It was so so good to talk with you all yesterday. I loved it. Everyone looks great and happy. Kathy and Juan and their family were excited to meet you all.
This week was super busy, but so great. President Gonzalez visited the mission and talked 1st with the whole mission and later in the week with the leadership of the mission. It was sooooo good and inspired. The mission is about to explode!!! He is from Uruguay. They were presenting him and a little about his life and randomly said, "and he graduated from the university of Indiana." haha. So apparently he studied in Indiana which is cool.
After the meeting with Pres. Gonzalez, we went to the doctor of the mission so that he could check out my companion. It ends up that my companion has 2 fractured ribs, so that was part of the problems that he has had with not being able to breath. So now I'm going to stop hitting my companion while he's sleeping...;)
This week we worked with Kathy and Mariana a lot to prepare them for their baptisms. Mariana basically teaches us. Even before being baptized, she was talking with less active members who live close by and inviting them to church for her baptism. So she is incredible. With Kathy we were praying for her that she could stop smoking, she still was lacking the determination to stop. But she did it!
Yesterday was so beautiful. 1st, Juan confirmed 2 of his children, Julieta and Martin, and later baptized his wife, Kathy, to complete his family. Then we watched our miracle Mariana be baptized. She was so happy. Afterwards all the women of the ward hugged her and welcomed her. She couldn't stop crying. I was standing in the chaple, seeing all the members welcoming Kathy and Mariana, and everyone was smiling, the spirit was so strong. I hugged Juan and told him how happy I was for him and his family. Ah, I just can't even describe the joy. At the end of the day I poured out my heart in thanks to Heavenly Father for those sacred moments. Those moments that make me beg to Heavenly Father to please never let me forget this day. It was amazing.
With every investigator and every baptism, I think I have been expecting to feel on the day of the baptism or confirmation some sort of feeling like, "we did it!". But I really have never felt that feeling I was expecting. But what I do feel is joy. Pure joy for them. And I am left amazed, thinking to myself, "how did this happen?". I still feel like we didn't do enough to help this person get to this point. I don't really feel "proud" for our work. I am just left filled with gratitude. But I realize that I don't feel that "we did it" feeling because we didn't do it. Christ did it. HE is the one who suffered for these people. HE is the one who touches their hearts, heals their souls, and transforms them. HE is the one who does it all. So I am left with overwhelming gratitude for all HE does for these people, for the work HE did, because HE does it all. We are just the messengers. I know that Jesus Christ lives and His atonement is real. It changes souls. I am so grateful for Him, who does all of this work.
I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! If you can, please pray that we can find prepared families this week! We need it! :)