January 12, 2015
So this week had a lot of ups and downs. We had a baptism coming up and that turned into a challenge. Felicita was was receiving some false information about the church from her daughter. During the interview for baptism, our District Leader, Elder Sonntag, asked her to:
1. Pray to see if the church was true.
2. Pray to see if she should get baptized.
After each individual prayer she came up in tears and knew what she had to do. But then, after so many witnesses of the truth, she still decided not to get baptized. She denied her answer from God.
We are teaching someone else named Jasmine. She is INCREDIBLE. She’s already read a ton of the book of mormon in the 2 weeks of teaching her, and 2 days ago told us “there is no doubt in my mind I’m going to get baptized and my son Robert will too. All we have to do is wait for our date on the 25.” She is a single mom who got left by her husband with 4 boys, ages 8,7,3,1. She’s a busy lady to say the least. We did divisions in the morning to make sure everyone got to church. We went to pick her up for church, but she wasn’t ready. I was like “…church starts in 15 minutes, you guys ready?” and she said “No, I don’t think I can go today. I think I need to take my son to the doctor.” She is the best investigator I’ve ever taught. We usually just invite her to do something and she does it. She’s even called us in the night because she finished her chapter and wanted another one. So I figured “Well, if she’s not going to church she must have a good reason. I trust her.” But then I thought again, “WAIT NO! Don’t do that.” Finally after a little thought I said “Well, Jasmine you need to go to church. I think your son will feel better.” and without hesitation she looked at me and said “Okay. I’ll go put his pants on and well leave in 2 minutes.”
And that got me thinking: In life, are we a Felicita, or are we Jasmine? Are we going to receive strong answers to take baby steps in our progression here on earth, and half the time not even take them after such witnesses? Or, are we going to trust, act, and act IMMEDIATELY? I suggest we all be like Jasmine. Act in faith and act immediately. Don’t doubt, and don’t let the world influence you. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR NOT ENDURING TO THE END.
But I want you all to think if you are a Jasmine or a Felicita. Are you faulting in your spiritual progression because you are weighing a big answer? Are you affected by the world? Or will you drop everything, get your family ready, and head out to fulfill the commandments of the Lord?
I love you all tons! Elder Bowers and I are doing good. I feel exhausted physically and mentally and spiritually every day. I’d say its a good thing. Because I’m happy. The Lord has blessed us so much, like giving us this opportunity to teach his mighty sons and daughters. Do whatever you can to help the missionaries do the same, wherever you live.
January 19, 2015
This week we baptized a mom named Bertha and her son Juan after a long time teaching them. They are a pretty awesome little family. The second after I baptized Bertha, I went to the bathroom to change and was just filled with ecstatic joy and I yelled “WE FINALLY BAPTIZED BERTHA!!!!” I’m actually getting excited all over again as I’m writing this. Then I laughed at myself, and good thing that burst of joy came out in English because I’m sure someone heard it.
Elder Bowers and I butted heads a bit this week, but we are okay and we figured out how to help each other out and make a good team with our polar opposite personalities. Right after the baptism one of our investigators invited us to his house because he killed two iguanas. He was excited and so was I.
Im loving it out here!! We are having such a good time and the fruits of our labors are finally coming around!
January 26, 2015
Wow, so much has happened this week. WE FINALLY BAPTIZED JAZMIN!! We’ve technically only been teaching her for 3 weeks because we found her on Sunday and took her to church right away, but it’s felt like forever because she knew the church was true and was ready to be baptized after 2 days of teaching. We did literally nothing to prepare her. She was already prepared.
This week we had stake conference. We had a Seventy come down and talk to us named Elder Villalobos. His talk was mind blowing. I learned so much and all I wanted to do was repent and work harder, so I know I felt the spirit. Because we had conference, we got together and did one super baptism as a zone, with 8 people. But WOW it was super cool!!!
The president came down for the baptism and for the conference. Attached is one of the coolest pictures of my mission. President came and hopped in the picture and grabbed Jazmins son, Roberto, and was like “Hey buddy! How old are you? Whats your name?” “Roberto, I have 8 years” and put his arm around him and took a picture with all of us. It was so cool!!
Speaking of Jazmin and Roberto, they took us out to their ranch last Monday and we met their family. Some of them were rather hostile at first, but all four of us (me, Elder Bowers, Elder Sonntag, and Elder Hoffman) are personable guys. After a couple jokes that didn’t receive any laughs, and a little service, we all got to be great friends! I’m also really excited because we are teaching this man named Manuel. He’s 30 years old and he has a group of friends. And this group of friends have a kind of gang like mentality and love to hunt iguanas. Needless to say, we get along great. But the best part is that Manuel is their leader. He makes them come to church. Well, not all 30 yet. Only 4 so far. We are getting the whole gang for a lesson tonight. I’m a little nervous. They’re all super funny though. During a lesson about the Plan of Salvation, Manuel called his buddy and was like “Hey, repent. Put yourself to pray and repent for your sins. I wanna see you in the celestial kingdom…………no don’t be an idiot just do it. I’ll explain later.” It was SO FUNNY! But yeah, its been a great week!!