Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 30: "I Love You Sam"

Hello all,

Another great week as usual. Not a whole lot of time so I wanted to share something that was very touching this week.

We are teaching a man named Manuel who is going to be baptized in two weeks. He is a living testament of the power of the Book of Mormon. About 3 years ago, Manuel was attacked and beaten by two men that tried to rob him. He had luckily escaped in his car somehow, but only to have gone unconscious at the wheel and than crashing shortly after. He was rushed to the hospital and barely survived, but is alive and well today. He has a special type of crutch to help him walk, and his speaking is extremely, however, this is one of the must humble person I have met in my life. We are reading the Book of Mormon with him everyday now, and it has been incredible. When we first started, we would take turns reading a couple verses each person. Manuel could barely finish a sentence. He struggled with each word, but never gave up. Now, after several weeks of visits, Manuel reads to us almost entire chapters needing very little assistance. He is improving at a rate much faster than predicted by his doctors. He claims that the cause is because he asks his Father in Heaven every day and night to help him reach his goal to walk and talk without difficulty, and most importantly to grow closer to him each day. One Sunday, in the middle of testimony meeting, he moved his crutches aside, flopped himself over, got down on his knees, and began to pray. He told me that he knows that God is helping him every day because he is making the right decision. Sometimes, when we are in his house and his is reading to us, I look in his eyes and I feel tears leaving my own. The Lords hand could not be more obvious and beautiful than in the words of the Book of Mormon through the sound of this sweet mans voice. 

There are a lot of words that I wish I could fit in to this message, a lot of emotions that I wish I could get out, but right now I just don't know how to fit it all together. All I want to say for now is that my dear friend Sam holds a very special place in my heart. I spent some of the best years with that kid and he was one of the best friends anyone could ask for, and anyone who had the great privilege of being his friend would know that. He was a fighter to the very end, never showed a moment of weakness, and is a winner in my mind. I am brought to peace to know that Sam is part of the great Plan of Salvation that God has prepared for each one of us, and that he is now in a better place, looking down on each one of us, and being taught the truths that will bring him the kind of happiness that lasts for the eternities.

I love you Sam, and your presence will forever be missed until I see you again. And when that day comes, don't forget to bring your tennis racket :)

I love you all so much. Don´t let a day go by without letting your loved ones know that they are loved. Please pray for Sam and his family.

Elder Bernal

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