So, guess what? My first week as a trainer was literally the greatest week in the entire world! We worked so dang hard, and I learned so dang much...AND WE BAPTIZED! Yesterday, Max's mom Aida got baptized, and we couldn't be psyched-er. It was Hermana Hardy's first baptism in her mission, and I am so happy that in our first week together it happened! We did lots and lots of finding, I tried so hard to put to use every little thing I've learned in my mission to be a good example for my companion. That meant FAKING IT UNTIL I MADE IT. I focused a lot on gaining the confidence of every person we met, so I basically tried to make every one of the people we contacted laugh once, and it was super fun. Since the beginning of the week, I felt like we were going to baptize Aida (the mom), but the problem was, after our first lesson with her at the beginning of the week she pretty much had NO time. And she was VERY clear that she didn't want pressure at ALL or she would say no. So, we did a lot of praying and fasting, and ended up planning a lesson for her that didn't end up happening until SATURDAY NIGHT!
Her concern was primarily her husband. When I started planning her lesson, I was trying hard to think of a way that we could invite her without being super forceful. So, I thought of the thing she definitely already had going for her - faith. A lot of faith. But not enough to cast out fear, fear of the unknown and the future. So, I remembered the story of Moses parting the Red Sea. Elder Bednar gave a talk awhile ago that talked about how the people had to show their faith by starting to run into the water before the Lord parted the sea. What faith they had! Their commandment was "start to run," and run they did. We shared that story with Aida, followed by the famous scripture in Nephi, where he didn't know what was going to happen, but he draws his strength from the story OF Moses and the Red Sea and "nevertheless, I went forth." In my planning, I drew a chart of "spiritual progression" - basically the process in which we gain courage. I can't remember exactly how it goes, but it starts with a spiritual confirmation - a feeling. Thus, we have an ASSURANCE that something is a certain way. Then, we act. Then, we see evidences of the truth. Then, we have more assurance, and we become more courageous. Then, we act. Then we see evidences... etc etc. I think it would be better if I had the chart, but basically that was the theme of the first part of the lesson - that we trust our spiritual confirmations, impressions, before we trust what the world says. And when we do this, ONLY AFTER WE DEMONSTRATE OUR FAITH, we see the physical evidences that it is truth. For example, we explained, the promise to us as missionaries speaking another language is that if we OPEN OUR MOUTHS they will be FILLED. But first we have to act. I explained that I only experienced the gift of tongues after I became willing to open my mouth, and it WAS filled. Also we explained that, as Elder Holland says (more or less), "some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come 'til heaven - but for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they COME." Of course, all this in reference to the situation with her husband, faith that one day he will come around but in this moment what he needs is her example. Well, in THIS moment we invited her to baptism. She said, "not tomorrow, but I'll get baptized someday." We explained that if she knows it's right right now, there's no need to wait. Well, even Max looked at her and asked her straight-up WHY she didn't want to do it. She literally had no answer. I felt like, I don't even know why, in this moment we needed to sing "Come Come Ye Saints" - the thing is, in Spanish the title of this hymn reads something like "Everything's Okay." We sang, she loved it but still had no words in her mouth. I asked her to pray to ask Heavenly Father if tomorrow was right. She did, and we all were just bawling our eyes out during the prayer. She finished and still had no answer. She asked me to say a prayer. So I did. And I received some very very strong words, I could feel the Spirit truly just speaking through me. Well, I finished, and she said she would get baptized. In the morning, she had her baptismal interview, after Max's confirmation. She told us "I should have done this last week." She was SO ready and SO prepared. We made a nice program with all the songs she loves and the speakers she wanted in just a few hours, and the ward showed up at five to watch her get baptized. PS, she definitely wanted "come come ye saints" as the closing hymn. I had a fun day playing the piano for all of sacrament meeting AND relief society AND the baptism, haha, mom THANK YOU FOR MY PIANO LESSONS. Anywho, it was just such a great experience, now son and mom are baptized and I have no doubt they will be so strong in the church. Now we begin to work even harder to baptize the dad!
I still LOVE my companion just so super much, she's cute and funny and her Spanish is already great - I learn from her every day. She is willing to work hard and walk fast all day, even though it's frustrating and hard. I am SO excited for what we'll accomplish this transfer. Mary is scheduled to get baptized next week, so pray for her please!
My companion and I were talking about our mission today, The Great Mission. How sometimes we get tired and frustrated with the rules and just want to rest for a few minutes, but honestly how lucky are we to get to be here? It's a busy busy mission, but what we do with just one day here is pretty awesome. It's because of the rules and the lack of down-time that we have success, and I'm learning what I'm capable of! I love this mission, I love Mexico. I love my Heavenly Father and I know that He loves me. I'm so excited to see what these next five weeks bring us! Thanks for all your words, sorry I didn't have too much time to respond to individuals today! You're all the greatest.
Beeeeeeg Keeeeees, Leeeeeeeetle Keeeeees