Dear LaFizzles,

Milagro. José Baez was baptized! I'm not really sure if I've told you about him, but I will get better at telling you about the investigators that are progressing. We found José about 2 weeks ago, he is 23 and lives with his parents. 5 years ago he crashed on his moto and broke the growth plate in his left leg so its shorter than the other, so he walks on crutches. We took him to church last week by bringing a member with a car to pick him up. In our district meeting last week my zone leaders really encouraged us to baptize someone this Saturday. So we thought really hard as to who is ready to be baptized this Saturday. Salinas and I both thought of José, so we went over there that day, we asked him if he remembers his baptism date (previously set for the 22), his reply -
"sí claro. el 8" - josé
"quiere bautizarse el 8?" - me
"sí claro." -josé
Soo, we went over all the commandments and the baptism preguntas. He was listo pá. (in Guarani you just add pá or y té to the end of a word to give it the extra umpf) in other words, he was listo y té to get baptized. So we did divisions with the zone leaders Wednesday to do the interview. Everything was all set till we passed by on Thursday, his parents are super Catolicos. They don't have a problem with him going to church, but they don't want him to get baptized "a second time". The mom went a little crazy on us, but we were able to sit her down and share with her why José wants to get baptized. We explained baptism by immersion, baptism when we are older, and baptism by the authority of God, she could find an answer for any of these except for they do baptisms the Catholic way because of tradition. So she told us to come back later to talk to her husband because supposedly he knows the bible like the back of his hand. So we came back and surprisingly had a decent lesson with him. In the end he was pretty stubborn, so we invited him to pray and we will come back on Friday. We show up as the dad just finished talking to his pastor, and the guy just yells at us for a few minutes saying we are trying to destroy his family. He forbid us to come back to his house ever again, I'm sure he would pull out some kind of gun to prove his point if we did come back. So we had to leave without talking to José. We were pretty down for the rest of the day... till we devised a plan... se llama snatch/grab/and baptize José. José usually takes a morning walk around the block to stretch his legs. So Saturday morning we go out and find a curb to sit on around the corner from his house at 8 in the morning. After waiting 2 hours we finally see José walk by. We go talk to him and ask him if he still wants to get baptized today.. "sí claro"
So we called up Hmno Miranda, the only member with a car, and he came to pick us up. Our baptism font wasn't working so we called some other missionaries ahead of time to fill theirs up. Gave him some clothes and baptized him. Forgot my camera, I will send the foto next week. It was a really spiritual experience. The water was super cold and his foot was hurting really bad as he entered the water. I thought he was going to back out at first, but he knew it was important so he went through and was baptized by elder Salinas. Afterwards I bought him an ice cream since we didn't have a cake and then dropped him off near his house. It was a crazy day.

Thanks a ton for the LaFaye baptism story. The example of those missionaries is exactly what I needed right now. I find myself getting very frustrated with people who don't understand something when I teach it very clearly and simple, or when people of other faiths are stubborn. The 4 religions that I usually find down here are Catolicos, Evangelicals, and some 7th day Adventists and Jehovah Witnesses. I usually just avoid the latter two because there is very little success with them. But all the Catolicos want to talk about is the virgin María, and the Evangelicals only care about the bible and nothing else matters. I get irritated more than I should with some of these people, but I will try to be more like Elder Hernandez and be more patient with their beliefs.

I did divisiones with my old companion Elder Bowers, he is the man. If someone would have told me back in March that we would become best friends I would have laughed. But he has been one of my favorite companions, it was like a blast from the past working with him for a day. I will be in his zone until he goes home in December. Hopefully we will do a few more divisiones before then. Their area is a little slow so we spent the whole day looking for news. Within an hour we found a family of 8.

"I want to ride my bicicle, I want to ride my bike". -queen. WE JUST GOT BIKES! some other missionaries had them but never used them, entonces los aprovechamos. It's like starting a whole new mission. We can visit dozens of people every day. The only down side is that 90% of the streets are empedralla (rocks). and the bikes are pretty low quality so my butt gets pretty sore.

Presidente forgot to assign talks so he asked us to do it Sunday morning. We were running around getting investigators to church so I didn't prepare anything. So I just started to teach the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ from the pulpit. it turned out really well, I basically tried to inspire everyone to talk to their friends about the restored gospel. Hopefully we will get some more references. That's our weakness right now, working off references  so this morning we studied a bit in ch 9 in PMG and set some plans to work more with members.

Real quick, Mariella is doing great. She just doesn't feel like she is ready to get baptized, but we are going to help her feel prepared for this Saturday. I will tell more about her next week.... and hopefully I will have 2 baptism fotos to send :)

gotta go. much love y amor,

Elder LaFaye
bautismo de Jose Baez