Hey!! Say hi to Brother Pearson for me!
I'm just going to go ahead and apologize ahead of time....this morning I had two sneeze-attacks (where I sneeze about 20 times in a row) so I got pretty frustrated at my nose, so I took some benedril...and so I am feeling pretty tired now. Sorry if this email doesnt make sense :D
This week was amazing. How it ended made it all worth it. At the beginning of the week, we had a conference with the mission's doctor. He gave us all flu shots. The night before the conference Presidente Martinez called me and asked me if I could translate for Dr. Welch. I felt very nervous, but in the end I didnt even end up translating, so that's good.
We had our weekly zone and district meeting together and it was amazing. We talked about the faith to work miracles. We challenged everyone to think of a name of one of their investigators who can get baptized in March. In the mission we are doing a lot better than we have been, so that's good. After everyone thought of at least one name, we wrote them all up on the board and we decided to pray for them as a zone so that a miracle can happen in their lives.
We saw many many miracles this week thanks to the prayer list and a lot of hard work. There were several areas who called us and told us about what had happened that day with their investigators, and I am hear to tell you that miracles are real!
I will just get on the the climax of this week....so, this week we had to prepare four investigators for baptism. Gladis, Felipe, Cristian, and Viviana. Gladis and her sons looked really good for Saturday at the start of the week, but as it got closer and closer, the doubts began to come and Satan tried to get them to not be baptized. We saw trial after trial. Gladis, on Thursday, told us that she didnt want to get baptized on Saturday. That maybe she should wait a little longer until she is more prepared. Something told me to stay calm, and that everything would be alright. I knew for a fact that Gladis was ready to be baptized. We went in and listened to them very good. Viviana felt like she still hadnt completed the repentance process because she hasnt been able to ask her son for forgiveness (because when she was going through her separation with her husband, she said some really bad things to Felipe.) But she was completely repented in her heart. We followed along, praying our hearts out, and told her that the person to do the baptismal interview would be able to say whether or not she was ready. So...the next day, she got to the church. Finally Gladis came out after she was interviewed and she looked so happy. Her interview lasted about an hour! so we were pretty worried. She said that she told the missionary doing to interview that she didnt want to get baptized on Saturday...and the missionary, Elder Searle, told her to pray right there and ask. So, she did it. She described the experience to us by saying that she felt an amazing feeling come over her and she didnt want to leave the church (we were doing to interviews in the chapel) she said that after she prayed and felt the Holy Ghost really strongly, she said "I am going to get baptized tomorrow!" The Spirit rocks!
So...then Viviana started getting opposition. She was up in Concepcion for the day working and she tried to come home on Friday night for the interviews....but there wasnt a single bus available that returned to Los Angeles on Friday. She called us really worried...not just for the baptismal interview but for her daughter who was home alone wih her babysitter. We began praying a lot and she was able to make it back. She talked to a policeman and he helped her by talking to the bus company and asking if they could take her standing up. Luckily the bus driver let her so that was nice. We had to interview her on Saturday morning, right before the baptism.
On Saturday, we found out that Gladis and Felipe and Cristian had returned to their house and visitors came and started telling them not to be baptized in our church. Apparently Gladis told them 4 times to stop talking about that, and finally, after they wouldnt be quiet, she told them to leave her house. She definitely passed her trial of faith!
On Saturday morning, President Martinez got their with Angelo, his son, who also was about to be baptized. It was a great baptismal service, all of our investigators made it and they were excited. The program was great. President Martinez's kids shared little things, and there was a musical number by Sister Martinez. The baptisms happened. I was able to baptize Gladis and Viviana, so that was a great privelege. Elder Strait baptized Felipe and Cristian.
After the baptisms, A lady from the united States sang two songs...it just turns out that she was actually Elder Strait's teacher from the MTC, so it was cool for him to see her. She ended up marrying a chilean. She sang so amazingly. Also, the other amazing thing that happened was that Elder Bustos, from Viña del Mar, who served in this mission until the end of last year, came to the baptism. He was a good friend of president martinez because he was an assistant to president and he also served in this ward about a year ago while President Martinez was the bishop here. It just so happens that he was the missionary who first knocked on the door of Viviana. Now, he was able to see her get baptized. He didnt know that she was going to be one of the people getting baptized so it was a great surprise for him. He was able to see the fruit from his seeds that he planted! Also in the baptism, President and Sister Martinez and their family had prepared many refreshments for everyone. It was the most crowed baptism I have ever been to! It was great. Also, the Martinezes invited a lot of their old neighbors and friends who arent members so we got so many references. President Martinez was introducing all of them to us. Me and Elder Strait and our area is doing really well. In fact, we are leading the entire mission in baptisms for this year so we are happy. We are going to keep working hard and helping people come unto Christ!
We had THREE inactive families come to church. All of whom we have been working with for the last four months. They finally came to church! We were so happy and shocked to see all three of the families at chruch, while for the last 4 months they havent come once. This work is true. Sometimes it requires our patience, but we will always see blessings from obeying the commandments of God!
Tender Mercy- Elder Bustos being able to see Viviana get baptized, a year after he found her!
-Bautism of Angelo Martinez, Viviana, Gladis, Felipe, and Cristian