Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This week we got to do service twice in the garden of one of the members. We had to weed out a big space in the garden to get it ready for planting. Then we had a fire and burned the weeds. It reminded me of working in the garden back home. It´s pretty theraputic to hack at weeds and clean up a garden. I felt pretty relaxed doing it.

Here are a ton of pictures. I've started carrying my camera around a lot more. 
Giovani an 8 year old kid that was recently baptized and confirmed and whose family we are working with.

The street during the siesta. Here in Catamarca it´s pretty hard to find people outside from 2 to about 5:30 or 6 and it´s because they are all sleeping. 

We always play sports on Friday nights here. The zone only has ten elders so we all get together in the chapel and bring our investigators and play. This last Friday we played a different version of dodge ball called quemado.

The service last night. There was a ton of smoke! The sister made pizza for us after the service. Later that night President Correa who is now visiting us out here in Catamarca came to our pension. When he was getting ready to leave he paused and asked us if we had made an asado because we all smelled like smoke.



All convert baptisms are a miracle by the fact that one is able to see how God prepares and directs a person as they choose to follow Christ. Having that said, this weekend I saw the most miraculous baptism of my mission. The baptism of Joaquin Gomez and his wife Claudia Mamani.
It´s a pretty crazy story. I had my first lesson with them on Saturday. We were just able to talk to Claudia because Joaquin was tired and sleeping after working the whole night. During the lesson we read a scripture and invited Claudia to be baptized. We told her that because she had attended church before she could be baptized the next day, Sunday. She was willing to be baptized, but she wanted time. My companion then invited her to pray right there in the moment and ask God whether she should be baptized. After a little explaining and persuading Claudia offered a simple, but extremely sincere prayer. When she had finished she kept her head bowed and stayed silent. We all stayed silent for about 3 minutes. I think all of us were feeling God´s answer in that moment. Elder Velaztiqui then looked at Claudia and said, "you know what you need to do" and she agreed. 
Then there just happened to be a baptism going on thirty minutes later and Joaquin had gotten up by then so we invited both of them to see the baptism. They went to the baptism despite having there motorcycle tire pop halfway to church. And then they went to church the next day for all three hours. Joaquin looked very thoughtful the whole time during church. Claudia´s baptism was going to be that afternoon and the two of them were going to come. 
At the baptism as we were going outside with my companion and Claudia already dressed in white to take pictures, we were surprised when Joaquin looked at us and asked "can I be baptized too?" The answer was obviously yes. So we hurriedly found more white clothes and I had the marvelous opportunity to baptize Joaquin. It was so special to see a couple take the decision to be baptized together. I really have high hopes for them in the future. God has prepared them so well to hear the Gospel of his son Jesus Christ and accept it for a reason. I´m super excited to see how they progress.

That´s all for now folks. Have a great week. 

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