Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weekly Letter: May 17-23, 2011

para todos uds:

Wow! What a great week! First of all, we had a baptism; second, we had two meetings with Elder Oaks; and third, I think we have some good fruits for the next week.

Our numbers were a little lower, because we didn´t have the chance to work on Monday because we were in interviews with the president the whole afternoon in our church, which meant we had to open and close the church, so we were in the church basically all the day. Also, we had to sleep in the church in Metepec Tuesday night to arrive early for the mission conference with Elder Oaks, and the same conference with Elder Oaks took away the whole morning of Wednesday.....(not that I´m complaining, the conference was sooo good!) But yeah, time was limited, but we worked hard with the hours we had at our disposal, and we did good work.

The conference as a mission was really awesome. It was good to see so many other companions that I hadn´t seen for a long time. We arrived early in Naucalpan for the conference, so we had some time to catch up quickly before we sat down to study before the Apostle came. When Elder Oaks arrived, every missionary stood up where they were. In the little spanish he knew he told us "Gracias" and seated us. Without delay, he took time to shake every one of our hands. Being about 200 missionaries, I bet it wasn´t an easy task, and it did take some time to do so. His talk was very good, and when he gave his testimony, everyone of us, regardless of their language felt the power of the spirit seconding his witness.

We left that day, but I had to check up on the companions in my district, so Elder Talamilla went with my companion Elder Rosales, and I went with Elder Price to his area in La Crespa. We checked up on a couple that was going to be baptized this week, but had to get married first. We got there almost at the same time, because it had taken the whole day to get married. But they did it! We set an appointment for their baptismal interviews, and left really excited for La Crespa...and hoping that we would have a baptism in Independencia the same day.

The next day we had an appointment with Miguel Torres, who had helped clean the stake center for the conference with Elder Oaks in the Toluca Stake. He had a great experience doing so, getting to know several people, and got even more excited for Sunday. When we talked to him, we expected that we would have to remind him of Baptism, and how it is important to make the decision as soon as possible. But we got there and when we mentioned the baptismal service on Sunday, he said "So who will baptize me?" I almost laughed with joy, but I didn´t and suggested that my companion could baptize him, so that he could have his first baptismal experience in the font with Miguel. Everything went through as planned, and I´ve sent the pictures with this message so you can see Miguel in white. We are still hoping that his family can come to accept this message too. His wife is still scared to even go to church because of the opposition of her family, but Miguel has the confidence that her time will also come...and sooner than we think.

Then on Friday we talked to the Frías family (I think I mentioned them last week), we had only talked to the father of the family Gabriel several ocasions, and we didn´t realize that the wife was already baptized, and that her daughter also knew us. The situation with the family is that when Mari Carmen was about 2 years old, Gabriel left on a work-related trip to Panama, however, he was detained there on inaccurate charges for 7 years. Meanwhile, the wife had raised their daughter alone for 7 years, trying to hire lawyers so that he could return home. However, they had no success until about a year ago when Gabriel was finally released. However, Mari Carmen does not relate very well to her father, because in comparison to her mom and her grandpa(on her mother´s side) he is very reserved. Anyway, it is a weird situation.

However, Friday we were able to talke to the mom and the daughter....she really wants to get baptized, and we explained everything about the baptism so well that the mom almost wanted to be rebaptized (and then we taught the sacrament). The only obstacle will be that the daughter will have to ask permission from her father, not because he won´t give it(he already knows that his wife got baptized in the church, and he likes talking to us), but because Mari Carmen tries to avoid conversation with her father...but the mother said, and we agreed, that this would be a good opportunity to talk openly to her father.

Anway, then came Sunday. It was hard to allow all of our investigators to be in the chapel with the Apostle, because they arrived later(like an hour early), and the seats were already taken. Miguel was able to be in the front, however. But the other family had to be in another room with a television to see what was going on in the chapel...and we had to be outside in a tent with screens displaying what was going on, and with a lot of disgruntled and loud children.

However, I was impressed, because when Elder Oaks arrived, he ran to the microphone said once again "gracias" and then began to shake hands with as many people as he could....including with Miguel Torres (which we saw on the screen). The conference was also wonderful because his message centered on how the church is a family Church and the only church that puts so much emphasis in the family. For all of our investigators, we couldn´t have asked for a better talk to help them.

Well, my companion is telling me there is no more time. Thank you for all the support and prayers that you have done my behalf. I love you all!


Elder Blackham

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