Wow, this week was awesome! It was probably the most exciting but stressful week of the mission so far. Like I told you, we had the baptismal interviews on Sunday, a week before the baptism for Elizabeth, Nate and Javi. They all passed and everything was good to go, but we still had to make it through the week leading up to the baptism without anything going wrong. Elizabeth had been fighting off life long addictions with alcohol and smoking, and so we knew this week was going to be tough for her. The adversary was going to be throwing everything he had to get her to fall back into her addictions, and so we had to do everything we could to stop that from happening.
Last Sunday night Elder Morgan and I were just thinking about everything we needed to do to make sure the baptisms went through and what we could do to help Elizabeth avoid the temptations throughout the week. We decided we needed to visit them at least once every night for the week leading up to their baptism, and just have a ton of daily contact. We didn't want to drive them crazy though, but then later that night Elizabeth called us and just asked us if we would be able to come over every single day for that week to help her and the kids be ready for the baptism....so that worked out well! We visited them every single night for like 9 days in a row, and would just go over and read the scriptures with them or watch a little church video, just something to bring the Spirit into their home and to help Elizabeth stay away from her addictions. We pulled out every single trick in our bag this week, and we definitely needed every little trick that we had. Satan has been working so hard on that family ever since we met them, and this week was no different. Thankfully, we were able to make it through to Sunday and the baptisms without any problems! So thank you all for all of your prayers!
The baptismal service went perfectly, it was by far the best day of my mission so far! I am sure I say that a lot but it really was haha. I ended up baptizing Elizabeth and Nate, and then one of the Spanish Elders, Elder Slade baptized Javi. Elder Slade had came to a few appointments to their house while we were on exchanges, and we all go to the same church on Sundays and Javi just loved Elder Slade to death, they hit it off right from the beginning. Elder Slade was pretty stoked when Javi asked him. We did the confirmations right after the baptisms and they had asked Bishop Marble to confirm them. So Elizabeth, Nate and Javi are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!
Ah man, you guys have no idea how long I have been waiting for this day for these three to be baptized. We have worked with this family soooo, so much. There have been some major ups and some major downs throughout the 4 months of teaching them, but Sunday by far outweighs all of the downs that we have experienced. There was a time about 2 months ago that Elizabeth wouldn't even open the door for us, or answer our phone calls, but we never stopped trying to get back in their house. I was reading in 3 Nephi 18 where Jesus Christ is instituting the Sacrament in the Americas and he was talking about people partaking of the sacrament unworthily, but this scripture hit me pretty hard even though it is a different situation. Verse 32 says "Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them." We could have easily given up on Elizabeth and said she will never change, but we just kept ministering to her, and to her needs. Like that scripture says, we never know if someone will change their ways and come join us in this wonderful Gospel. We can never give up on people, never stop ministering to them. We can always continue inviting people to come unto Jesus Christ, and let Him heal them. I am so grateful the Lord let me be a part of this families conversion and trusted us enough with this great family.
This Sunday we will have Paul Canales baptism as well. We had the interview yesterday and so everything is good to go for Sunday. Love you all and thanks for all of the support. Have a good week!
Oh and by the way, we had transfers this weekend. Our whole District is staying here for another transfer together! 6 more weeks in Waterbury!
Getting ready for the baptism, Nate is still learning how to tie his tie haha. I tried to help him out but we were running late already so we just let it be. You will see in the pics it is a little bit short...but A for effort!