Friday, July 28, 2017

Baptism Week! (July 10, 2017)

Orlando's baptism! I promise he was actually excited to get baptized, we're not sure why he refused to smile when we took pictures :)

This week was the best because Orlando got baptized yesterday right after church!!!! It was great. So many people were there to welcome him into the ward. He said he "felt really happy" when he was baptized, and it was everything he imagined it would be. And everything went smoothly and it was such a relief that everything got pulled off. I'm very much a person who wants to plan out every little detail and confirm every little detail beforehand, and Hispanic culture is very much the opposite, they get things done, but they just trust that they're going to get done when they need to get done, and don't worry about the details as much. So that was kind of freaking me out because I felt like we had nothing planned, but everything turned out ok. 

Also, President and Sister Barney showed up to our sacrament meeting and the baptism yesterday. Added just a bit of pressure, but it was cool because they're trying to come to as many of the baptisms in the mission as they can, and this was one of their first ones. We got to talk to them just for a little bit, and I'm still very excited to get to work with them. They're still figuring things out, but they are already filled with such love for the people, and the members, and the missionaries, and so they already have the most important part figured out. 

I learned a lot this week about how when we do our best, God makes it enough. I woke up last Tuesday morning not feeling very good, and by Wednesday we were home bound because can't leave when you have a fever. So for two days were out sick, and I'm still not up to par, but when you're not contagious, you get out as soon as you can to keep working. We went to have a lesson with Lucero, one of our investigators. We didn't have time to try to set up a member to come with us, so we went, and we started teaching her about the Book of Mormon. Then about ten minutes in, her husband came home, who is a less-active member, with Hno Armando, one of our really strong members, because they had been at work together that day. They sat down with us, and we continued to talk about the Book of Mormon, and we asked Hno to share his testimony about the Book of Mormon, and he shared the beautiful experience of how he read the whole thing in 3 days after the missionaries shared it with him and he immediately gained a witness that it was true. And we then invited Lucero and her husband to read the Book of Mormon together this week, and it ended up being an incredible lesson. Even though I still didn't feel completely mentally there, we went out, and did the best we could, and God made it enough. 

We had a really, really...interesting experience on Saturday night. That couple from El Salvador we have been meeting with a little bit, invited us to their church to do a musical number, and we figured that might give them a little more incentive to be open to coming to our church, and it is a good service, so we went to a Pentecostal church on Saturday night. I just played a hymn on the violin, then we sang I am a child of God. And that was definitely the calmest part of the whole program. I couldn't help but think of the scripture in 1 Kings 19:11-12 during the meeting
"And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice." 
It was really cool, though, to get to see how other people worship, especially in the Hispanic culture.

This week, with more days of being sick, I had a lot of good time for really good personal study. Romans 8:38-39 really stuck out to me "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalites, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." For a couple of reasons. One, because it is almost reminiscent of the end of the poem Annabel Lee and the language is beautiful, but also because it really is true, and anyone, ANYONE who wants to come unto Christ is welcome. His love is outstretched to all. Most of the time, the only thing preventing us from feeling it is our own misconceptions of our unworthiness. None of us have lived lives perfect enough to repay for the completely never ending love that Christ has infinitely extended to us, but he does it anyway and his hand is stretched out still. Just believe Him.

Thank you all for your love and support! Have a great week! 

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