Well this has been a very busy week for us as Zone Leaders and missionaries. We decided to do alot more things for our zone and we started those things this week and we had some baptisms so it was a good week.
First of all, R______ and S_____ got baptized and it was one of the most special baptisms of my whole mission. This last week was an extremely tough one for them. So R_____'s other kid is actually an inactive kinda anti Mormon member baptized like 15 years ago, and this week Satan really attacked R_____ so that she wouldn't get baptized. Her own mother talked about disowning her as her kid because she said it was a stupid thing to do. R_____'s kid talked about how this church is of the devil and that Satan himself was working on R________. R_____ said one day that that morning when she would go to pray she would start but that something would kinda take over her and she wouldn't been able to think or say anything at all, and that she felt that something was blocking her from talking to God, and she wasn't sure if that was God saying no to her question about baptism or if it was Satan. Well, we shared the Joseph Smith story again and it really helped her a ton and she realized that it was Satan. She also never drinks coffee, never has, but this week she's had a huge temptation to drink coffee... coincidence? I think not, she has real potential in the church and Satan didn't want her to be part of the Church. It was a scary week for us because she would call us randomly and say elders you have to come over we need to talk and then she would say I'm not getting baptized because i can't take all this stuff that's happening to me, but we would share something and we gave her several blessings and then when we would leave she was wanting to get baptized again, but that happened pretty much every day this week. It's hard to describe but I've never seen someone so influenced by Satan in that you could tell that he was attacking her. Normally she's super happy always smiling and there were times when he had her just super-depressed. Of all my baptisms I've never seen Satan work so hard against someone like this time. But the great part is that we defeated him, visiting her twice a day and sending members over there daily and having them call her daily, we were able to help her overcome all those temptations and trials, and i know that our Heavenly Father was working through her younger son S_____ because no matter what happened, he was always there saying, Mom don't say that we can't get baptized, please get baptized with me, don't let Satan win this Mom, we can do it together. I'm almost crying typing this thinking about this baptism and everything that happened. It was amazing, absolutely amazing, one of my biggest testimony builders of the mission. Like I had said in earlier letters, she was our true golden investigator, but what i hadn't realized back then is that with someone so chosen and prepared by God, Satan also has had his eyes on her to keep her back. But anyway i think you get the picture, it was an amazingly stressful experience, but a rewarding one. In the baptism we got alot of ward support and when she got baptized she started crying, and when S_____ got baptized he said that he felt something amazing in his chest that he couldn't describe but that it felt right. AMAZING BAPTISM!
That was the great news, this week we have also been using the area book alot, which is the book where all missionaries write down a description about their investigators with their needs and where they live and how they are progressing so that missionaries that come in can look at it and go find them and know exactly what has been taught and what some of their trials are. Anyway so we did a week of ´´Carpet people´´ finding, carpet people because in Spanish it's the 'carpeta de area' and in spanglish it's the carpet book and people ha ha, we invented that actually but it works. I'm amazing at spanglish ha ha. So this week we found alot of really positive carpet people and we already think that there are a few that could be baptized soon so we'll work with them.
Sadly with M_____ we haven't been able to make contact or even see him. They are sealed off and I'm worried he may be lost for now...
W_____ and H_____ haven't been able to see us lately because they are in a national competition for viola and are practicing like crazy. I don't know if i told you but they are super geniuses. W____ is going to graduate from high school at 15 years old with tons of scholarships and stuff, crazy smart! But the tournament is the 4th so after that hopefully they can see us.
Z____ just got back from Concepcion where she was working all week, so we'll meet with her this week, but we're pretty sure she'll get baptized the 14th and maybe with W_____ and H_____....´´si dios quiere´´ the great Panamanian frase.
So this week as ZL's we decided we needed to do some extra things to help people more. In our zone there are 7 companionships of sisters and 5 of elders and the thing is that there are so many new sisters coming in that they don't have enough trainers for everyone so new sisters are getting trained by other new sisters that don't know too much so they are really struggling, but the thing is as male leaders we can't go out and work with them or anything so we don't know how they teach or work and so we don't know how to help them. But this week we started a companion study with them, we take two sisters and we teach them like they were investigators and they teach us the same way, and this way we can help them out on a more personal level, but wow its been tough organizing all that and with so many its very time consuming, but its working great, we did it for a few of them and it turned out great. Also we are meeting with all the bishops of the stake to make sure everything is running well and that they are doing everything that they should be doing. This has worked well too because we now have the confidence of the bishops and they have told us the problems they have in their wards with the missionaries and the good things that are going on so now we can really help them out. We also implemented alot of programs that we had planned out with the stake president and the stake mission leader. In a few words, the coordination between the wards and the missionaries is about to skyrocket with these things that we are doing with the stake leaders, and I'm excited to see the results. But with all that it has been a very long and busy week, but it was totally worth it and we have going to continue doing it this week.
Thanks for the pictures, actually last night i realized i had around 50 days left too...crazy! Time is flying by! I was able to open all the pictures by the way so thanks! Try to fix Skydrive if you could, i can't from here because we have the mission cell that doesn't receive international texts. I wanna share the baptismal pictures with you and i have pictures on there that had been deleted from a memory card by a virus so i hope to save them.
I always feel that i have more to say but for now i can't remember so I'll close saying that I'm now almost completely healed and that this week was sweet, i hope the next is even better. Also this week as made me realize the reality of Satan and his power, but also the power of the priesthood and the power that we have inside us when we are doing the right things. Satan is real and wants us to fail and be miserable and every temptation that comes from him will make us miserable in the end even though the world wants you to think the opposite. I know that we have to do the small and simple things everyday, read, pray and keeps our minds turned unto God and when we do that, hell has no power over us and we will be able to help others come unto Christ. I know this church is true and that Christ lives and he loves us. I love you guys a ton, take care and be safe!
P.S. Feliz Cumpleaños Papa!