Our First Baptism--Hilario
Well this week has been pretty epic. Started off on Monday with a big combined district/zone meeting about how we can hasten the work more in our areas. We were challenged to make a goal of how many baptisms we think we could get in our area before the end of the year and compy and I each prayed and thought for a minute then turned to each other and both said 10 at the same time! It's like that thing we'd do where you say "what's the probability that I'm going to do this" and if you both say the same number at the same time you have to do it so yeah now we have to do it! And I truly honestly believe we can with the help of the branch and of course The Lord! We're calling them Los Cortez Díez (we are in the Cortez Spanish branch) -and I thought that was pretty clever if I do say so myself. President wants us to eat, sleep and breathe baptism. So no more distractions! Every time we think of home or of things we used to do, movies we used to see or songs we used to sing it takes us out of the missionary mindset, it takes us away from thinking about our purpose as missionaries. Even if it is for just a few seconds. I re read DC 4 this week and verse 5 which says "And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work." Really stuck out to me. I need to have an eye single to the glory of God if I want to be a successful missionary and do the work that I have set my life aside to do for 18 months right.
So something that we did this week was called Metro where a few new trainees at a time will go to Tampa for 2 days and practice street contacting people all day in the city. So basically it's like a mini boot camp where all the greenies walk around a big city nonstop talking to people to remind us how awkward we are just in case we forgot. So I've come to learn a few things about people. Hispanics are the ones you want to talk to. They're so nice and accepting about everything and just want to invite you to their homes and feed you amd talk about Jesus Christ. You say " want to be baptized?"" Oh yeah yeah" " we have a living prophet who leads and guides us today" " Que bueno que bueno" " you know we've got this book of scripture about Jesus Christ when he came to visit the people in the ancient Americas" "ohh si sí.." But I feel like nothing phases them though haha like they don't really realize how important and real the things we're telling them are. But after being in the city for a few days I've realized that white people on the other hand are just plain mean. You even mention the words Jesus Christ or baptism and the flight or fight response kicks in and they either bolt or start yelling at you. One cool thing that happened though was that we stopped this guy walking across the street and asked him if he had been baptized (because asking bold questions like that is the only way to get people to stop) and it turns out this guy had been taking the missionary lessons from some sisters here and had a baptismal date but then both those sisters ended their missions and no one had been able to contact him since then because of problems with his phone. He said that he's still been reading the Book of Mormon and definitely still wants to get baptized though! So we got his new information and he'll be able to meet with the missionaries again now! There was a big storm and it was pouring for like the rest of the night so we didn't really talk to any one else because no sane person wanted to be walking around in that rain with us but it didn't bother us because we were just happy that we'd found that one person. - so after not being in our area for almost 3 days and a baptism on Saturday we were feeling pretty anxious to get back and get back to work.
We had a lesson with Alfredo- the 40 yr old guy who doesn't have a leg- who has a baptismal date set for next Saturday. We talked about his baptism and he said he's afraid to get baptized because he's still confused and doesn't think that god has answered his prayers to know which church he wants him to join yet. He prayed to end the lesson (in English) and it was probably one of the most sincere prayers I've ever heard...he just wants to know the truth and which direction god want a him to go so bad! But it was cool because after the prayer he was like wow...I didn't even mean to say that in English it just happened! He said that I have been an inspiration to him and that ever since the first lesson I came to when I said I had prayed and fasted to learn Spanish better he has been doing that to learn English. And he said he's seen it working for me because every time we have a lesson my Spanish is better and he was like and I guess God is helping me now too!
Later that night.....HILARIO WAS BAPTIZED!! wooh first baptism!!! Hilario is in his 40s and was a media referral that we've been teaching for a few months. He has a lot of medical problems with his head and getting migraines and was really nervous about the actual baptism part but he was like "I know that this is the only path that leads to salvation so I'm gonna do it". He's awesome. We were planning on giving a presentation and singing at the baptism so I was pretty nervous too but I prayed right before not to be and everything went really smoothly haha and I remembered all my Spanish! Two people even started crying during our song! Not sure if it was because of the sprit or because they wanted us to stop but we're going to go with the spirit. Hilario said we sounded like angels...I think that's because he's used to hearing our ward of Hispanics sing and let's just say that Hispanics aren't the best of singers in the world haha so anything in comparison sounds like the Mormon tabernacle choir. But the spirit was so strong during the baptism. And Alfredo was there too so we were praying so so hard that he would feel it and change his mind and want to be baptized next Saturday.
Sunday is called Gameday in our mission because it's the most important day of the week. It's when we suit up (more than we usually suit up) and go and make stuff happen because we've got our members and our investigators all together stuck in the same building together for 3 hours. I'm gonna be honest, talking to members kind of scares me and I've kind of been trying to avoid it these past few weeks. But one of the AP's promised me during a training we had that if I personally would talk to every person I came across at church on Sunday, we would have more work to do. Phew so I was like ok shoot guess I've got to do this now. And I did! I talked to everyone I could on Sunday and one member said he's going to brings us a list of his friends for us to teach, one member said she's going to start coming with us to lessons on Wed. mornings and another set us up to teach her friend she had brought to church that day. MILAGROS. Then we got a text from Alfredo talking about the baptism saying "Hermanas...I loved the baptism!! I WANT THE HOLY GHOST WITH ME FOREVER!!" Then during church we were meeting with the ward mission leaders and one felt inspired to pull out Magali (a lady who has been investigating for a yr and a half and has had like 50 baptismal dates and has one for this next Saturday too) and we had a super spiritual surprise lesson and she says she knows she needs to get baptized she's just really scared because all of her family since like the beginning of time has been catholic. They gave her a blessing and she said she would pray and decide if she will be baptized on Saturday and tell us at our lesson with her on Tuesday. Ahh!! One way or another I really believe that we can have another baptism next Saturday....just not entirely sure who it's going to be yet! -
Sorry last one... but remember justin? He's the English guy we're teaching who was supposed to be baptized 2 weeks ago but didn't believe in Joseph smith or prophets and then we weren't able to get a hold of him for a week and a half. Well we were able to have a lesson with him about prophets and the restoration this week and gave him a lot of material about Joseph smith and he said alright I'm gonna study up on this! And he told us he finally got a job as a carpenter (and not as a wine expert which is what he was trying to get) and didn't have to work Sundays so basically an answer to all of our prayers. He said now that I got a job I need something new to pray about so I guess I can pray about this stuff! We were like hahah yeah that would probs be a good idea. But anyways he came to church on Sunday too and was probably the happiest I've seem him in a while. He said he woke up with a really good feeling about going to church today and he felt like it was destiny or fate or something how all the talks were about something he needed. I know it's not destiny or fate but that it is God preparing his children little by little, giving them just enough to build their faith until they are ready take the next step. Miracles are happening every day here and I feel so blessed that we have so many people to teach here and so many who are progressing towards baptism. I feel so blessed that I get to be a part of the work that is happening here. Pray for Magali and Alfredo this week that their prayers will be answered.Paz y bendiciones de su Hermana en Florida
Love Hermana Baugh