So...yeah. This week has been a fairly pleasant surprise for me. While our plan was to baptize at least 1 person this week, our area managed to baptize 3 people this week...and then I participated in the baptismal service of 4 others...so I, uh...I baptized 7 this week. Its still a bit of a surprise to me, so I guess Ill just explain how it all went down, with the descriptions of the baptisms:
Amador Bueno: Kaique, Guilherme, and Denilson- So these past 2 weeks weve been having problems with having elect investigators, whose parents didnt let them be baptized because "they dont know what theyre doing", etc. Its how we lost Bruna, Lucas, Vanessa (more on her later), and Valeria. So needless to say, we were super worried about these 3. We talked to them on Wednesday, and after they accepted to live the commandments, we asked if their parents were okay with everything. Kaique and Guilherme said that their parents were good with everything, but Denilson said that his parents wanted to talk to us about this. So we were expecting the worst. We went to his house, and at first, his step-dad talked to us and said (in a super rude manner), "If I have a say in this, I say no. Hes not ready. Hes a problematic kid, and he has no idea what hes doing. I dont like the idea, and if its up to me, I say no. But you can talk to his mom tomorrow, and if she says different, Ill accept her decision." But we talked to his Mom the next day, and after a very short time, she became super excited for Denilson to be baptized!! She said that he needs help to be as respectful at home as he is on the street (for all 3 of these kids are ridiculously respectful to us), and so we got the approval!! After 2 weeks of difficulties, God finally gave us a giant victory! The three were baptized on Saturday. I baptized Kaique and Guilherme, and Elder Carr (who did their baptismal interviews) was asked by Denilson to baptize him. 3!
Itapevi: Danilo, Taina, Raisa- So, while Elder Carr was doing the baptismal interviews of Kaique, Guilherme, and Denilson, I went to his area (called Itapevi) to do the interviews of three siblings, Danilo, Taina, Raisa. In the past, Elder Baron went there during an exchange and marked the baptismal date with them. Honestly, they were all ready to be baptized (Danilo was just a bit shy about the matter.) But, at the end of baptismal interviews, we ask the candidates who they want to baptize them. I asked, and while Taina and Raisa chose Elder X. Soares (Elder Carr's companion) to baptize them, Danilo (and his drunk dad at the same time) asked me to baptize him! So, I got to baptize Danilo, and us 4 (me, Elder Baron, Elder Carr, and Elder X. Soares) now count these 6 baptisms as ours. 6!
Barueri: Milena- We had the baptisms in Amador Bueno during the afternoon on Saturday, and the baptisms in Itapevi during the night. Between these services, Barueri called me and asked me to do an emergency baptismal interview. I went there, and as it turns out, they were basically doing a "Hail Mary": they marked the interview with a girl, Milena, to be baptized that night, and when I went there, they were helping her get ready, filling the font, etc. So, I interviewed her, helped her with her last minute doubts, and she decided to be baptized that night! Although I wasnt able to be there to watch the baptism (because I was baptizing Danilo), I took advantage of the moment and the fact that I had my camera with me, and I took a pic with her in front of the font, where she was baptized later that night...so...7.
7 baptisms in one day. What an adventure.
Other top investigators:
Vanessa, Valeria: So, as I said, this week Vanessa said that her mom doesnt want her to be baptized for some time, because "she needs to know what she wants". Because her praying to God and receiving a divine confirmation that this is the path for her. But, she wants to be baptized still, so were gonna try and talk to her mom this week, and perhaps baptize her this week. Lets see what happens.
Yes, for those of you that are keeping track, this week is a very special week for me--my one year mark. Today, 1 year ago, I gave my farewell talk, and then I was set apart. And this Thursday, one year ago, I went to the MTC in Provo and started to be a missionary. So, its a big week for me! Thank you all so much for your support this last year!!
We had our interviews with President Farnes this week. He really seemed to like me in my interview. He had heard that I had participated in various performance-type things before the mission (choir, stand-up, etc.), and he said that I was doing a stellar job as a leader, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. So good things are happening here!
So yeah, thats my (slightly bigger than normal) week here! If possible, Ill try to send some photos (Im at the crappy LAN House again). If not, Ill send them next week! Love you all!! Tchau!!