Well, it’s been another week, people. I can’t believe it.
This week was a little boring. But that’s alright. I can use a boring week after a week filled with trips to the hospital.
We have been running around trying to find many new people to teach, so we did a lot of walking. But we also visited Isabel a lot, who is the sister of Izalete, a recent convert.
Anyway, we taught her a lot, and finally she was taught everything to be baptized, but she said that she didn’t want to be baptized. So, instead of giving up (because it’s one more soul to save, right?), we challenged her. We explained that baptism includes two parts. The first is baptism by immersion in the water. But we also explained to her that many people forget the second part, which is almost more important, to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by those who have the proper authority. We explained to her as well that if she didn’t receive the second part of a complete baptism (receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost), the baptism basically isn’t valid.
So in this way we challenged her: to be baptized by immersion by someone who has authority to do so, and then to see what she feels. We testified to her that if she didn’t feel anything, she didn’t have to continue listening to us, she didn’t have to receive the Holy Ghost, and I and Elder Leite would ask our president to send us home early because our mission would be in vain. But if she did feel something, she would continue in the church and receive the Holy Ghost the next day. She agreed.
And so what happened was this. After the meetings on Sunday she went and changed into baptismal clothing, and Elder Blaylock planned to baptize her. Then I got a call from the other ward saying that they had a baptismal meeting with 11 people getting baptized, four that I needed to interview still, and four of them wanted me to baptize them. Great. So I told Elder Leite: “Do whatever it takes to stall this meeting so I can watch the baptism of Isabel!”
I left there, running with another member to the other chapel. When I arrived I interviewed the four people and we started the meeting in the other ward. My heart was pounding so hard because I was thinking about so many things at once and there were so many people to baptize!
Each of the 11 was baptized and I baptized three, but when the last entered the water, a little girl 12 years old, she fainted in the water. So I caught her and lifted her out of the font to a chair and I sat down next to her and talked with her.
So I was all wet in my baptismal clothes, and she was crying because she had an unknown fear of water. Thanks to the help of several people and especially the bishop, we helped her with her fear and she was baptized after that.
From the font, all wet and still in my baptismal clothes, I talked with a member who agreed to take me as fast as he could back to my chapel to see the Isabel’s baptism.
I whipped on my clothes in less than a minute with no towel and without my shoes, and I (and Elder Knudson who was with me) went running to the car. We arrived at the chapel and we ran inside . . . still without shoes, all wet and with all my stuff in my hands to enter the baptismal meeting. I got there in time to see Elder Blaylock leaving the baptismal font. I had missed it. Who knew that baptisms would leave me so stressed?
Elder Leite and I stood outside of the women’s room waiting anxiously for Isabel to get dressed so we could find out how she felt. Our missions depended on it, right?
When she came out, we asked her how she felt. She smiled and looked at us like she didn’t want to admit it, but knew we were right. That was when we almost said, “told you so!” but we didn’t. We waited, and she said she felt strange and different, not like anything she felt before, but she felt good.
Elder Leite and I were certainly relieved.
And so, the week ended with the zone baptizing 18 people. What a blessing, but how stressful to receive!! Hahaha
Today I went with Elders Knudson and Leite to the mall in Tucuruvi. Elder Knudson bought a watch, a new suit and a suit vest. Holy cow. I thought I knew how to spend money, but this kid has got me amazed! It burns through his pocket like a hot metal spike through styrofoam.
I passed the office and I got the package that you guys sent! Alleluia! I guess I will save this one until Christmas.
I love you guys and hope you have a wonderful week!