A week with ups and downs. Those 2 kids, Mathias and Damian, were all set to get baptized. Then we slowly started to lose Damian and then Mathias too at the last minute. Never have I before had to try so hard to get 2 niños baptized. Damian is only ten, but he is one of the smartest kids I know. It's a difficult situation, he knows the Book of Mormon is true and told us he knows that this church has the power and autoridad to baptize, but he likes his old church better. When he came to our church last week it was raining, when it rains in Paraguay our attendance goes from 90 to 30 real fast. So there were not many kids his age in the primary. He has a bunch of friends in his other church that he did not want to drop. He also did not like the idea of having to stop playing soccer on Sundays. He knows this church is true and knows he needs to get baptized, but he doesn't want to do it quite yet. Now, because he is not getting baptized, the mom who is a member does not want her kids going to different churches, totally understandable. So Mathias who still wants to get baptized will have to wait till we get the whole family. We are going to teach the dad and then all should be good. So having 2 baptisms swept from under our feet took away our animo. Sunday morning our Heavenly Father knew we needed a animo booster, and man did He deliver. We had 6 investigators at church. I have never been so stoked about the future of an area. I am %100 positive that we are going to baptize every week next change. Faith and hard work = milagros.
Fabio Flourentine will be baptized this Saturday. It's been a fight with him but our last lesson was amazing. He has a testimony of everything we have taught him. After every lesson he prays that night with mucho fe to ask God if its true, the next day when we pass by he tells us he recieved his answer and knows that priniple is true (Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, etc.). but one day we taught him about baptism. He was baptized in another church 3 years ago and remembers it vividly. He says he knows he felt the spirit during his baptism, which en verdad I'm sure he did. He acted on his faith in Christ by following Christ in the way in which he knew how. I know God was pleased with his faith and desires to follow Christ so Fabio was able to follow the spirit. But the difference between his baptism and our baptism is that you can feel this spirit even after the baptism when you recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost. After his baptism he didn't have that same spirit or feeling. So we invited him like always to pray to ask God if he needs to get baptized by someone holding the authority of Jesus Christ. He told us he recieved his answer saying that God told him he doesn't need to get baptized again, that he has made the choice to follow Christ. As you can see it is very hard to tell someone that they did not recieve that answer from God, because who am I to tell someone what they felt and did not feel. So we had to go from a different angle and focus on the priesthood. It's like a chess match with this guy, I love it. After much prayer we felt like we should watch the movie "the great apostasy" about Wilford Woodruff. That movie was written for Fabio. After the movie the spirit was very strong, he told us "I understood completely... I need to get baptized by someone holding the authority of the Lord."
Running short on time, here's a quick run down of our next few baptisms;
Victor Trinidad was a menos activo who we have re activated after a few weeks of visiting him several times. His girlfriend and her daughter came to church the past few weeks and will be baptized this Saturday as well. they are not married so we will have a marriage this friday for them.
Bernardino is the dad of Fernando Villalba our recent convert. I love that guy. He is all set for the 30th, we are helping him drop cigarillos right now and then he is good to go, as well as 2 more of his kids.
Angel is 12 yrs old, stud. Here's the story real quick. The zone leaders, Elder Schouten and I met up in the church building and started a fast together because we needed some extra help getting a few people baptized. Less then 5 minutes after leaving the church building, a lady stopped us in the street and asked us if we are the mormons, her son wants to join our church. So we go talk to him, teach the restoration, he loves it, he is muy animado for his baptism on the 7th of june. His parents don't want anything to do with our church, but they know that if he grows up in this church he will be a good kid. The dad was talking to a friend about how terrible the world can effect kids growing up. The friend was Mormon and told him that his son doesn't smoke, drink or any of that bad stuff, so he is all for baptizing Angel, but laughed when we invited him to get baptized. Oh well, Angel will be a great example for his parents and they will join the church eventually.
Cambios is this Wednesday, I am praying that I don't get changed. I know without a doubt that we have at least 7 baptisms happening within the next month.
much love y amor,
elder la fe