Surprise! I´m writing you all today because changes were change (haha) this week due to the large number of new missionaries coming. Changes will be on Wednesday and I will be leaving Limarí! Elder Crist will be staying here with a new companion. Usually changes happen on Monday, but this week is different. I´m sad that I will be leaving Limarí because I have had many good memories here, but that is how the mission is! And the best part is that I got to end my time here with a baptism! C was baptized yesterday and practically the whole branch went to her baptism. I have two experiences that I would like to share.
1. On Wednesday, we had the vital appointment with C and her mom. Like I said last week, C´s mom did not aprove the idea of her daughter being baptized so quickly. Before the appointment, we did everything possible to prepare. We studied many hours in the days prior, fasted, and sought the inspiration of Heavenly Father. We knew that we couldn´t accomplish anything without the Spirit guiding us. When we arrived at C´s house, her mom was in a different room taking care of the kids. Once her mom came out, the Spirit took over. Seriously, I am happy that I could have been an instrument in the Hand of God during that appointment. We were inspired to begin the appointment with a discussion about our church. Just some basic principles and commandments so that C´s mom would become comfortable and familiar with us. It was amazing how the conversation led to testimony and then to baptism. C bore her strong testimony to her mom, and then we bore our testimonies about testimony. Once we could all feel the Spirit, we asked her how she felt about baptism. Due to the testimonies that she had heard and the Spirit that she felt, C¨s mom had developed a new opinion about baptism. She told us that if her daughter was 100% sure about her decision, then she would support her. C excited said that she was more that 100% sure about her decision due to the answer that she had received from Heavenly Father. She truly knows that this church is true, and her mom fully supports her! Her mom then signed the baptismal paper and then 4 days later we saw her again at the baptism. She has invited us over for ¨once¨ tonight so that she can say goodbye to me before I leave. I am glad that we have earned her trust, but more importantly, I am glad that my companion and I could be in tune with the Spirit!
2. The second experience happened without neither my companion nor me knowing. Since C is usually home alone, we always ask different men or young men to accompany us in order to enter her house. We try to ask a different person each time so that she meets more members of the branch. For one of our visits, we invited a 17 year old young man to come with us. Little did we know that he had just had a mission interview with President Kähnlein that morning, but had not passed due to his failure to pay tithing. At times, President can be very ¨harsh¨ in order to have someone repent. I know that the ¨harsh treatment¨ works for some people, but for others it just makes them feel even worse. After the interview, this young man didn´t feel worthy of God´s love. He had been badly effected by the chastisement from President and had thoughts of not going on a mission in his mind. That night, when this young man went with us to an appointment, we taught about tithing. C asked ¨What happens to those who can´t pay tithing?¨ We answered that no matter what, God still loves them but also they need to sacrifice for Him. He has given them everything, as well as promised countless blessings to those who obey this commandment. Do the Will of the Father, and then the rest will be given unto you. We left the appointment without realizing how much our answer had helped, not our investigator, but this young man. Last night he told us that after the appointment, he went to his room and prayed for forgiveness from Heavenly Father. At that exact moment, an overwhelming feeling of love and peace came upon him, and his desires to serve a mission returned. He knew that God loved and forgave him. His story is one of true repentance. True action in order to receive forgiveness. At all moments in our lives, we are surrounded by people. We never know when our words or actions will effect someone. That is why it is crucial that we follow the example of Christ at all times, as well as bear our testimonies at all times!
I pray for all you!