This week was pretty miraculous, but it didn't end very well. The baptism of Claudia and Ana was suspended due to problems in the family. Elder Pereira and I are still figuring out how we're going to move forward and help out this family. I think that this is a chance for us to prove how much we really love Claudia's family. Everything was easy until now. Claudia came to church the first time we invited her and accepted a baptismal date super quick. There was bound to be a bump in the road to test our faith. This morning as I was studying and pondering the best way to help Claudia's family I thought about how much obstacles help us learn. For example: my study was a lot more rewarding when I was doing it to find the solution to a real-life problem. President Alliaud used to say ,"If you don´t have questions, you won´t get answers." I think we can also say ,"If you don't have opposition, you won´t grow." So I'm praying a lot that we can help Claudia resolve the conflicts she´s facing so that she can achieve the goal that she has to be baptized.
Have a great week
Here´s a few photos of the district in La Cumbrecita.
This week was crazy! For the first time in my mission we had 7 investigators at church. Four of the investigators were from a family that we've been working with a lot. The mother of the family, Claudia has so much faith and determination! She really heading the force to help bless her family. About 5 years ago she had received the missionaries and her and her daughters went to church a couple of times. She wanted to be baptized in that time, but her husband didn't agree. A few weeks ago we found her and invited her to be baptized and she said that this time she is going to achieve her goal. So now Claudia and one of her daughters have plans to be baptized this Saturday, and the rest of the family is listening to the discussions.
Today for p-day we are going to a place called La Cumbrecita. We haven´t gotten there yet, but I´ve heard that it´s super beautiful so I´m pretty excited.
This week was pretty great. We were able to set a baptismal date for Kevin. It was a pretty special experience. We've been trying to set the date for quite a while now, but had problems agreeing on the date with Kevin´s mother. She wanted Kevin to be baptized on a date in November and we thought that it would be best for Kevin to be baptized next week due to the fact that he already had all of the lessons and was coming to church and he really had the desire to be baptized. It was a real battle for both of us to accept the will of the Lord. The zone leaders came to our area on Saturday to do the baptismal interview of Kevin and they basically made the same argument to Kevin´s mother that we've been making, "If he ´s ready why wait?" Finally Kevin´s mom opened up and we were able to understand what the real problem was. It wasn't that Kevin wasn't ready, it was that they were afraid that his grandparents were going to get angry and react if Kevin was baptized. It just so happened that one of the zone leaders had a similar experience with his grandparents when his parents were baptized, his grandmother didn't speak with his family for about 18 years. But now that her grandchildren have gone on missions she is talking with them again. With the help of the Elder´s experience we were able to set a date for August 6th. This will give Kevin and his mother time to win over his grandparents and prepare them for the baptism of Kevin.
Elder Pereira and I had been hoping and praying that Kevin could be baptized this week. His mother had felt that he should be baptized in November. But sometimes the will of the Lord is something different than what we have in mind. What we need to learn to do is have patience and learn to accept that he has plans that are much greater that ours, but plans that are always in our favor.
This week was great. Cold and rainy but great. Elder Pereira es un capo. (Elder Pereira is a boss). I've learned a ton from him in this first week about how to create a good relationship in a short time with strangers.
A few pictures:
Here´s a photo of the entire mission from the last conference of Pres Alliaud. You guys will have to play a little where´s waldo to find me.
Also a few pics after district meeting.
We talked about being focused on the conversion of others in everything we do. Like Pres Alliaud says, "do the missionary work,not just missionary things". (Haga la obra misional no solamente cosas misionales).
My new companion is great. He really just wants to baptize and is always talking about baptism with people. Sometimes in the contacts he has fun when people reject us or say that they aren't interested and just directly asks them if they would like to be baptized. Or if they would like to be baptized again. I´m not usually that direct with the people, but nobody has gotten angry at us yet. Besides being super stoked to baptize Elder Pereira is a great teacher and has a gift of creating a good relationship with the people in a short time. In just this week I've learned a lot from him. Like a few magic tricks to grab the attention of the people. Elder McCleve´s knee was better at the end of the week. I hope he´s alright in his new area. but I think it was riding on the bike here that was bothering him so he should be fine now. The work is going well. We´re still working with Kevin. Like I said before he´s great, but his mom still isn't ready to let him be baptized. And this week we've found several other investigators that I think will progress this transfer. We've also found other less actives that have children that haven´t been baptized. We call those families PFs. There are a ton here in Alta Gracia and Elder Pereira and I are working a lot with them. I like working with PFs because no one wants to be alone in the gospel. Everyone wants to have their family with them. and if we can help more of the family of a less active member be converted, everyone is strengthened and everyone wins. I´m confident that we are going to have success this transfer.