Okay, so wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles!
So, the three people that we had marked for baptism are in a family that is very very very poor. I don´t think I have ever seen a place so humble, and they have 23 people who live in a shack. Not kidding. We´ve been teaching them for three weeks. The mom, Maria, has six daughters- all of whom live with their husbands/boyfriends and children in this shack. Maria and two of her daughters, Paula and Marianna, none of whom can read, all wanted to be baptized. As well, we´ve been teaching one of the other daughters, Edna. Edna hears voices in her head, so we brought Elder Adam and another returned missionary to give her a blessing. The voices stop whenever one of us visits....but she can´t be baptised because she´s not married and she is the most firm of these people. So it was a week of rollercoasters for them.
So, they were supposed to be baptised Sunday and due to some other reasons, I with one of our young women got the assignment to walk with them to church. They decided they didn´t want to come to church and didn´t want to be baptised. The pastor of the God Is Love Church (don´t really like him) came and told them a ton of lies about the church and how they need to return to the God is Love Church. So, remember it´s just me and this young woman...and so I prayed and taught them about the atonement, about the authority of God and how this is the only true church. They were all hesitant but somehow (not really sure how) got them to church...where Elder Adam talked to them about baptism, but right now probably isn´t the time for them.
During this time, we were all fasting, and so I said to God, (I was a little ticked off), "God I´ve done my part and so sorry but I need a baptism." And at this moment Gabbs ran up to me and said, "Sister, Sister, my mom said that I can get baptised today!" Gabbi is a friend of a family in the church and we´ve been teaching her. She knew the church was true, but her mom is part of the God is Love Church (this church is giving me a headache) and said that if she joins this church she is joining the church of the Devil...yep, so we´ve been praying for her and on Sunday, God answered our prayers.
I almost cried and so I gave her a huge hug and then we got the baptism font ready and we were able to baptise Gabbs. Elder Adam and Elder Lucianno were able to baptise someone as well. Then the four of us went back to work. The baptism was so special. She has such a strong support system (she´s 14) and it felt so great to know that God had accepted our crazy week of work. Seriously, this week we worked so hard, and it all payed off.
The thing that is so monumental with us, be us missionaries or members, is that we have a knowledge. We know for certain that the church is true. And because we know that it´s true we do crazy, wacky unheard of things (be it walking three hours without shoes or setting up an amazing nativity exhibit) to help them understand that this is the gospel of Christ, that this is the only path they can take that will lead to eternal life and salvation. It´s how we can´t have fear when we are teaching the gospel of Christ, we have to be BOLD, like Pres.Castro Deus taught. I know without a doubt that this is the Gospel of Christ, that it is only through this path that we can have happiness with our families forever. This is the place where families can have peace, where the complex doctrines are made simple, where we learn about the love of God, about how God will never leave us by the wayside but that He will jump in the hole with us.
It is not enough to serve a mission. We must serve Christ every day, every day we have to strive to be more like our older Brother. Yes, we are all imperfect, we all have weakness but through the atonement of our Lord and Savior we truly can become clean again, like it reads in Issiah 1:18. All of us have felt at some time the pain of sin, the weight of guilt and the burden of sadness but I testify for you that because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, because he bled for us in the Garden, we can become clean again. We can wash all the dirty things away. We can fly for lack of a better word. I´m not perfect, no I have a ton of weaknesses, but I trust in the words of Ether 12:27, that if we turn to the Lord our weaknesses will be made into strengths.
We choose to love, we choose to be happy. It is my Christmas Wish that everyone can choose happiness. Look to the good things in the world, of our God, our Families, all things that Jesus Christ created for us, flowers, rivers, everything. Know that I love you guys, and that I am so happy to be serving here.
Take care of yourselves, you guys are great...oh and happy birthday Meg! I´m in denial. I still remember when you were born, and now you´re driving and in a year dating. I might send you a soccer jersey!