This week we had a baptism. A 9 year old girl named Jennefer. She is so so sweet and really knows the church is true because of the way she feels there. She even had the courage to sing and bear testimony at her own baptism. All the members were super impressed!
This week we taught a couple that have been coming to church frequently, but need to be married. The wife is baptized, but her husband is not. We asked them directly what was stopping them from getting married and they just shrugged their shoulders and said "umm we just need some effort". They have been delaying marriage for years without any real sense of urgency. They just had a new baby 4 weeks ago and being guided by the spirit I started asking them questions. I said, "Do you love each other?" They replied "yes". I said "Do you love your new little baby boy?" They replied, "Yes of course". Then I asked, "Do you want to be with him forever?". They replied, "yes". Then I said, "Then that should be reason enough, because right now your family is not sealed and you won't be together forever after this life".
One thing I've learned on the mission is to preach boldly and by the Spirit. Sometimes, I even surprise myself because I say things I wouldn't normally say. But I'm so grateful for my calling. After that conversation with this couple, I made them mark a day to start the wedding papers. Now Sister Acevedo will have to see that it gets done.
With others, I am completely amazed with their faith. Two women we are teaching, Anne and Dalila, are so willing to do it all. They only lack legal marriage because their husbands don't want to get married. This week we taught them tithing and invited them to pay tithing after their baptisms one day. It was almost like our question killed their excitement about tithing. Dalila asked, "We can't pay our tithing now?" They are so anxious to be obedient and do what is right. I love them so much because they have taught me as well. It brings me back to the question, Who saves who? Does the missionary save the investigator or does the investigator save the missionary? I think sometimes I get more out of the lessons than our very own investigators. Many of my investigators, unknowingly, have taught me.
Finally, this week we taught a young man named Willians. He is from the Seventh Day Adventist church and always has really good questions. This week we answered more questions about the Plan of Salvation. At the end we learned that he still hadn't asked God if Joseph Smith was the prophet of the Restoration. We invited him to pray with the intent to follow up. But then I changed my mind last second because I was able to discern that his heart was good and that he really wanted to know. I said, "Ya know what Willians, how about you say a prayer right now. I know Heavenly Father will answer right now if you sincerely ask with a lot of faith". We entered into the sacrament room with him and his member friend, knelt down, and Willians offered a very sincere prayer. I spent the entire prayer pleading with Heavenly Father to help him recognize the answer. At the end we sat in silence and I wasn't sure if he was feeling it because I didn't feel much different. Finally he looked up and said, "Wow, yeah that's different. It's like a burning right here". Even the member friend was amazed at the immediate and powerful response.
When Sister Acevedo and I walked home we discussed the lesson and we both felt that the feeling of the Spirit during the prayer didn't change for us. We learned that the feeling Willians had, was the feeling that was with us the entire lesson. I learned two things. Heavenly Father will answer prayers immediately to the honest seekers of truth. And second, that the gift of the Holy Ghost is such a precious gift. I don't remember what it was like not having this gift in my life so sometimes I don't recognize the difference. But it is true, as long as we remember to keep our baptismal covenants...we have the promise that His Spirit will always be with us.
I love Jesus Christ. I love my job. I love Boa Vista. The Church is TRUE!