April 21, 2014
Okay so this past Saturday we had a miracle baptism! And the reason I say miracle, is the investigator who got baptized was one of those ‘eternal investigators’ who had a million baptism dates that kept falling through because she never felt ready. Well, this week she finally decided to no longer procrastinate her day of salvation (like in the words of the ever so wise Alma) and is officially a member! I’m so glad you guys have made a goal to read the Book of Mormon everyday because it was the Book of Mormon that finally got Mary (our investigator) into the baptismal waters. One of the things my companion and I had been slacking on with her was reading from the Book of Mormon. She was an avid Bible reader but it was obvious that she didn’t read from the BOM because she still had doubts about the need for ‘dos evangelios’ and Joseph Smith. Anyway, this past Tuesday we read all of 2 Nephi 31 with her, and afterwards she was like ‘I’m ready’. It was such a huge testimony builder for me on the Book of Mormon. I’m pretty sure that if we hadn’t done that, she probably would still be an investigator.
So every third Sunday in our ward (I’m not sure if it’s the same everywher) the theme in sacrament meeting is about missionary work. And so for this month, the bishop asked for all four of the full-time serving missionaries to speak. We each decided to speak on one chapter of Preach My Gospel, because during stake conference, Presidente Mejorada and the stake president put a goal that the entire stake should read Preach My Gospel by the next conference. Anyway, the chapter I chose was chapter 5: the role of the Book of Mormon. I like to think that I did a pretty good job, especially considering I only went over by one minute (we were each given five) and everyone was telling me that my Spanish was amazing (though I think the Spirit had a lot to do with that). I was the only one who actually spoke on my subject however, cuz all of the other missionaries ‘regaño’ all of the members for not supporting us. One of the Elders read ‘Luke 12:47’ and pretty much called all of the members out because they all know that President Monson has called for the hastening of missionary work and that members and missionaries had to work together, and the members weren’t doing their part. It was pretty bold of him, but also really needed. My favorite part though, was when a recent convert (Hermano Enrique) got up to bear his testimony about missionary work (he has a son serving in Chile and also he referred us to Israel and Rocio, the couple who got baptized a month ago – they were my first baptisms) and called everyone out for not giving referrals and not following the prophet. It was pretty great, haha.
It was funny to see all the different reactions of the members afterwards. Many avoided the elders but also there were many who came up to us and began to give us all these different kinds of references and how they were going to give a Book of Mormon to their friends, and yada yada. I can’t even begin to stress the importance of members and missionaries working together. The Vicuña family, our strongest investigators, were a reference from one of the members – same thing goes for Israel and Rocio. Yeah there are many strong converts that were found through missionaries’ own efforts, but it’s so much more effective if the members are involved.
I think we were all feeling a little deflated though, because this past week was Semana Santa and the town was deserted! Friday and Saturday were miserable because we couldn’t find anyone! So I think that’s why all of us missionaries were super direct during our talks because we were just tired of not having anything to do. Hopefully, everything will go back to normal within these next two weeks (this week is still vacation for many students, so it won’t be completely 100%). I felt really bad for Elder Acevedo, the new missionary who came in Tuesday. His first week had to be Semana Santa and he was miserable. He’s from California but his parents are from Queretaro – he told me that no one believed him when he got his call, but how crazy is that? Getting sent to the mission where his parents are from. Anyway, he’s pretty cool but yeah, Semana Santa is definitely the worst week to come into the field, haha. Though I’m super happy to have another gringo (well, chicano, technically) in my area, because now we can quote Nacho Libre, haha!
And that’s pretty much it as far as this week goes. I’m glad you all are doing well and happy late 20th anniversary to Mom and Dad! I had it noted on my calendar but forgot to write to you about it last week.