This week was so great, once again. I am SO grateful for Easter. It is so interesting to see the ways holidays are celebrated here, everything is different, but it is great. Here fro easter, basically the only thing is chocolate eggs. They make these delicious chocolate eggs and decorate it with frosting and they are really pretty, but better than plastic eggs because you can eat it! So Easter was great. We went to transfers this morning and now I am with my new companion, Elder Pirez, de Uruguay. He is a stud. I am so excited to serve with him. Elder Stewart leaves tomorrow to spend a week with his parents in Argentina before going back to Chicago. He has been great.
This week we were praying a lot for Cathy. She is great, the whole family is great, but they have been lacking the enthusiasm to be baptized. And the only way to gain that enthusiasm is if they are keeping commitments to repent and read the Book of Mormon, which she hasn't been doing because she is really busy. Last week, we explained the importance of reading and doing things for herself, and I began to really pray for her with all my heart, praying specifically that Heavenly Father would help her to read. In every personal prayer I said, I pleaded to the Lord. Then when we visited Cathy, she read! I was so happy. There was such a difference in her and the family. I know that it came from Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for His miracles! It seems like such a small thing, just that someone read a page from a book, but that is a miracle. I know that God will answer our prayers if we are mindful of what we are praying for and praying for all of our hearts! They also came to church on Easter! The whole family! She loved it. They are going to be baptized next week. Thank you so much for your prayers for them!
There weren't any huge experiences this week, but there were many moments when I was left amazed by what the Spirit does in this work. We were teaching a couple about the law of chastity to invite them to be married so that they can be baptized (a lot of missionaries don't like teaching the law of chastity, but for some reason I love it. I think because Satan despises that lesson, so it is always great.) But I was simply testifying to them about the truthfulness of the Law of Chastity and the blessings, it wasn't really an intense lesson or anything, but when I began to testify the Spirit just flooded the room and everything in this little house was calm. I could feel the spirit testifying to this couple and to me, that these things are true. It is moments like those, that happen everyday, that leave me amazed and humbled because I realize how little we really do, the spirit does everything. We just have to testify with our hearts and follow the spirit, then He will touch the hearts of the people.
The highlight of the week was the despedida. We have a big meeting at the end of every transfer where the Elders that are going home share their testimonies and converts or investigators come. We had a great meeting, afterwards I saw Elder Goyeneche and his companion. When I saw him, he said, "I have a surprise for you..." When he said that, my mind immedietely jumped to Omar, who I taught for 4 months in Benavidez, and love more than anyone else in Argentina, but never got baptized. Elder Goyeneche pulled out his camara, went to a photo, and said, "look at all of them, starting here." I looked down at the little screen, and saw dressed in all white, Omar with his beautiful family. I saw him and Elder Goyeneche together, all in white, just before his baptism. Tears fell down my face as I looked through all these photos. I cannot describe the pure joy and love that I feel. I hugged Elder Goyeneche as I remembered the hours we spent planning and praying for Omar. We had dropped Omar before I left, and the Elders didn't go back, but last Saturday, he called the Elders, told them he found new work, and he wants to be baptized, but this time he is really really going to do it. He said, "No, I am going to be baptized now. I'm determined. If I can't do it now, I will never do it." So they set up everything, he stopped smoking, and was baptized. Ahhhhhh!!! Omar and Rocio already have plans for the temple in a year.
I also saw the familia Acuña from Soldati. I left right before the baptism of Jessica, and I found out there that the rest of the family was baptized the week after I left. So much pure happiness.
I am just so amazed by what the spirit does for us. Sometimes I think that people don't get baptized because of my faults or even that people do get baptized because of things that I do, but neither are true. Any good that happens here happens because the spirit truly touches the heart of someone, because the spirit brings conversion. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude for Heavenly Father's miracles and for His love for each one of us. I am so filled with amazement at all of His miracles. I have no doubts that this is His work because these are His children, whom He loves so so much.
Happy Easter! I love you all so much! Please keep praying for Cathy! :)