  A young man who joined the church.  He told us that he loves to go to the Temple in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic.  He goes at least once a year and tries to go a second time as well.  He has been called to be an ordinance worker when he is there.

The members in Puerto Rico are in the Dominican Temple District.  The problem for them is the cost to go there.  They have to have a passport because it isn't a US territory like Puerto Rico and then the airfare is more expensive than going to Florida.  May members will plan a vacation to Florida, New York, New Jersey or other parts of the US and then go to the temple while visiting family.  I can see how it would be so nice for them to have a temple, but so many of the people join the church and then find a job in the states and leave Puerto Rico. Thus the membership isn't where it needs to be to have a temple.  I feel so blessed to have so six temples within 30 minutes of where we live.  It is one of those things we take for granted.  
Magda Inesta
Joralis Rivera
Magdiel Negron

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