This last week was wonderful, made perfect by the conference and a baptism. The only way it could have been better is if we could have had more investigators come and see the conference.
We had a baptism yesterday, a man named Miguel. This man is truly a miracle. He is the husband of a member, and has been investigating the church without any desire to get baptized the past 5 years, and two Sundays ago his wife just came back to church for the first time in years. While we were talking with him during after the Sacrament Meeting we asked him how he currently felt about baptism, and to our utter shock he said:
"I want to get baptized next week. Can you help me out with that?"
We were flabbergasted.
During the week we visited him on and off, coming up to Saturday morning to explain how everything was going to go for his baptism the following day, where he showed us the white shirt, white tie, and white pants he had gone ahead and bought because he was so excited. He will be an incredible member here in the ward, and I am certain that will be a leader in the near future.
Then came the conference. I loved it and learned a lot, and almost filled up a notebook that one of my best friends gave me before the mission. I had a little bit of a hard time applying everything I learned to my mission right now, but feel a lot better about the hope I have to become a decent human being... ;):)
I particularly enjoyed the Priesthood session that talked a lot about faith.
In his talk in the priesthood session Elder Uchtdorf said something very interesting, comparing faith with an altar. I had never thought of faith in that way, and decided to make my faith an altar where I can take all doubts, fears, selfish desires, and unbelief to be sacrificed in favor of hope, strengh, and an enlightened life.
That about wraps it up for this week. I love you all so much, and continue praying for and think of you!
Preguntas Bien Rapidito
Q: You mentioned, tantalizingly, in your last letter that you have a whole new slough of responsibilities and then did not elaborate. What are your new responsibilities?
A: I just started my first change as a district leader here, which is always a party. And President at the same time transferred some missionaries into the district that need a little bit of help... :) This change is going to involve a huge learning curve and all sorts of stuff. I now have to organize juntas once a week, speak at zone conferences, do baptismal interviews, interchanges with my missionaries, and working all the time with them. Woo!
Q: How are Alejandra and Cristina settling in? Do you find as missionaries that once someone is baptized most of the pre-baptism anxieties settle down?
A: Yes, and no. The pre baptismal stuff all quiets down, but then comes the real life trials right afterwards, because the adversary doesn't like it when people renounce him completely. :P Alejandra is now looking for a new job because the day after her baptism her boss turned all lascivious and nasty and he won't stop harassing her... Sigh. But she is still doing really well, all things considered. :)
Q: Are new members confirmed immediately after their baptism or do they wait until Sacrament Meeting the following day?
A: Yup! They always get confirmed the first Sacrament meeting after their baptism.
Q: What is a cultural/historical/museum-y sort of place you have been to recently? Do the elders just not “get into” that kind of stuff? This is your monthly reminder those kinds of experiences are important too.
A: Quite frankly, most of the missionaries that I know see all of that kind of stuff as a waste of time, especially the leaders. And in this current area, there really isn't a whole lot of cultural stuff to see. Over the next couple weeks we will hopefully have a P Day to go up to Volcano over there on the other side of Toluca! That will be cool.
Elder Kennington's birthday cake supplied by some members in his area.
Members celebrating Elder Kennington's birthday. Hello Elder Puca!
Baptism for Alejandra and Cristina don't know which is which). Elder Puca and Elder Kennington.
Must have been a great baptismal service for eleven new members. So exciting! Elder Puca is fourth from the left on the back row.
Elder Fjerstad, Elder Kennington, Miguel and his wife on Miguel's baptism day.