It's been quite the stressful week this week. For the past three weeks, we've had the prospective baptisms of Osiris and Ingrid, and they've failed us each week with a different excuse or reason for which they couldn't be baptized. When they didn't come to church last Sunday, we decided that we are effectively going to start over with them, teaching them everything from the beginning. The missionaries that were here in Presas before supposedly had taught "everything", but we realized they didn't know that basics of the gospel. Hence, we're starting over, and we placed their baptismal date for the 7th of November. I probably won't be here in Presas at that point, but we'll see what Elder Gallegos can do. We just finished up his week 11 where he had to take the initiative in everything, and he totally nailed it. He told me afterwards that it was pretty stressful at times, and I was like, "I told you!" He learned a lot, though, and that's the whole purpose of week 11 in the training of a new missionary.
I said this week was stressful more for the fact that the Garcia family began to grow doubtful about their baptism. They all had received a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, but their grandparents began telling them things like, "if you get baptized, you won't be part of our family anymore." Yeah, it was THAT bad. Needless to say, the children began growing quite fearful that they would lose their family upon being baptized. Fortunately, having gained their trust through the process of our teaching them, they expressed to us said doubts. My brain immediately started running through the scripture mastery scriptures I learned back in seminary, and through a quite powerful lesson, we were able to resolve their doubts, and everything came out just fine. I may not have been a super huge fan of seminary back in the day, but it sure has come in handy when I need to bust out a scripture or two.
In other news, I killed a tarantula the other day with Leticia, the flashlight-tazer that Elder Niro left for me. Elder Gallegos and I were helping a stranger move some dirt (yay service!) when I saw a semi-large and hairy tarantula next to my hand. Scared the Charles Dickins out o' me, that spider did. Fortunately, I had the ingenious idea to burn that sucker from the inside out with the awe-inspiring power of electricity. It was pretty great.
As for the spiritual side of things for this week, I will start with an experience. Yesterday (Sunday), we had a grand feast in the home of some members, and they had invited several families to eat with us. They cooked a large pile of meat and served it out. I was one of the last to go back for more, and I found, to my dismay, only a small piece of pork left. I went ahead and grabbed it, slightly disappointed, but I said nothing as to the dying whale still found in my stomache. When Elder Gallegos and I had finished (still hungry), one of the sisters of the ward walked past, whispered to us "wait just a minute, Elders," and walked out the door. A few minutes later, she walked back in with a bag of tortillas and cheese, obvious that she had just bought them from the store. She then asked us how we wanted our quesadillas to be made.
I was incredibly disappointed at what had just happened. Even after all the emphasis that the prophet and the apostles had placed on keeping the sabbath day holy, I still saw the same problem that has persisted since the beginning of time. I very frankly said, "The thing is, Sister Andrade, you just bought those on the Sabbath Day. Therefore, we won't eat them." Probably feeling a little bit bad, she went ahead and made them, serving a rather large pile on a plate and placing it in front of us, as if testing our resolve to not eat the condemnation that was the quesadillas.
We casually pushed the quesadillas in front of us and continued to share a quick message with the two young men at our same table. One of them was the son of Sister Andrade, and he said, "my mom told us that if it's for the missionaries, it's okay to buy things on Sunday." I haven't the slightest idea who has been preaching such apostacy, but Elder Gallegos and I made sure to clarify why that was certainly not the case. As we continued sharing, one of the men there at the party walked up, and held a quesadilla in front of my face.
"Elder, it's a quesadilla."
"Yes, hermano. Yes it is."
"You can go ahead and eat it."
"No, hermano. No I can't. This was purchased on the Sabbath Day."
He walked away, saying nothing more. After we had finished sharing with the young men, we said a quick prayer with them, told them not to eat the quesadillas, and walked out without an ounce of hunger or regret for what we had done. We were spilled spiritually for standing up for what we knew was right. It really was a great testimony builder for me, as it was always a little difficult for me back in high school to stand up firmly for my beliefs. I normally simply avoided the confrontation of the situation, but I certainly would not do it this time, especially when surrounded by people who knew the commandments and how to keep the Sabbath Day holy. It doesn't matter who we are, what we do, or in what circumstances we are found. If we know the commandments of God and have faith, we will keep them. Period. There is no if, and, or but. Keeping the commandments is the one and only way that we will recieve the blessings of the Lord. We know it, even if no one else does. Let us be examples to the believers, lights on a hill. 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 :)