These last few weeks have been legendary. A lot has happened, so bear with me, this might be a longer email. Last time I wrote I was in Lomas Del Norte with Elder Rodriguez, looking for people to teach.
To be brief, I'd like to write about the stories of 2 people I got to teach in Lomas last transfer.
Everything turned around about halfway through the transfer with our appointment with Pablo. Pablo is an 11 year old boy that had been coming to activities but not to church, even though his mother is a member. We went many times in the first few weeks I was in the area, but they always turned us away or told us another time and then wouldnt be home. One day, all of our appointments fell through, and we decided to try once more. The dad (who is not a member) answered the door and told us that we couldnt come in because his little daughter was sick. He was shutting the door when I asked (and I have almost never offered before because its better if they ask for it) if he wanted us to give his little girl a priesthood blessing. He invited us in, and we blessed his daughter. Afterwards, he gave us water and we talked a little bit about the priesthood. He mentioned that he had been meeting with the Elders before, and I decided to go for it and ask if he had ever considered being baptized. He replied that he wanted to be baptized but that he couldnt because he isnt married to his wife.
So we asked if they wanted to get married, he said he did actually, and that they were planning on getting married soon. So we invited him to be baptized. He accepted, although he didnt want to put a date because we still didnt know when the wedding was going to be. After that, they came to church every Sunday I was in Lomas. We started re-teaching them the lessons, and we baptized his son the last week of the transfer. He will hopefully be baptized this transfer.
Wendy was such a cool experience. An inactive member named Kelvin showed up to church my first Sunday in the ward and said he wanted to start coming back to church because he had just had his first kid and wanted to be a good example for her (he served a mission, but got back during the pandemic and went inactive) The ward expressed doubt that he would stay active, but about two weeks later he blessed his little girl in sacrament meeting, and we started teaching his wife.
His wife, Wendy, was born and raised Catholic, but was very receptive to the lessons. She loved the Book of Mormon, and in our second lesson, we read 3 Nephi 11 together. We asked her if she understood what it meant that Jesus gave his disciples the authority to baptize, and taught them how, and she responded with "yeah, I suppose it means I need to be baptized by somebody that has authority, because my baptism wasn't like that." We weren't planning on inviting her to be baptized that day, but she readily accepted a baptismal date, and was baptized shortly afterwards. She has such a sweet spirit, and has the day marked on her calendar that she can enter the temple and be sealed to her husband and little girl.
The baptisms themselves were very awesome. The ward really got excited that we were going to have baptisms for the first time in a while, and they helped us a lot. Decorations, food, talks, you name it. The ward really showed out. I'm really grateful that they made it a memorable experience. Speaking of memorable experiences, everybody in my Zone also baptized last transfer, so we got to do a cool zone activity with our mission president. We went bowling and to a museum. It was a blast.
Despite the fact that everything was going really well, it kind of came to an abrupt end, because I got emergency transferred out a week before the actual transfers. So I spent the last few days of the transfer working in the Ipala branch with Elder McDonald. Highlight of that week was going to the temple to do endowments with the branch. I always feel uplifted after going to the temple.
But after all that craziness, being in Lomas for just 5 weeks, to go to Ipala, I got transfer news that I would be heading to the Catocha branch with my new companion, Elder Bejaran (another Dominican btw) We´re whitewashing the branch though, which is always a challenge, but my companion is awesome. He has a lot of faith. This is going to be an awesome transfer. We´re definitely flying blind though, it was a struggle just to find the house when we got here. We´re going to get the hang of it real soon... I hope.
But yeah its been really crazy so Im glad its calmed down. I really am in the final stretch though, this is my third to last transfer, which means Ill most likely be ending my mission in this branch. Its flown by so so so quickly, Im not sure where the time has gone. But Im going to make the most of the time I have in Catocha.