This week was absolutely incredible. Difficult, frustrating, but faith-promoting and wonderful.
Let me begin by explaining two of my favorite investigators:
Mariela and Fransisco are two youth in our ward who began taking the discussions a year ago. Mariela is 15 and Fransisco, her brother, is 14. Both have been diligently attending church since the time they first met with the missionaries. Mariela has even left with us for visits a few times. The only problem is, their parents are completely unsupportive and have refused to sign their permission forms. When we go to visit them, they have a hand written sign hanging over the wall in their living room that reads ¨we won’t give up until we are baptized. We WILL follow the example of Jesus Christ.¨ For the past six months, Mariela has been carrying a blank baptismal permission form with her so that her mom can sign it the moment she has a change of heart.
But, despite countless cycles of missionaries fasting, praying, and working with the family things looked pretty hopeless.
But, Hermana H_________ and I set a goal (with a lot of faith) to baptize them this month.
So us, the ward, Mariela and Fransisco, my family back home, and the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir have been praying and praying for a miracle.
And then it happened: Wednesday morning we got a call from a tearful Mariela:
¨Hermanas, do you have time to visit me today? Bishop says I need a interview with your district leader for my baptism.¨
Apparently, Mariela´s mom has a friend at work to got really sick. Mariela and Fransisco set aside some time to pray for her specifically while their mom was there. The woman quickly recovered. This experience was apparently what it took to soften the heart of their mother. She finally signed the papers.
That same day we visited Mariela and Fransisco after mission prep (unfortunately, we had divisions so Hermana H________ missed this). But, we visited them with two other young women in the ward, one of whom is also a convert. It was easily the coolest lesson of my life. We talked about what it means to ¨take the name of the Lord upon you.¨ It basically turned into a testimony meeting between Mariela, Fransisco, the young women in the ward, and the missionaries.
The best part? The end of the lesson when I got to say:
¨Mariela, you have been waiting for this for a long time.... Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone with the proper authority of God on the 15th of June?¨ I was crying so hard I could barely stumble through it. But she choked out a
¨And Fransisco, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone with the proper authority of God on the 22 of June?¨ (he wants to wait for his birthday)
Easily the greatest moment of my whole mission up to this point. Mariela and Fransisco are getting baptized people!!! What a miracle! How cool is it that God answered everyone´s prayers that Mariela and Fransisco would be baptized through the prayers of Mariela and Fransisco? Prayer works people.
When we pray we are literally talking to God, and He listens. He answers us.
Even if it takes a year.
Thank you EVERYONE who prayed. Mariela got all choked up when I told her the whole choir was praying for her. Thank you for that dad. Please pass on my thanks to the choir.
Miracles happen every single day when we look for them.
I love you all so much. I love my calling. I love these people.
Funny moment of the week:
While teaching about the first vision, I was talking to a little family about why Joseph Smith needed to ask God which church was true.
¨¿Quien sabe todo?¨ (who knows everything?)
Little boy: ¨MI MAMA!¨
Love you all! Thanks for everything!!! Happy fathers day, Dad.
Until next week (when we will have pictures of the miracle baptism!)