This has been a very interesting week for me, both great and not so great at times. First the great. On Saturday we baptized two of our investigators, Braolio Adohfo Martinez and Angel Garcia. Braolio is the older man who has been investigating the church for nearly 6 years, but because of some problems he wasn´t able to be baptized until now, and it was a super happy sight to see him finally get baptized. He was so excited he showed up for the baptism 2 hours early and pretty much just sat there and smiled and thought about what he was about to do, so it was great. I´m super happy for Angel too, because his decision to talk to us and be baptized caused lots of problems within his home with his family and especially his mom. He was really worried about what would happen, but he said he has faith all would be well, so he pressed on, and now his mom said she has noticed a real difference in who he is and how he acts, and she´s really impressed and pretty much it´s all good in his home now. I could tell this was a big day for both of our converts. They both have to work weird hours so we had two different baptisms at weird times, so there weren´t that many people there, but neither of them cared they just wanted their family and themselves to be there. And afterwards, when they were bearing their testimonies, they both nearly cried they were so overwhelmed and happy.
It was an amazing experience for me too, because in Angel´s case, the whole time while we were teaching him, I felt the Holy Spirit but it just felt normal teaching what i´ve known my whole life. But after his baptism he hugged me and started to cry a little, and thanked me so much for teaching him, and at that moment I realized how, for me, what I was teaching was normal and familiar because I already had it in my life, but for him, it was life changing and one of the best things that´s happened to him. It made me realize that to me the Gospel is an everyday aspect of my life, because i´ve lived it my whole life and i´ve been in the presence of great priesthood holders and people my whole life. But, to people who have never heard the Gospel of Christ, it´s a way to change their lives, and to come closer to their Father in Heaven, which is one of the greatest gifts we can have. To us, or at least me, having grown up with the gospel and the Church, I never really realized how much of a difference it can make in someone´s life; I always knew it was great and would change people's lives, but now I´m starting to realize the magnitude of the gospel in influencing how people live. Pretty much it was a life-changing day for Angel, Braolio and me.More good news! On Friday morning we finally got our family, the Trujillo Family, married and we set a date for baptism this upcoming Sunday the 19th. It´s taken about 9 weeks to get them married but it´s finally done and they are going to get baptized! Brother Trujillo was at the baptism for Angel and after the baptism i talked to him and he´s super excited for his turn to come. Í hope everything works out perfect for them because i´ve really come to love them, which has been hard for me mostly just because of the language barrier. Now the Spanish language is coming along good and i´ve just spend so much time with them i can truly say i love them and i want them to get baptized - not to say we baptized them, but so they can join the church, make covenants, and start preparing to go the Temple to be sealed as a family forever. We talked to them the other day about that and they said they would aim for the Temple. I think that would be the highlight of my whole mission if i could be there when they go through the temple. Because you have to wait a year after baptism to do it (for them to go through the Temple) and it´s not everyday you find an amazing family, baptize them and have the opportunity to see them go through the Temple. And President Ward allows missionaries to go to the temple with people they baptize even though I will not be in this area when that time comes. Right now that´s my hope, that they make it to the temple and I get to see them there.
So that was the great part of the week, the not-so-great is that my companion and I really don´t get along... he did some things that were not in harmony with the mission rules, and we disagreed about his actions. So that caused some tension between us for about half of a day. In my view, we are here to serve the Lord and this is the Lord´s time not ours. When we came on the mission we gave up two years of our lives to Him and during those two years we need to do what He wants us to do and that´s preach His gospel. So after a while my companion warmed up to me and said that we´ll do better so it turned out ok. We still aren´t friends but we get along as companions. It´s a struggle but it´s been teaching me alot and i´m sure he won´t be the only comp that I have with obedience problems. But don´t worry about that, we´ll be fine.
To wrap it all up, this week was great and i´m super duper excited for the baptism of the Family Trujillo! Also some other good news, we got two referrals, and we talked to one person and he wants to be baptized after we taught him one lesson and he came to church yesterday. The other referral is a family and the person who gave us the referral said the family wants to be baptized, and while contacting them we found yet another family. This last family that we found contacting had been taught by missionaries like 2 or 3 years ago, but when the missionaries were transferred, no one came back to teach them, and so they were super happy to see us and set up appointments with them. They seem very positive so hopefully some good comes out of that too. So the work is going good here in Chorrera, and though my comp is difficult, i´m still loving the mission! This week my testimony has been greatly strengthened by seeing how much the gospel can change people lives for the better. It´s just another thing that shows to me that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ and that with His help, we can make it through any tribulations and trials that come our way, and we can come out of them even stronger than we were. I know that Christ lives and He´s always on our side guiding us and He´s always there to lift us up when we fall, we just need to grab His outstretched hand.
I love you guys so much! Thanks for everything!! :)