Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 58: The most emotionally exhausting and satisfying weekend of my mission.

Hey guys!!

So, as the subject reads, its been a CRAZY week, especially this weekend. I know that I normally have the same format for my emails (how my investigators are doing, other notes, etc.), but this week, Id like to do something a bit different, which is basically just to explain this ridiculous weekend. Just know that, aside from this, there wasnt a whole lot of progress with my investigators. But here we go.

So, the whole week was planned around getting Debora and Leandro married, and subsequently baptized. We were visiting them almost every day, and things were going incredibly smoothly. We just lost a bit of progress on the way. While we tried to visit our other top investigators at the same time (Luan, Tainá, Matteus), we werent able to get ahold of them during our very short time working close to them. But, on Thursday night, Debora and Leandro were interviewed, passed, and they told us that they were ready for baptism. We had to continue getting everything together, including getting some members at the church to watch the wedding (a lot of people in the ward, not realizing that they had been going to church for 3 months straight and just missed 2 Sundays recently, said, "Well, how can we support people that we dont know?") But, by the end of Friday night, everything was going well. We had members helping us, and it was all good. Leandros family was coming to the wedding, but Deboras family wasnt able to make it.

Then Saturday morning comes. Our lunch was with a woman, Maria Rosa, who, with a heart of gold, loves to talk. A lot. Shes been coming back to church recently, and she loves the missionaries gets angry when we go there and dont spend a lot of time there, so we went to her house on Wednesday night to explain that we would be eating quickly on Saturday, but giving her some of our time on Wednesday to make up for it. But on Saturday, she seemed to forget that we had a wedding at 2:00. So she talked. Until 1:30. We ended up having to RUN to get to the wedding in time, and although we showed up late, when we got there, Leandro was talking to the Bishop and Debora was still getting ready. Leandro came out and talked to us, saying that he didnt want to get baptized today. We asked him why, and he gave the excuse that he simply wasnt feeling like he wanted to that day. Hed still get married, but he wouldnt get baptized, but perhaps Debora still wanted to get baptized. But, we werent able to talk to Debora before the wedding started, so we watched the whole wedding, incredibly nervous. The wedding was simple but nice, and the happy couple seemed to like it. There was cake, coke, and salty snacks, so we were all pretty happy. But, Elder Berrios and I found the right time when people stopped congratulating the bride, to ask her if she was ready to switch into baptismal clothes. Incredibly casually, Debora told us, "No. Me and Leandro are moving today to a different town. We dont have time to get baptized." This was a giant surprise, since they had told us that they werent moving until the end of the month. "Well, the baptism is just 20 minutes, it wont take too much time." "No, I dont want to get baptized today." She then stopped talking to us. She honestly wouldnt have told us this if we hadnt have asked Honestly being a bit enraged, we both left the room and went to cool off. It was one of the lowest and worst feelings that Ive had on my mission. Speechless, we watched as Debora and Leandro, 2 people that Ive been working with for over a month and the missionaries have been working with for 3 months, left the chapel, with a free wedding, not even making eye contact with us as they left. Luckily, we got their new address, so well send the missionaries over there, but it was honestly a horrible feeling, almost as though we were taken advantage of and abandoned.

Me and Elder Berrios stayed at the chapel for a bit, as he had to play piano for a baptism of a child in the ward. While we were waiting, I did a prayer and simply recognized that this isnt my work, but the Lords, and the idea came to my head that this weekend wasnt over yet, but I didnt know how. Then we talked to the Bishop as the ward was preparing for a ward dance. Somehow, the subject came to how we were feeling. The Bishop then said, "So how are the other investigators? Hows Tainá?" We told him about how she wanted to go to the temple on the 27th, but that her Dad still hasnt let her be baptized (as he hasnt let her do for 3 years.) The Bishop then said, "You know, Tainá is here right now helping prepare for the dance. Why dont you guys go talk to her? Just give it a try, you never know what will happen." We went and talked to Tainá, and asked her if she had talked to her dad recently. She said that she asked him recently, and that he had started to seriously consider it. At that moment, Elder Berrios and I didnt waste any time, seeing a last opportunity. We called an Elder to come and do an interview for her at the church, which he did and she passed. We gave her the baptismal form and said, "You are going to call your Dad TODAY, and tell him that you want to be baptized tomorrow. Its going to happen." But, we went home, and prayed incredibly hard that we could see this miracle happen.

The next day, we went to church, and incredibly nervous, we called Tainá to see what happened. And...her dad finally approved. After 3 years of hard work, her dad finally let her be baptized!! We got incredibly excited. The Bishop, who has been pushing for this for a long time, decided that he wanted her to get confirmed during that sacrament meeting, so we ended up doing the baptism during the Sunday School class before sacrament meeting (the Bishop ordered it, so we followed.) It was such an incredibly rewarding experience. And, to top it all off, Divina, her grandmother who weve been trying to get back to church, finally came in for the first time in a long time to see the service!! Tainá was baptized, confirmed, and shes going to enter the temple this weekend. Without a doubt, I was able to see the glorious hand of God in our lives this week as we came to understand that, through simple things (faith, obedience and diligence) that we were able to see a giant miracle happen. It was phenomenal. God is good.

So yeah, with that, while it was an incredibly rewarding weekend, it was also emotionally exhausting. It was like being on one of those roller coasters that you only go on because the line is short, and then you see that its short because, while fun, it also whips you around a lot and you feel exhausted afterwards. So Im going to have a very relaxing P-Day.

Alright, thanks all for your support! On to individual emails! Love you!!

Elder Youd

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