How great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started [this year] that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?
2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?
3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren…were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.
4 Behold,  of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God.
5 Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.
11 I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
13 Behold, how many… of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice?
14 Yea, we have reason to praise him forever, for he is the Most High God, and has loosed our brethren from the chains of hell.
23 Now do ye remember, my brethren, that we said unto our brethren [back home], we go up to the land of [Spain], to preach unto our brethren… and they laughed us to scorn?
24 For they said unto us: Do ye suppose that ye can bring the [people of Spain] to the knowledge of the truth? Do ye suppose that ye can convince the [people of Spain] of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers, as stiffnecked a people as they are…? Now my brethren, ye remember that this was their language.
26 But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the [mission field] …with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.
27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren… and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have … traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.
29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills...
30 …and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.
31 Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.
35 Now have we not reason to rejoice?
When we began the year, we set a goal to help bring 450 souls into the Kingdom during 2011. During the early months of the year, it seemed virtually impossible, but as we approached the last few months we all felt like the Lord had prepared these people. During the last 50 days, one companionship of missionaries fasted each day and all missionaries prayed daily that the Lord would lead us to these prepared people.
By the end of the last Sunday of the year (Christmas Day), we had seen 448 people baptized and confirmed during the year! And then, as if to remind us whose work this is, a few more miracles took place this week. A young girl in a small branch, whose mother is an active member but whose father had never allowed his daughter to be baptized, had a sudden change of heart and agreed to let his daughter be baptized on Wednesday night if she could be confirmed that same night (as he refused to attend Church on Sunday when the confirmation would normally take place). On Thursday morning, the membership secretary, who had been working on a missing membership record of a convert from early in the year, received the baptism record for this convert, bringing the total to 450. And on Thursday night, another baptism and confirmation, due to special circumstances, took place in Palma. It has been a year of miracles!
|Elders Allphin and Bennington with Juan and Nancy. |
This great couple, 2 of 451 converts this year, were baptized in November.
Their 12-year old is preparing to be baptized on January 7th.