This week was pretty neat here in Mixquiahuala. I apologize if the title of my email fooled anyone; we didn't have any baptisms yet... But we do have quite a few lined up for the next couple of weeks! We have 3 that could potentially be for this coming weekend, but we have to talk to them seriously about the rest of their family. They want to be baptized with the other members of the family, but the rest haven't been going to church. Therefore, we'd have to wait until the middle of June to baptize them... I highly doubt that I'll be here in June, so we're going to see if we can't push them a little bit in our appointment tonight...
We also have Porfirio who is working on his addiction to smoking; he's had a habit recently (apparently due to stress) to smoke 10 cigarrettes a day. Yeah, that's a lot of stress. We taught him the word of wisdom, invited him to live it, and he agreed. In the next 2 days, he only smoked 1. I'd call that a major improvement going from 20 to 1. Although he improved, our rule here in the mission is that with an addiction such as smoking, he'll have to go 30 days without smoking at all in order to be baptized. it means I probably won't be here for his baptism, but it still gives me great joy knowing that I can help someone quite such a drastic addiction. Thus far he's gone a whole week without smoking. He's pretty awesome.
I felt like I learned something rather important this week as Elder Morales and I taught various lessons. I learned that the Spirit can touch other people's lives in our lessons, even if we don't necessarily feel it. Oddly enough, it happened twice this week that we were in a lesson that turned out exactly the opposite of how I thought they would turn out.
The first was with the San Juan family; we visited them with the Bishop and Relief Society President due to the abundance of less-actives in their home. Towards what we thought would be the end of our lesson, Alicia began to relate the tale of why she has been less-active; it was a very long story, she was crying, her daughter was crying, the Relief Sociey President was crying, and Elder Morales and I were panicking about the time we had been in the lesson and the fact that it was already 9:30. We somehow managed to interrupt her to talk about forgiveness and Jesus Christ. I felt the spark of the Spirit as I testified, but I had felt it many times before without the other person (investigator or otherwise) budging in their stance. Her tears immediately stopped, and she said, "yeah, we're gonna go to church this Sunday." Um... I'm fine with that... And yes, they went to church on Sunday. It was actually pretty cool to see how the Spirit worked so immediately in her.
The second happened with an investigator named Rosa María. Her son is a convert of almost a year, but she didn't ever feel ready to be baptized along with him. When the ward split, she became our investigator, and we started teaching her. On Friday we had an appointment, and we decided to talk very frankly about why she hadn't ever wanted to be baptized. The short answer: she didn't think she was ready. We invited her to prepare to be baptized on the 14th of May, and she answered with the same. We went on to prove to her that she indeed was ready. We told Elder Morales's story when he hadn't received not even a single lesson from the missionaries before he was baptized, and look at him now: a great missionary and a zone leader, not to mention an faithful member of the church. She then asked us, "I can't be baptized on the 14th... I'll be in Mexico (as in Mexico City). But I'll be here on the 13th."
"Okay... will you prepare yourself to be baptized on the 13th?"
"What time is the baptismal service?"
"Whatever time you want."
"Is 6:30 okay?"
"Absolutely... So... that's a yes?"
We left that lesson slightly confused, but again grateful that the Spirit worked in such a mysterious and marvelous way. She's been listening to the missionaries for over a year, and she finally decided that she wanted to be baptized for something so simple. As I said before, we certainly aren't complaining.
And that's my message for the day: that the Spirit works in very mysterious ways, but He does indeed work. We never know when He'll soften someone's heart and tell them exactly what it is they need to hear. Many times it won't have anything to do with what we say, but they'll know exactly what it is they need to know and what it is they need to do. Keep sharing the gospel. You never know who's ready.
Iré y haré,
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This blog is edited by Elder Groesbeck's amazing, beautiful, younger sister Aubrie. I will post any update I get. Enjoy :)