What’s going on!! I’ve gotta say, I’ve been pretty excited to write you about this week. It’s been a good one 🙂
I guess first things first, J and Y went through with their baptisms! It was quite the eventful week with them. We kinda ended up dedicating the whole week to them to make sure they were ready and everything was prepared for the baptism and that they were gonna have the strength to go through with it. I don’t feel too bad about that, people who are going to get baptized are supposed to be your priority that week per Preach my Gospel, but this week we get to pick back up where we left off in the rest of the city.
We had a bunch of citas with them this week. We talked about their goals for after the baptism (they were so incredible!! These guys, especially J, are awesome!), about baptismal clothes and how we do the baptism, about the doctrine of baptism, and about how to become active members in the church after baptism. Dad wrote me last week and said that he used to tell all of his investigators that were on track to get baptized that a “haymaker” or something really tough was going to come their way. So Elder W and I planned our “haymaker prep” lesson for them haha and they took that really well. We taught them about how there is opposition in all things and that we have to be prepared to make it through the hard times, because usually we run into opposition to our good choices. I shared with them how the week before I put in my papers and also the week before I got my call were really hard, and we just promised them they could have strength to overcome those things if they were dedicated to God and following through.
The next day (Friday night) we had another lesson with them. I don’t really remember what we taught them because literally no more than a minute after we left their house, Y’s dad called us (His name is S and he’s a MAQUINA! He’s a recent convert of six months, the ward mission leader and is also the only active member in our rama that lives here) and said my daughter just told me she’s not getting baptized. Hahaha like WHAT we were just there thirty seconds ago? You woulda thought she woulda told us or something. So we called J and he told us ya, idk what’s up with her but don’t worry guys you can count on me.
So later that night we went back and talked to the two of them. Basically she was mad at her dad and she knew he wanted her to get baptized, and her mom who lives in Madrid told her to make her own decisions, and so to spite everyone she basically told him that. But in reality she still wanted to get baptized and ended up getting baptized happily and willingly (and by her father). Let’s just say after everything this weekend, I am very glad I am a dude and don’t have weird mood swings like that :’D
We basically spent the whole day setting up the capilla for the baptism and filling up the pila. Turns out the branch has one of the little portable ones that was being stored in some random closet, and those things are pretty ghetto! We could only fill it up with like two feet of water or else the beams would break, so baptizing J was an adventure.
We had like 20 people show up! Considering we now (after the baptisms) have a whopping five active members, thats not bad ha. A showed up and he loved it. He ended up spending the whole evening talking with yanikely about it and what she had to do to get baptized and enjoying the whole social atmosphere with food afterwords and he now wants to get baptized. Unfortunately the word of wisdom is a huge problem in Spain so we have to work on that. But he has started introducing us to his friends, and so now his friend M is investigating too. They both love to read the Book of Mormon and learn English and play soccer. A was trying to explain the baptism to him and it was super cool seeing how he’s growing and trying to share that. In the big group picture, A is the man on the far right in the white shirt. He’s such an awesome dude, and his friend is almost as golden as he is. Prayers for them would be very much appreciated! There are Spaniards out there who God is preparing for His church. He knows my goal of baptizing one Spaniard per transfer and He is helping me with that goal a lot.
One of the coolest parts for sure of the whole weekend was getting to baptize J. It was more the fact that Elder W white clothes fit him better than mine that I got to baptize him, but it was amazing. I had to dip him sooooo far cuz the water was so low, and his feet slipped so he went completely horizontal under the water and had to curl his toes to keep everything under the water but together we made it happen in only one try 🙂
Later that night I asked him how he was feeling, and he told me, “At first, cold, but now, I feel so good and light!” Mom, it was a lot like the story you reminded me about this week about my own baptism and confirmation
(baptism by water and baptism by fire). J really is one of my favorite people ever, he’s so awesome and animated about the gospel. He reads the Book of Mormon for fun, LOVES learning about the gospel and playing sports with us, and has some awesome expectations for himself.
He bore his testimony to everyone afterwards, and told us about three weeks ago, he read 2 Nephi 31 (Mom, the very same the chapter you sent me this week!) and just felt the desire to pray with his whole heart. So he prayed to God with his whole heart to know if this was the correct path for him and that night he said he had a dream where God told him that this church is His church and that Jonathan needed to get baptized.. Pretty awesome!. (Admittedly, I would avoid taking all dreams as revelation, as you might know mom haha 😉 Example: our branch president told us about a dream he thought was revelation but it was so random, it was about this black car that was in the way of his car and wasn’t letting him past, but then we came and talked to the car and then it let him past, and “together, we pulled a lot of weight” hahahahahahaha I was like president, stop eating ice cream before you go to bed lol. That’s okay though cuz he fed us paella this week and oh man it was so amazing.
Then, to finish off the night, J played a slideshow of pictures that he had of himself with different missionaries that had taught him, with amazing grace playing in the background and it just showed his growth in the gospel and how much joy he felt and it was amazing 🙂 Honestly, seeing the growth in the people you teach is the best part of being a missionary and it is so worth it. I know this is the gospel of Jesus Christ Himself and that He can change us through it. That’s why I’m here, to be a tool in His hand and to teach people about that.
Other than the baptism, not much happened this week. We walked one morning for like an hour and a half out to this tiny pueblo that’s in our area to check on a referral, and when we got there he wasn’t there, so then we had to walk an hour and a half back. I was pretty frustrated afterwards. haha that’s where the burgers came in. I had my first burger in like seven weeks and it was amazing. Afterwards my companion looked at me and said, dude you ate that in like three bites but completely clean, I can tell you’ve had practice lol. I think fondly of the burgers mom used to take me to get like every day back home 🙂
Elder Holland is coming to our mission this week! We get to travel to Malaga on Friday, he talks with us on Saturday. Also my companion got made district leader so I will probably be going on more exchanges.
I think that’s about it for this week. I love you mom!