Monday, August 3, 2015

Bonus Post: news article on Elder Hernandez (last companion) with pictures!

This entire article originally appears on in Spanish.  McKay forwarded a letter that included an English translation provided below:  It's always fun to see pictures of McKay that we haven't seen before!

From Pastor to Elder
Posted By Isaac Angulo on July 21, 2015 |17 comments

Elder Hernandez serving in Korea

My name is Carlos  Gilberto Hernandez Elvir, 9 months ago I started to serve my full-time mission: Korea Daejeon Mission.

Let me share with you a little about me, I've been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two years and my conversion story is quite simple and complicated at the same time.

From childhood I attended another Christian church, I grew up with Christian principles and good moral values as a child of God, and I understood that the family is the most important.

When I was 14 years old my parents had differences in their relationship until it ended in divorce. My mom has always been a working woman. Like all loving mothers, she fought all her life for us. She was the woman of faith our family needed. My Mother had to deal with my rebellion, and even I, the eldest of my brothers, never support my mother as I should have.

The residents of my neighborhood by the appreciation and affection that had for me wanted me to correct my life and follow the path of Heavenly Father. And even though they were not members, they encouraged me to listen to the missionaries. At that stage of my life, I went to study with a scholarship to another place in my country. In my absence my mother met the missionaries. She then listened and accepted the gospel. Soon after, my Mother and siblings received baptism.

When I returned to my home, my mom and siblings to me were... members of an unknown church. I looked at my brother getting ready to go to seminary and at that time I did not understand why he had to get up so early. In addition, at home my mom and sister were constantly singing hymns. Over time the continual exposure to these conditions, as one could imagine, created a new desire for me to serve God. As a result I started going to my old church. In my old church everything seemed fine until a May 12, 2013 (Mother's Day in Honduras). I was in my church and I was assigned to speak to those in attendance.  When I finished the ceremony, I look to all the families and children with their mothers and to me they looked very happy. I wanted the same thing in my life... but my family was Mormon.

It was at that time I remembered a prayer I made to the Lord in my childhood at that christian church, I prayed "Father, if you allow me to go to church with my family I promise I will serve thee all my life, Amen". 

That thought penetrated my heart so strong that one Sunday when I was in my mother's house, and she was a little sick. I asked if she was still going to her church because it was already 11:20 am. My Mother explained that the church was having its chapel remodeled and so they had to go at 1:00 pm at the Stake Center. After an hour she said goodbye and I said, "Wait for me, do you want me to accompany you?" she thought I was joking but I said that I wanted to attend the church with her. But because I did not want to clash in the Mormon church, I said she just had to wait a few minutes for me to get dressed into a white shirt.

We arrived at 1:47 pm and entered the chapel. I remember hearing "In the name of Jesus Christ, amen" and I remember saying to myself "This was very fast, Mormons are weird" at the end of the prayer I remember my mom quickly began to introduce members to me. I remember the smile and the joy that she had to see her three children in the Church. To my mind came the thought that always had in my other church, "This is what I want for my life , To be with my family".

No speech struck me, no hymn inspired me, and no prayer lead me to action. It was the joy, the joy of my mother. When I saw my mother happy I knew this gospel was true. I knew it was true because I would be with my family.

After listening to the missionaries for two weeks (Elder Oveson and Elder Martinez my 2 angels) We scheduled my baptismal date for July 6, 2013.

Since then I have progressed and I have had many different callings and assignments in the church. Sometimes I remember my desire to be a Pastor and in many ways the Lord has allowed me to guide and help his sheep. For example I am now serving a full-time mission. I started October 14, 2014. I am finding joy in serving others and preaching the fullness of the everlasting Gospel. The same gospel that changed the the life of my mother, siblings and me. Whenever I teach I try to teach with the same love the missionaries did to me and my family. Ever day I try to smile so that people can see the joy that this restored Gospel produces.

Elder Hernandez in Korea

I decided to give two years of my life to the Lord, and still I think this is a short time. Even when people criticize the church and call it a "cult" or false doctrine, I know I'm ready to give my 110% for my love to Heavenly Father. Even though I am weak as man and could easily give up, I know that Heavenly Father would never surrender for me. He loves us, and I testify that He lives and loves families. I know this because He restored my family, my home.

Elder Hernandez in Korea

Missionary work is the work of Heavenly Father, He loves us and wants us to remember that when we are ready to give our 110% He will make the people around us recognize that what we have in our lives is called " THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST "and if we decide to never give up, the Lord will give us the strength we need to face adversity.

This I testify with love and humility in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen