Sunday, September 7, 2014

august 26th

I'm going to tell you a story that started a couple weeks ago, while Sister Biancardi was still here.  One day at church we received a referral from a member in the ward, to go visit her less active family members that had just moved into the area.  We swung by the house over the next week or so, but they were never home, and we kinda put the family on the back burner.
Then the weekend before Sister B left, we were going around inviting people to the temple activity and we stopped by the G family.  And while they weren't planning on being in town, Hna G told us to go visit her less active family who just moved into the area... who happens to be the same family we had tried to visit earlier (everyone in the ward is related to each other...).  Well, since we had already tried and they weren't home we weren't real motivated to swing by their house again... but we said we would.  And then a couple hours later, we received a call from Hno G (who works out of town), asking us to visit his less active sister-in-law and her kids.  So after receiving this referral twice in one day, we decided we needed to go by, and they were home!  So we taught a quick lesson and set up a return appointment.
They weren't there for the return appointment, but we kept trying by and finally one day, we had a lesson cancel and the member out helping us was an aunt to this family, so we swung by, taught them and invited the youngest to be baptized on August 30th and she said yes!  Then due to miscommunications, out next appointment was cancelled and we didn't seen them for a whole week.  We had the opportunity of seeing them Sunday and the 10 year old (P) still wanted to be baptized. 
Well, then the following Monday, during planning we realized that if she wanted to be baptized the 30th we needed to teacher her everything, every day of the week.  So we swung by to teach, but she was busy.  And then on Tuesday (last week) her mom was talking to us and she told us that we'd have to postpone P's baptism because her uncle (who was going to baptize her) wasn't going to be in town.  So that was sad, but understandable.
Thursday we had an appointment with them, to continue helping her prepare for her baptism (with no date at this point in time) and about 2 hours before the mom calls.  I thought she was going to cancel and we were in a lesson at the time, so I told my companion not to answer.  Then we called her back afterwards and she tells us that P wants to be baptized THIS Saturday because her uncle will be in town.  So that day, instead of teaching 2 commandments like we were planning to, we taught them all.  And then on Friday, we taught all of the other lessons, she had her baptismal interview and was all set for Saturday.  The only baptismal clothes that would fit, was a really big, wrinkled, stained dress.  But thanks to bleach, borax and some sewing skills (thanks MOM!)  we were able to clean the dress and hem it up to fit, and it looked better than new!
And on Saturday she was BAPTIZED.  It was so beautiful and spiritual and she's so cute!  She wanted to be baptized because she knows that it's good, when she prayed she received and answer and she's happy at church.  It's amazing to see the beginning of someone's journey as they prepare to continue living the gospel standards.  And it's an answer to my prayers to see a miracle and know that God truly is a God of Miracles and that he loves us, answers our prayers and knows best how to help us progress. 
And now, some other things that happened this week
-Sunday morning I woke up at 2:30 and rolled over looking at Hna Espinoza- listening to her talk about the Holy Ghost.  The conversation pretty much went like this:
"Hna what are you doing?"
- "Role playing"
It's 2:30 in the morning... go back to bed"
Neither of us were really coherent to what was going on, what language was being spoke or really what happened.  But we know that she was role playing in her sleep, and was confused why I wasn't responding to anything she had said.
-we got back in contact with a couple MIA investigators 
-we helped the Relief Society organized school bags for some orphans in Juarez... i wish we could have been allowed to cross over to deliver the bags... but it was out of Zone, not to mention out of the mission and the country

And really, that was pretty much it.  Other than the miracle baptism, our week was slow... which might have been good because we were running around Thursday, Friday and Saturday to get everything ready.  Miracles exist today and sometimes we struggle to see them.  That was something I struggled with last week and I didn't really understand why.  Why we had so many wonderful people, and why we saw so many little miracles, but nothing seem to be happening, no one seemed to be progressing.  And I struggled trying to figure out why.  Then we had an amazing district meeting Friday, in which we ended listening to a clip from Elder Holland's talk, "Missionary Work and the Atonement."
I love what Elder Holland says "Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it gobetter? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust inmiracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all dayand all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced thatmissionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this isthe truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to methat missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take atleast a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulnessis. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul."  It was exactly what I needed to hear, and it helped me put more into perspective the trials and feelings I was having, and how Christ must have felt to do so many miracles and have so many people not believe.

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