Sunday, January 3, 2016

A powerful conversion

Dear All,
I hope you all had a fantastic Navidad and that all of your dreams come true or something inspiring like that.
I had a pretty solid week; I don't know if I have ever eaten more in my life. On the 24th, we ate with 6 different families. On the 25th we ate with 3 more. And on the 26th we were still eating leftovers from Christmas parties. It's a good thing I like tamales because if not I probably would not have eaten anything this week. (Funny joke: Why do Mexicans make tamales on Christmas? I'll tell you why later)
But yeah the highlight of the week definitely was the baptism that we had. 
So this lady, she's 72 years old. She was a Jehovah's Witness for 20 years. She was one of those that go house to house and go to their meetings like 9 times a week and stuff. Hardcore. But then she went to the temple, because she is the Bishop's neighbor and his family invited her. In the temple, she started talking to missionaries. She told them right then and there "I want to be part of this church". Holy cow. Wow. 
So we start teaching. She literally fell in love with Joseph Smith. She didn't believe that he was a Prophet, but she said he was the most handsome guy she had ever seen. And my beloved companion started throwing wood on the fire, saying things like "Yeah, you're right. And doesn't my companion look like him?" So that got weird fast.
But the point is this. The JW came to visit her one day. They stole her Book of Mormon and all of the pamphlets that we left her. So we gave her more. She progressed amazingly, stopped drinking coffee, went to church even with a broken foot, stuff like that. But she still didn't feel like she had a testimony.
So comes the day of her baptism. We talked with her the night before and she told us that she still wasn't sure but that she would pray and ask. We noticed that she had no idea how the Lord could respond to her prayer. We had taught her, and felt like we had taught her well, but she didn't really understand that part. So we helped her, it kinda dawned on her, and she commited super well to pray about the church.
The next morning was the interview. My companion had the impression to go and visit her and read her a talk from President Monson before the interview. Good thing we did, because as soon as we left the house, we noticed that the JW were out doing their visits. We knew we had to get to her house before they did. And we did. We were reading her the talk when they knocked on her door. It was the moment of truth. I was so nervous I was shaking. We told her that she could do what she wanted, answer the door or keep listening. She thought a second, and then said, "Eh, ignore them. Keep reading." I was so happy. They knocked again and her son yelled, "She can't right now, she's busy!" And they left. Holy cow. Wow. What a miracle. And then the DL (district leader)
got there and I'm not sure how he did it, but she came out of the interview with an amazing testimony. Everything was looking great.
So that baptism was going to be at 3pm. We had announced it in Ward Council and we had literally told the Bishop 5 minutes beforehand. We get to the church, the font is full, the sister was there with her fellowshipper, and no one else showed up. 3:30 came and still no one. 3:45 and still nothing. The sister was about to change her mind, when the ward secretary showed up. Who knows why he showed up. We decided to call President Garcia so that we could have permission to baptize her without a member of the Bishopric, but when we asked him, he put us ON FREAKING HOLD. I cannot express the stress and confusion that I was feeling in those moments. SO. We call him back. Turns out he had a better idea. He called the stake president and told him what was going on, to which the stake president responded: "Don't worry, I'll get everything moving," and then president Garcia told us he was on his way to be there personally. 5 minutes later the entire Bishopric literally came in the chapel running. We kinda sat there like "Oops did we do that?" but whatever. The point is she got baptized and it was an amazing service. Completely improvised, but super awesome.
So yeah. Mission complete. Holy moly. That was nuts. I will never forget that image of the bishop and his counselors and their families literally running in the door of the chapel. If only we all had that kind of enthusiasm all the time.
Love you guys, it was awesome to see you and I can't wait until Mother's Day.
Los quiero mucho,

Elder Rawlings

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