This week was a busy one. We had the opportunity to teach even more people than we did the last week despite having an exchange, interviews and a meeting with President, and a baptism. It is so neat to see the progression we have seen in this area since we got here. I think one of the reasons that we are seeing such great results is because we ourselves as missionaries have progressed, and as a result our ward, area and investigators are progressing more as well.
-Joel's baptism went really well. As a tradition, I will give you his full story again. Joel is 32 and moved to the United states a year ago with his wife and his wife's family from Honduras. He and his wife have been having problems though and two months before we met him, he left to go to Colorado. But as soon as he got to Colorado, he felt like that was not where he was supposed to be and took the bus all the way back to Florida again. We started teaching his wife Dinora first after she had met the english sister missionaries. We had seen Joel briefly a few times but he didn't accept our invitations to learn. Then one day when we were teaching Dinora's cousin, we invited him to learn, he politely declined then walked out the door. A few minutes later though, he came back in and said that he actually did want to learn. We later asked him why he came back that day and he said that it was because God had told him to, he had felt in his heart that he needed to. Since that day he has progressed so much. He has come to church every sunday since then, has completely overcome his coffee addiction, tries to read in the book of mormon every day and is now in Mosiah, feels like his connection with God is stronger than it ever has been before, and that we were sent by God to meet him and introduce him to the church right when he needed it most. This past month as we have been teaching him he has been going through a divorce with his wife (not because of the church or anything, but past problems) and he really feels like God led him to us right as that door was closing so that another one could open that would allow him to strengthen his relationship with God during this hard time in his life. It was neat to see how happy he was at his baptism and after his confirmation on Sunday. He is going to be able to help a lot of people. What's neat is that Joel found out when he was learning about the church through talking to his parents in Honduras that his parents actually were baptized into the church when Joel was 1 yrs old. Since then they haven't been active. Joel has intvited them to start reading the book of mormon again and to look into going back to church. Hopefully he can help his family find the gospel again.
- Man I really need to get a picture of Maria and Jose. We are going to make some flan with Maria today though so I wil make sure to get one. They are all interviewed and set for their baptisms. They can't be baptized until next tuesday though because of some scheduling conflicts but they are so solid Im not worried about it. They haven't missed a day at church these last five weeks. haha they even bought Joel a white shirt and tie for his baptism it was so adorable. Next week I will tell you their whole story. Basically they are the most prepared people I have ever taught. I have been praying so hard for Jose this week to feel ready for his baptism because he was still expressing some doubts about feeling like he wasn't ready to make this promise with God because he still felt unworthy. I felt inspired to read Alma 7 with them from the Book of Mormon this weed and we had a really spiritually led lesson on repentance. After the closing prayer, Jose had tears rollig down his cheeks and said he felt something in his heart he had never felt before. He said it felt like he was being cleansed from the inside out. We explained that it was the spirit, purifying him and helping him to know that God was proud of him. He feels prepared to be baptized ow because of that spiritual confirmation. Im so grateful for the guidance of the spirit and His converting power.
--Other important events this week? hmm.. Had my last interview with President Cusick this week before my exit one. I've learned to love him and admire him so much. I know he is called of God and that a major reason that I was called to this mission was because of him. God knew I needed to learn from his strengths and wisedom. My interview mostly consisted of him telling me how proud of me he was, and how much he loved me. Haha knowing president, this is unusual since he is a man who is quick to offer correction and tell us what we can do to improve. Somehow we ended up talking about how I can do 60 pushups straight now and he almost made me do them in his office. That would have been interesting. Im so grateful for him. I also had the opportunity to go on an exchange with Sister Briggs, a newer misisonary in our zone. She is so great and doing so well. I loved being able to spend time with her. She was a cross country and track runner in high school too so it was fun going on a run together in the morning. It has been a year since I have had someone to run with me!! Things are continuing to go really well though, hope everyone has a great week
love hermana baugh