Well I just want to say that this week has been CRAZY!!!! I don´t know what it is but whenever we have baptisms scheduled EVERYTHING is more tense and emotions are high, not only for us as missionaries but for our investigators as well! Well this month Hermana Romero and I had a baptism goal of three, we then report that goal to our zone and our zone reports it to the mission. So with the assistants bugging our zone leaders about the zone goal our zone leaders have been bugging us about our monthly goal.... Sheesh!!!! But we met our goal and it wasn´t easy... Out of the eight investigators that we had baptismal dates for at the beginning of this month five of them fell through. But we met our goal and that is what matters! Wooo!
This past Saturday we had a baptismal service for Christina, Anthony, George and Julio. (George is only eight years old so he doesn´t count as a convert baptism even though we taught him and brought him to church and everything) But this week was so crazy because between the four of them and another investigator that we had a baptismal date for all of them were saying I can get baptized, wait no I can´t get baptized, yes I can, no I can´t...... On again and off again for this past week and a half..... But we have been able to see miracles in this short space of time which is really amazing.
The first miracle was when Hermana Maria (a councilor in the Primary Presidency) came to church with two little boys. These two little boys were George and Julio. She introduced us to these boys after sacrament meeting. She told us that their parents were both members but are VERY less active. These boys have never been to church before. We asked them why they wanted to come to church and they told us that they have friends who are members. So Maria told us that she talked to their mother about getting these kids baptized and she said that the mother seemed to want the same thing.
That next Tuesday we met with Maria and she showed us where they lived, the little boys were home alone so we scheduled to come back the next day. Well the next day Maria was M.I.A. when we went to meet her again and she also was not answering her phone....(That is one thing I am going to be better at when I get home... I am actually going to ANSWER MY PHONE WHEN IT RINGS!!!! Before I was a "I´ll call them back when I have time..." But I never called them back.... It is so frustrating here on the mission!) So we went to the boys house alone. We found their mother there and George and Julio were there also. We brought up the subject of these little boys coming to church and that it would be great if they were baptized. The mother then said, "??BAUTISMO??" Like she had never heard of the word before shocked and appalled.... Sheesh lady..... Then my companion said very kindly, "Hermana Maria told us that she talked to you about this and that you were okay with them getting baptized." The mother then seemed to remember that conversation and then said, "Well.... I guess it is okay...." Whew!!!!!
Our second miracle this week was when Anthony the grandson of a recent convert here in the ward asked my companion and I, "When can I get baptized?" Wow that was a surprise! "Sure kid next week!" So we went and taught Anthony as well this past week and a half. We have never met his mother, just her boyfriend who takes care of Anthony. So when we gave Anthony the permission form for him to sign for his baptism he came back the next day saying that he couldn´t get baptized...... Boo.... But it wasn´t really a surprise either... Lots of kids can´t get baptized because their parents won´t let them.
This all happened on Tuesday and when Anthony told us that he couldn´t get baptized we kind of put him on the back burner. Well in my planner I wrote down Anthony for some reason at 4:00 on Friday. My companion didn´t have this appointment written down. So I was about to cross it out Thursday night during our planning session when I said, "Why don´t we visit him anyways and tell him to come to the baptisms that we have scheduled on Saturday?" My companion didn´t want to but she agreed.
When we showed up at his house at 4 o´clock on Friday Anthony was holding the permission slip that we had given him on Tuesday and it was signed!!!!! But he was still sad! We asked him what was wrong and he started crying and said "I can´t get baptized because I didn´t have my interview on Wednesday." Then Anthony's grandmother said that he got his permission slip signed Thursday night and that they had been praying for us to come and visit them again so that Anthony could get baptized. We assured them that he could get baptized, and we scheduled the interview the next day with our District Leaders. When Anthony said the closing prayer he started crying and thanking the Lord that he sent us to his grandmothers house. I couldn´t believe it! This poor little kid is pretty sweet, every time he feels the spirit he cries. (My kinda guy hahaha I know how he feels)
But our last and final miracle was when we met Christina. On Sunday the week prior to our scheduled baptismal date we were sitting in church when Guadalupe our recent convert came up to us and said she just met someone who isn´t a member. We turned around on our bench and saw a woman walking out of the chapel. She has been coming to church for almost three weeks in a row, we met her and introduced ourselves but just assumed that she was a member. We literally ran and caught up to her before she walked into Sunday School. We talked to her a little bit and then we asked her how long she had been a member. (This question is really common down here, everyone is a convert) She said that she wasn´t a member but that her whole family was.... We then asked her, "Well Christina, we are holding a baptismal service this coming Saturday... would you like to be one of the baptisms for this service?"
Oh my gosh!!!!!!! What are we doing!?!?!?! Who asks a question like that???? Holding our breath and seeing her think about and process my question (my Spanish still isn´t perfect so I am used to the confused look) she replied, "I would love that!" My companion and I looked at each other and just smiled and said, Okay when can we visit you again and blah blah blah......... Can you believe it!!!! The Lord knew we were not going to reach our goal of three... We have worked and struggled this whole month for SOMEONE!!!! And boom the Lord literally dropped her right into our hands!
I know these three miracles are pretty lame considering the 17 Miracles that the pioneers experienced in the movie, but the Lord still hears and answers our prayers!!! He still is a God of miracles! Articles of Faith 7 says "We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth." The "and so forth" should be MIRACLES!!!!!
This week was pretty rewarding, but it wasn´t easy. After the baptism was all over Hermana Romero and I gathered up the baptismal clothes (a dress, three jumpers which all belong to the stake, we then had two pairs of pants and two white shirts as well. One of them which belongs to a brother in our ward the others also belong to the stake.) and took them home to wash them. We hand wash our laundry so we were just planning on hand washing all of these clothes as well. We spent a good 45 minutes scrubbing these clothes with the bar of laundry soap and we then put them into the big bucket that we use for our laundry. We filled the bucket with hot water that we had boiled on the stove and added bleach to the water. I then thought this water needs laundry detergent as well. I had just bought a new bottle of Tide Bright which is supposed to make your colors brighter and your whites whiter. When I added this blue liquid to the water with white clothes and bleach I went to put the cap back on the tide bottle.
I then heard my companion gasp like something was wrong. I turned to look at her and she was staring at the big bucket. I looked at the bucket and the water was turning red!!!!! I ran screaming the whole time and ripped out all the clothes and threw them in the sink and started rinsing them with water trying to get this RED OUT OF THESE WHITE BAPTISMAL CLOTHES!!!!!!!!!!!! I was just thinking what are we going to tell the Elders... What are we going to tell Brother Antonio???? After we rinsed out all the clothes we turned and looked at the water and it was clear again......
I was really confused, so we poured a little bleach into a cup with the blue detergent again and the liquid then started changing colors again! It was first a blue and then a dark purple then a brown and then BRIGHT RED, and then the liquid faded into a yellow and then a clear color.... We started laughing so hard because we just rinsed out all the clothes practically with our tears!!!!! So we shoved them back into the blue bucket and went to bed.... That was such a huge ordeal!!!! But the clothes are all white, no traces of the Tide magic anywhere! So I guess I could count that as miracle number four!!!! Haha
Well I hope you all are doing really really well and that you all have a wonderful week! I love you all more than I miss you!!!
Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess)