Well, another week here in Cofradía. We are already beginning the last week of this change...puchiga this change has gone by soooo fast. We are always working, always doing divisions, always having meetings, and always having fun. Life´s good. Hit the "6 months to go" mark (5 months and 25 days to be exact now) and I think President Uchtdorf put in a special picture just for me in this month´s Liahona (see attached fotos).
First things first, we had a baptism! Woohoohooo! M. She had received the missionaries earlier this year but stopped because she had church responsibilities in a different religous sect. The missionaries before I came, however, worked with the daughter and son-in-law and they got baptized and are super awesome converts which helped her out in the conversion process. When I got her, we started working more with her, she learned more, and took a leap of faith as she asked God if these things are true and started reading el Libro de Mormón. After having the faith necessary, she handed over her church group held in her house and her other church responsibilities. She bore a powerful testimony after her baptism. She has a tablet with the Gospel Library App and is literally a sponge right now as she absorbs everything we teach her and everything she reads. I had the privilege to baptize her. We wanted the son-in-law A to do it but she kept saying no. She said that what I had said one lesson impacted her. Basically, not knowing her very well, I said "M, we have come with a goal for your baptism, and we believe a great day for your servicio baptismal will be the 13th of June. Will you prepare yourself to be baptized that day." To me it felt like just another compromiso, but it impacted her and she began to think and ponder more and more, began to read more and more, etc. Sometimes we say things that really influence other people without knowing. Jeffrey R. Holland once said that we as missionaries have to be like the angel who called out Alma hijo to repentance, or in other words, we have to astonish people as if our words were like thunder. He added, "it may not be thunder to you, but it will be thunder to them" ... I agree with this statement.
With that said, sometimes we can have the spirit and have an awesome lesson but people still have their agency. Last Saturday, we contacted a L and taught a quick Como Comezar Enseñar and talked about the Restoration. We came back this Saturday to teach his family. He has family members in San Jorge who are members and told us he has had contact with the Elders in the past. He and his wife M are firmly active in another church and said in both lessons "ya me bauticé" noting that they had no intentions to change. This Saturday we taught one of the top 10 lesson 1´s I have had in the mission. The spirit was present, there were no distractions, and they understood the doctrinal layout of our message. We asked the Luis if he could sum up what we taught and he clearly understood what we wanted, but was not interested in changing or even asking God if the things were true. The wife had again said "ya me bauticé" and started saying that every one of us is our own church and how she wanted to be a prophet. It´s as if a flip had been switched and she forgot the principles we taught with the spirit present. We invited them to read the Book of Mormon and pray and we finished the lesson. At the end, L showed us a foto of him with the Elderes 15 years ago. They looked like good friends as the three were on the couch together, but he had never made the decision to get baptized. We are going to stop by to teach from time to time, but despite the spirit, a quality lesson, agency always takes precedence. They´ll obtain for themselves their own testimony later down the line.
It rained a bunch this week and down in las colonias San Juan Bosco and Rancho, the dirt streets were flooded and we were stuck. In order to get to the lesson, we had to cross the waters that were likely contaminated with pollution from up high in the city of Cofradía, but we had a lesson and there was no other way. "A dónde me mandes, iré" we sang as we crossed the flooded street. Good times.
Well, other lessons, other experiences. I`ve been writing more in my journal (more consistent) so I don´t have to worry too much. I´ll send some fotos. CHEQUE!!!
Cofradía 1, Zona Cofradía 6/8/15 - 6/15/15