Wow what a week! Do I start all my e-mails off that way? Seems like I probably do. I just really can´t stress enough what a privelege it is to be here in the Garden of Eden. I mean seriously, when do the blessings stop? A few weeks ago, our Zone Leaders gave us a huge challenge to baptize every week in the month of May. Realizing that would take a lot of faith and a lot of work, Sister Macedo and I accepted the challenge. We made a goal to mark at least one baptism date per day. Okay so I´m not athletic, but isn´t there some analogy about shooting free throws and the more baskets you make the more likely you are to make the next one? It kind of went down like that. My faith was increased every day as we were able to mark more and more dates this week for the weeks in May with our progressing investigators!!!
On Friday we were only lacking the 7th, this weekend. We knew the only person who potentially could be baptized was a man named Marcello, whom neither of us know very well. He is the son of a member in our branch who comes to church and attends institute, but other than that we didn´t know too much about his background with the church. We marked to meet with him on Friday. We prayed and did practices so that he could be baptized this Saturday if it was the Lord´s will. Did I mention he lives in a little city in the middle of nowhere outside of Eden? Yeah our area is like that, we have to take a few buses to get to some places but its totally worth it! So we showed up not really sure what to expect and I can honestly say it was one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever been a part of. Marcelo basically told us that he had just never wanted anything to do with the church before and had made some choices that eventually led him to think "Is this really what I want?" I think it was the first time I had ever seen someone truly "repentant". Now I have no idea who Marcello was before, what kind of choices he made, etc. But I can testify that he has changed. To see how the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the repentance process has worked in this mans life without even knowing him was an experience that I will never forget. Tears filled his eyes as he expressed his desire to be baptized, by his Dad to whom he looks up to as an example. We invited him to be baptized this Saturday and he accepted! My faith increased extraordinariuly this week. Please pray for Marcello that everything goes according to plan!
After an amazing conference with Elder Neil A Anderson we were able to make it back in time for Ligia´s baptism this past Saturday! It could not have gone better. The spirit was so strong and many people came to support her. Including her boyfriend who isn´t a member....yet :) The Relief Society even had refreshmants waiting! We didnt even ask them to do that! What is this place? Oh yeah, paradise!
So basically I am just as happy as ever with a heart full of gratitude and love. Thanks for all your prayers and support, as you can see they really do make a difference in our work!!!!