This week we had a baptism! Miracles surely happen. Marco Bone has been one of our investigators since the first day Hermana Pinto and I started working in this sector together. He was a contact, and he had a baptismal date about a month back, but he never showed up because of some things his friends said. After a lot more work and patience and help from the Branch, Marco recognized that he knew the church was true, gaining a testimony, and entered the waters of baptism Saturday night. We are very happy for him. Even more, his confirmation was beautiful. One of the Hermanos in the branch that gave him the blessing hardly knew Marco, but everything he said in the blessing was inspired by God. It was a perfect blessing for Marco. Something did make me a little sad though. We wanted his Mom to come to his baptism so bad. So we went through a lot to change the hour of his batpism to be later in the night, so she could come after work. But when we called her at 6:00 to ask if she was still going to come, she told us no, that she wouldn´t even think about coming. After that phone call. It made me want to cry. Here was Marco, filled with so much conviction about his decision that he came alone to his baptism. He is a great example of courage and loyalty for me. Now the goal is to get him out on the mission! Everyone was super excited about Marco in ward council yesterday. Everyone wants to be his family. The single adults even went to his house last night to have a family home evening with him, without even us having to ask them! I love it when the members just start to do great things inspired by the spirit. It makes me realize that we really are working together.
As for investigators right now, we are currently teaching Daniel Figeroa, his cousins are members in our branch, and Daniel always lives at their house on the weekends. He has been to church several times and told us that he wants to be baptized. Daniel is a great kid! We are going through the discussions with him and I just love how he is so attentive and eager to read the scriptures. He also came to Marco´s baptism, to get a feel of how his will be next week on the 6th of September.
We also are teaching Alejandra Vila, who really is a miracle. Alejandra is the daughter of Silvia, the best recent convert in the whole world. Alejandra refused to see or even communicate with her Mom for 6 months, and about 2 months after Silivia was baptized, Alejandra´s heart was softened after , many prayers from Siliva and also from us, and she returned home. We jumped at the opportunity to teach her. Alejandra is so ready to accept the gospel! Her only problem is that she works for the government in policia and can only come to church every other domingo. We set a baptismal date for Alejandra for the 10th of October. Alejandra really wants to be baptized and promised us she would read the Book of Mormon every day in her lunch break. It’s a little hard because we can´t teach her as often as we would like, but we have an appointment with her this Saturday and will try to call her everyday in order to make sure she is cumpliendo con sus compromisos.
And so, another week has come to pass in the city of Ibarra. We are filled with hope for this coming week. Hermana Pinto and I are writing at this moment from a cyber in Otovalo (the tourist city 30 minutes from Ibarra) We got permission from the assistants to take a quick pday shopping spree to buy cool Ecuadorian merchandise. I splurged and bought a hammock for $12... bartering it down from $24. Yep...hopefully it was a good deal. Also, hopefully I can figure out how to use it in our house or maybe just wait a year or so to use it at home. Also we had a talent show on saturday and our district performed a number/skit for the branch. The skit was Querido Juan.. or Dear John. And it was just my luck to have to play the part of the girlfriend. (Its the story of the missionary who goes off on the mission, and then his girlfriend writes him saying that she married his best friend.. hehe) It was pretty funny. I think one of the members filmed it and put it on youtube. AKA eternal humiliation. But its all right because at least its all in Spanish.
Anyways! I would just like to finish this letter up baring my testimony that I know as we are obedient and faithful the Lord makes us instruments in his hands. I love in Matthew 5 when Christ plainly tells Peter who is fishing, Follow me, and I will make ye fishers of men. And this is so true for us as missionaries and members alike. We must simply follow Christ and he will make us what he needs us to be. Often we overthink our responsibilities and we get stressed out, depending in ourselves more than in the revelation we can receive from reading the scriptures, praying and partaking of the sacrament weekly. We always need to actively exercise our faith in order to achieve the ultimate purpose here in the mission; discipleship, fishers of man. I love how I can feel myself growing closer to Christ than I ever imagined. I love being a missionary! I love not having to worry about myself. It’s the cure to any challenge or grief that we face here in this life. To forget ourselves, as Christ forgot himself and gave us everything. This is my testimony!
Have a great a week everyone! Thanks for your support, you all are in my prayers!!
This is a pícture of us with Lorena and Jenifer, two young women who we are visiting along with their dad who is less active. They are progressing so much! And we love them!