Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekly Letter: November 1-7, 2011

This week was the trial by fire period. We had really good days, and horrible days. Horrible days like with Margarita and with Esmeralda. I will mention each experience separately.

Margarita´s adult daughter, Nancy, got baptized in August. She hadn´t wanted to get baptized until about four weeks ago, when she wanted to get baptized as a surprise for her daughter Nancy. However, she was not able to get baptized that day because she had to go with her brother to resolve some papers for her trip the next week to the Mediterranean. So we had to cancel her surprise baptism until a month later when she would be getting home.

Well, she got home this week, and we went to visit her, and she smelled like smoke. We asked her what she thought about baptism and she told us this: "I´m sorry, I will no longer be baptized." We tried to see where she was having resistance...we tried seeing if it was the smoking habit or something else. But she said that it wasn´t a problem, that she hadn´t smoked at all the whole month on the Mediterranean and had felt fine. We got to the point where we would explain to her that God wanted her to get baptized, but she kept firm and said the following: "I know God wants me to get baptized, and I know that he wants me to be baptized this week, but I will not do it....but I´ll apologize to him later." At that point, it was pretty late and I could see that we were not making progress, so frustrated and distracted we went home.

Then Esmeralda. She was the investigator that had been waiting for us last week to go to church, but never called us so we didn´t go. This week she felt really bad, so she committed to go to the dance activity that Friday, and then go to church on Sunday. She went to the dance on Friday, but then didn´t want to go to church on Sunday, and completely did a dead stop in her progression. We´re stilling trying to figure out what happened, because she said that she had a great time at the dance. She said that she wanted to attend her Catholic church on Sunday. We invited her to go to both meetings, and she was going to do so, but then out of nowhere she asked about images and the virgin of Guadalupe. I told her straight at that moment, that that question was not relevant in that moment. I told her to go to the chapel, she would have some questions and we could answer them more directly (it was Saturday night and we had an important appointment at 8:00 on the other side of the area). That was the worst thing I could have said, because she just stopped and said, that she would no longer go to Church. I guess we may be leaving her after all. On Sunday morning when we stopped by, she reaffirmed that she was not going to go to church, but that we could stop by in the week. Frankly I´m doubting that it would be of much use.

But in the darkest of moments, that´s when miracles occur. We contacted a lady in the street on Wednesday named Carmen, and she stopped everything to talk to us. She wanted us to go to her house that same day so we did our best to get there at 6:00. We got there very late and she had already gone. Her mom answered and told us that she had mentioned specifically that we were going to come by. If we came late, she was to set an appointment for the next day and tell her when the appointment was to be.

There are several times that I have invited someone to baptism in the first appointment, but very few times that we put a date the same appointment. Due to the rules set by the president, we need only two times in the church before baptizing an investigator. So when she accepted baptism we then proceeded to the date for the next Sunday. She accepted it very well...and then we explained that we wanted her to get to know the church before getting baptized, so we invited her to church.

Then on Sunday, we passed by, but she wasn´t there. We were really worried despite the fact that her family said that she left for the church on her own. We got to the church with another family we had invited, and nobody was there...just members. I think my companion and I were both praying that she would show up...and right before the prayer, she shows up with her two young daughters and her ex husband(which actually was never her husband because they never got married legally, but now they are separated.) We were a little concerned they may have been living together, even though she had said that she lived alone with her daughters. The husband said that he had attended church in Tenayo(the stake next to Tlalnepantla), and wanted to start attending again. We verified that they were indeed separated...and living in different places. He does live in our boundaries, but it´s far away enough that it doesn´t cause too much concern. We definitely have to explain the Law of Chastity this week.

So yeah, we´re actually going to head over there pretty soon to reaffirm the baptismal date for this week and set an appointment for an interview. Plus we have several possible people to get baptized this week that have gone to church these last two weeks and have accepted baptism, just not a date...yet. So please pray for us! We´re getting things moving here in the Molinito finally, and we got to keep it moving!


Elder Blackham

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