Highlight of the week, we had a baptism!!!!!
Emerson was baptized yesterday and the baptismal service was great. As always, getting a baptism together can be a bit crazy but it turned out pretty perfect. In order to get the whole fam to church we showed up at their house at 8:30am with doughnuts and they got ready and arrived to church about 30 minutes late but they arrived hehe :) Sister Castillo and I (having had experience with younger children at sacrament meeting) made a little crayon/coloring kit for Andre, Emersons' younger brother and their cousin and lo' and behold they stayed quiet the whole time! Being part of a family of 6 has its pros ;)
The best part of the baptism was the fact that the ward played a huge part in it. Its been a hard transition, especially because they belong to the LA 6th ward but because of their family situation they were investigating and going to our ward, LA 3rd. In the end, the primary president got together a small choir of primary children and they sang two songs for the musical number and the primary president gave Emerson his own set of little scriptures; he was so excited! And almost the whole ward was there! It was the most people I had seen at a baptismal service. Not everyone fit in the room so some people had to watch from the staircase which worked out, especially with how this church building is set up. It was a cool experience seeing how the ward really did work together and made Emerson feel really welcomed to the ward and the spirit was so strong. Teaching Emerson has been a really neat experience. Right now we are trying to teach his mom, Cynthia who really enjoyed the baptism and we're hoping to help them be an eternal family. :)
Other cool things this week, our mission did something this week called "Miracle Week" where we all set goals and made plans to make our key indicators explode and to do everything we could to make it the best week ever! The mission set double the baptismal dates this week and the miracles that were shared across the mission were numerous! As for our area, we set goals and made plans and did everything we could to get our 20 conversations, everyday and to get members out with us because we had been lacking in that. As we did that, we had something cool happen. We had received a referral from an old lady named Ana, that apparently Sister Castillo already knew who was a former investigator from a few months back. She really isn't mentally all the way there and she just invited missionaries over for the company but because it was in our referral system we went over to check and see if she was interested this time. We went over and we just showed her a video and the whole time she was asleep... hehehe we left feeling a little bummed. We then started walking all the way down the street until we realized we had planned a potential in that same complex, we were debating whether or not to go see her but we felt prompted to walk back and try her. We knocked and a woman opened the door, we introduced ourselves and at first she didn't seem very interested but we began teaching the Restoration and her eyes lit up. She then began starting to asking question after question after question. It turned out she is from Cuba and she doesn't know much about religion especially because when she lived there that was not really allowed. She became so interested as we explained about the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We answered her questions and she eventually started asking questions like "how do I get baptized?" "who would baptize me?" "what do I wear?" "where am I going to be baptized?" until we finally extended a baptismal date and she gladly accepted. It was so cool!!! I know the Lord led us to her, the Spirit prompted us to put her in our plans, and he also prompted us to turn back and to see her. I have such a strong testimony of the power and influence from the Holy Ghost. I hope and pray that all of you act on those promptings that you receive because that is how God puts us where we need to be to help His children.
Sorry for the long e-mail, I just felt I had to share all that's happened this week, because it truly has been miraculous. We have another baptism planned for this Sunday, for a man named Ramon who was a member referral, we have been teaching him for three weeks and he'll be baptized this week! I love this work! I love the Savior, His gospel!!
I love you all a billion and I pray that you're all safe and well this week!!!!!! <3
|Dinner with the Chavez fam, they are the best! p.s. their dogs are in the picture because they literally act as if they were their children...their names are bobby, luis and tomas hahaha so we had to include them in the picture|