Well, good news! Araceli was baptized and confirmed over the weekend! One recent convert in the ward, Ruben, baptized her.But not without difficulties. The only fear that Araceli had about baptism was cold water, so as irony would have it, the hot water in the church stopped working. The water heater worked but hot water didn´t come out for some reason still unknown to me. So we ended up draining the water from the water heater into buckets and filling up the batismal font, but even after all that the water still wasn´t warm, so we baptized her in luke-warm water.
then the next day, one of the members went to pick her up for church in his car, but his car broke down, and they ended up walking to church. They got their just before sacrament meeting ended, just in time to be confirmed! It wasn´t easy but every thing came out alright. Every time their is a baptism, something goes wrong for some reason, there is always opposition. Araceli has always been a great investigator and she is going to be a strong member of the Church.
Also, we have been teaching a family in the ward that haven´t been very active. Every time we have invited them to church they have had some sort of excuse for why they couldn´t go. One day we taught them about the temple and being sealed for time and all eternity as a family, and they had a list of reasons why they couldn´t go to the temply. Then we gave the father, Aaron, the asignment to study and teach a family home evening on the Proclamation to the World, which teaches all about families. When we went back a few days later for the familiy home evening, he had completely change. He said that he had read the article, and something clicked in his head or something, but he said that he is determined now to go to the temple and be sealed to his family. And when we invited him to church he didn´t give any excuses! Through our personal studies, the Lord can enlighten our mind and give us more understanding!
And now to answer some of Dad´s questions:
1) which story in the Book of Mormon is most meaningful to you right now (if any) and why?
-Right now, I´d say the story of Ammon and his brothers when they went among the Lamanites. In Alma 26, Ammon talks about the joys that came from his success. The joy that comes from serving the Lord can only be as great as how hard you work, how much you sacrifice. Ammon is an example where he sacrificed everything, worked as hard as he could, and didn´t hold anything back from the Lord, his success and joy was proportional to his sacrifice.
2)I would like to know your biggest victories/success along with biggest frustrations.
-I described above one big success with Hermano Aaron and his renewed desire to follow the Lord and set the example for his family. After the struggle with Araveli´s baptism, there was a feeling of success. And we have one investigator, Isa, who is just awesome. She understands and accpets everything we teach, she loves going to church and learning, and she already has a desire to share the gospel already! She is planned to be baptized March 8th, along with her sister, Teresa, who is equally as awesome! One frustration we have had here is that the members of this ward are super challenging. They talk bad about eachother, they have trouble fulfilling their callings, and I worry about the future the converts sometimes. But I have also seen progress in the ward. with the help of a few strong members, they are getting better.
3)I would like to know which hymn is most meaningful in your life right now (if any).
-There is a hymn in Spanish that isn´t in English, its called "Placentero nos es trabajar" (It is our pleasure to work). It says somethings that relate with the mission directly.
4) I would like to know what miracles you are seeing as a missionary?
-One miracle was with Hermano Aaron. One miracle is with this ward. When I got here this ward was dead. The members hardly ever went with us to appointments, we never had our weekly Missionary Coordination, or Ward Council. But with the help of the missionaries and the Stake Presidency here, the ward is beginning to improve.
5) your feelings about the Mexican people?
They are very friendly and easy to talk to, even if they have no interest in what we are teaching.
6) have you ever been stumped by another pastor?
-I have yet to talk with the leader of another church, but there are a lot christian churches here.
Anyway, my time is up. Looks like I wrote a little more this week. I hope you enjoy. I love you all and wish you all the best!
Until next week,