Hola mi dear family!!
So this week was just amazing. There are so many miracles.
So yesterday was the baptism of our investigador, Luis!!!!! You have no clue how happy I was! We have been working so hard with him and the thing is that he is just so old that I was not sure if he was actually going to be able to do it. Seriously. Like I`ve told you guys he's this little raisin of an old man. But he is such a trooper and he did it!!! I`ll get to more of the baptism in a second.....
So Saturday night at 8 o'clock we run into our lider misional (ward mission leader) in the street who informs us that we will be speaking the next day in Sacrament. So I'm not going to lie, I was annoyed about that. Like thanks for the notice! But we were going to be talking about faith so that made it a little better since it's an easy topic. But then it was great because Sunday came around and we started late and then they had all the kids that graduated seminary come up to be recognized in front of the branch to receive their certificates. There were only 3 kids, but then they asked for each of them to share their testimony of what they learned at seminary. So we were like awesome, less time for us to talk! And then afterward they asked the two teachers of seminary to come up and share their testimonies! It was such a relief because after all that there was like 15 minutes left for me, my comp, and our lider misional to speak. So I honestly just stood up, shared a personal experience and bore my testimony about how faith is action and when we act, God will bless us. I honestly didn't read one thing I had written and I think it went way better than if I would have read it since I wrote it super fast the night before. Everyone liked the experience and were talking about it all day. So I felt like that was a huge tender mercy from my Father in Heaven!
Also our other investigadora, Gabriela came to church too! So now she can be baptized whatever day. The problem is that she just can't quit smoking. She wants to so bad and will go a day without it but then the next day she just can't resist it. Yesterday she got a priesthood blessing which was just beautiful, to give her the strength to resist the temptation. When we passed by her house later that night to talk about a baptism date with her, she was so cute, she pulled us aside and was like Hermanas! Today after church I tried to smoke a cigarette. I pulled it out and lit it but I just couldn't smoke it. I don't know what it is, but it's like my shoulders get really heavy and I just can't smoke it! So then a little later I tried it again, I lit it and everything and the same thing happened! I was like see it's the blessing! It's so amazing. Priesthood power is so real and so powerful! And now she has an even stronger testimony of the church which hopefully will motivate her even more to be baptized. We really want her to be baptized before the end of the month. I`m so grateful for priesthood power and faith and how those work together to help us overcome temptations in our lives so we can continue progressing and drawing ourselves closer to Christ. What a miracle.
Also yesterday after church we were doing contacts to find new investigadores. We shouted at this one house and this lady and her mom came out. And to be honest it started off as just a terrible contact. They tell us they don't want anything to do with religion. That God is just a bad thing. That they've heard a lot of all the different religions and just none of it is good. So I asked her if she'd ever read the Book of Mormon and she was like well that book no, but I've read all the rest and it's all just the same thing. And I was like, no, this is different from all the rest. But she continued to be very stubborn and hard hearted and was just talking about how religion doesn't exist. That we're here and then we die and there's no purpose to anything. But we kept at her and honestly I don't even remember what we said but little by little she started softening. I think it was when they noticed our shoes. Both our shoes are very worn and dusty.... So we kept talking. She'd ask us questions, we'd respond and testify. She would tell us how Jesus Christ was just a man, not the Son of God. We'd share our testimonies that for real He is the Son of God and He died for us. And the contact turned into a 45 minute conversation with at the end she accepted a Book of Mormon and said that she would read it and was going to pray about it. It was crazy. We walked away from that going oh my gosh that was totally just lead by the spirit. It was unreal how a contact with the most sour lady could turn into an awesome contact. I know that if she really does read and really does pray she'll understand why our shoes are so worn and dusty. Why we walk so much to share the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will listen. She will understand that really there is hope in a dark world. That they have a Savior.
But the very best part of the week was Luis` baptism. So I just love this little yoda. He is so old but he still has his sense of humor and is always cracking jokes. It's so funny because the jokes just go right over my head I think. It's like old man Chilean humor, but I just laugh because he makes himself laugh and his whole little body will just shake with laugher and his smile just fills his face. When we talk about things his response to everything is ¨lógico!¨ haha He's truly a joyful little fellow. So, he came to church Sunday and usually he just stays for the Sacrament because it's hard for him to sit in the seats for so long. It really hurts his back. But yesterday he had to stay for the whole thing since we had to wait for church to end to have his baptism. His back was really hurting him so I was just praying all day that he could make it and he did. Seeing him all in white was the cutest thing. You could tell he really was happy, even though he was in a lot of pain. When they pulled back the doors and we saw him in the water, my heart just about jumped out of my chest with love for that man. He is so small. So fragile. And yet he did it. He went under and came back up. I was so impressed with him. I was just thinking how many people would use the excuse that they're too old or too weak to be baptized or come to church or do the things that we should do. But him, despite all the pain and everything did it. Afterward when one of the counselors was giving the welcome to the branch talk, Luis interrupted him and was like I just have to say something.... He was like I can't lie. I've been feeling really lonely (he lives alone and doesn't have any family). and then these 2 girls came and started visiting me and I felt like I had friends again. He was crying at this point which just made me start crying. I could really see how much his baptism meant to him, even at 85 years. Then he said, now I just feel like I have a family again here in the church and he was just like thank you. I just could feel the spirit so strong in that little room with him. The church really has changed this man's life in every way possible. I think many times, probably almost all the time, I really never realized what a grand blessing I've always had in my life with the church. It's something that has always just been part of my life so I've never had to think of what it would be like to not have the church. But to see people, like Luis, crying because they are so grateful to have the church and to be a member and to be baptized and to know God's plan, I really realized that we are just so darn blessed. I'm so grateful for people like him that show me what I really have. It's a treasure beyond price.
I love the gospel and I know it's real. If it wasn't, I don't think Luis would have dealt with all the pains to be baptized. He's 85 years old. But he did it because he has felt the spirit tell him that it's real and this is what he needs to do. I love the gospel and I'm so grateful to be a missionary and to meet and know so many wonderful Christ like examples. After seeing Luis, I don't think I can rightly use any excuse to not do something that we're asked to do, ever again. There's just not room for excuses when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ never used excuses. Neither did Luis. And, hopefully from here on out, neither will I. I love this gospel. It`s true. ¡Lógico!
Con todo el amor en mi corazón,
PS 10 days until Christmas!!!!
|My Companion, Luis, Me|
|Another pic of us before Luis' baptism|
|Us again, but also the branch counselor|
|Another pic of us|
|Right before Luis' baptism|
|Chilean kitty cat!|
|More Chilean Kitty cats!!!!|