May 20, 2013
Buenos dias, familia y amigos!
This last weekend was so great! I had my first spanish baptism, Ch..... L..... It was so great! Everything just worked out perfectly. We made it there with plenty of time, a counselor in the bishopric and the ward mission leader were already there and had everything set up- (font filled!), we had the programs ready. Ch..... got there early to get dressed, tons of his family and friends came, everything! It was so great! Sister H and I gave the talks (I did about 1/3 of mine in English because most of the people there couldn't speak Spanish, but all of Sis. H's and the rest of mine was in Spanish), and I played the piano.
Ch...... couldn't stop smiling throughout the whole thing. He is so excited to be one step closer to going to the temple with his wife. They are going to be such an adorable eternal family! She is having a baby in a few weeks. So cute!
Yesterday, I went to the Elsinore branch while Sister H went to Ch......'s confirmation (my comp was Sister Bl..... from Elsinore and Sister H was with Da....). It was good to be with Ma........ at church--he was super excited to see me when I went to sit down next to him! The talks were on the Plan of Salvation, which was perfect to give him a little review of the second lesson. Then in Sunday School, it was just Brother N.... (ward mission leader), The Bl......s' (they are ward missionaries), Ma......... and me. We went over the Articles of Faith, which was also perfect because it allowed us to review the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ (lesson 3) through the 4th Article of Faith.
Ma........ likes to talk a lot, but it was good that he talked a lot during Sunday School because I feel like I got to know him a little better. He is divorced and has two sons. He has been drug/alcohol/cigarette free for something like 16 years, but he is still striving to become a better person so that he feels worthy to talk to his sons again. That is what motivated him to open the Book of Mormon, and then to call us to tell us that he wanted to be baptized. He loves the Spirit that he can feel at church, and it seems like he is almost addicted to it--he can't get enough of it! He also said that when we first told him that there was a Spanish Branch, he didn't believe us because he didn't think there were enough Hispanics here, and then when he came to the Branch for the first time and saw that it was true, he was overwhelmed with gratitude--especially because of the amount of gringos that attend the branch and are able to speak Spanish (there are a lot of families who come where the parents both served Spanish speaking missions).
Aty one point he got a little emotional and said that he was so grateful for the examples that my companion and I set for him, being so young yet so faithful and willing to serve. He reallly humbles me a lot-- here he is a grown man, probably in his 50's, and he is so willing to listen to, learn from, and even emulate the examples of two little girls. He is so amazing.
The Branch President announced Ma.........'s baptixm during Sacrament Meeting, and it sounds like there should be plenty of people there. They are even planning on having a waffle party after the baptism. And there are plenty of people willing to participate in the program. I am just so excited for this next weekend!
I love you all! And I hope you each have a wonderful week.