I really don't have words to describe the joy I feel right now. :)
But remember what I said last week about a possible miracle that might take place? Well...it happened! Saturday afternoon, May 24th, Marina, Karla and Daniel were baptized!!!!!!!!! It was such a great, and spiritual experience. Before the baptism, I looked over at the three of them, all dressed in white and...I couldn't help but think of the first time I went to the temple. I was with so many members of my family and I was able to feel the blessings of having an eternal family. And as I looked at them, and thought all of the incredible blessings that are waiting for them now that they've made this decision...my heart was going to burst with happiness. The baptisms were beautiful and Marina's testimony was short, but so powerful. The part that caught my attention most was this: "I wanted to change our lives. I wanted to leave everything behind and start over. And now...that's what we have the opportunity to do, and I'm never going to forget this day."
Isn't that what we all want sometimes? To change our lives and start over? How grateful I feel to have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who made that all possible. Marina and her kids have gone through more than you and I could ever imagine. They have suffered, struggled and I know that at many different points, she lost hope. But, as she and the kids have applied the Atonement and the Gospel to their lives, they have changed completely before our eyes. They still have nothing...but they are so happy. They are so content, and they have hope again. For me, that is one of the greatest blessings of the Atonement: hope. I love that I was able to witness that moment in their lives :)
The rest of the week was a bit hard... we had to tell Mikaela and her family that we can't teach them anymore as they aren't progressing, living the commandments or showig any desires to do so. We have become such good friends, especially with Mikaela, but unfortunetly, friendship can't convert anyone. But, she told us that she is more than willing to keep reading, maybe attend church, listen to other missionaries down the road...and maybe one day, we'll get to hear about their baptisms. :) It's all about inviting, yeah? And sometimes, we can only plant the seeds, and someone else will have the opportunity to view the harvest.
But we were able to commit Luz Jannet, her son Hugo and Angel to baptism! June 22! We're really excited about them. Luz is just loving the Book of Mormon. It was pretty funny, because they only had one Book of Mormon between the 3 of them, and when we asked Angel if he read, he said, "I'm so sorry Hermanas, but I couldn't. Luz wouldn't stop reading long enough to let me!" :) I love that everytime we visit them, they have questions. They are earnestly seeking for the truth, and I love their desires to learn. They are a beautiful family, and I can't wait to see what happens with them the next few weeks :)
I'm not sure if I told y'all last week...but we started teaching English Thursday nights. That has been an adventure! The people here just love English, and this last week, there were a lot of people that were able to come. :) We're hoping that more will bring their friends this next week so that we can receive referrals...but if not, it has been great helping the people here learn more.
This week, we also had our first exchanges! (I don't know if that is the word...but yeah!) I went with Hermana Cascante to her area and Hermana Seañez come here with Hermana Gomez. They are the sister training leaders here in Tehuacan. It was a really great experience :) Hermana Cascante is an amazing missionary from Costa Rica, and I learned so much from her while we were together. It was great helping her with some of her investigators, and she helped me discover so many ideas that can help our investigators. It was also kind of crazy...at, we both woke up to a pretty big earthquake. But we were pretty calm about it...so that was good. Nothing happened really, but it was just really long. But my companion however...ha! She is so cute sometimes. She freaked out apparently and scared Hermana Seañez to death! So funny. I'm sure Hermana Seañez is going to remember that intercambio for quite a while :)
All in all, this was a pretty fantastic week. I love being a missionary! And I'm so excited for my friends that are going to be serving very shortly! :) It really is the very best experience ever, and you can't help but love every moment. But remember...every member a missionary ;) Search for those opportunities to share the Gospel :) There is always someone that is searching for the truth.
I love all of you so much! Have a great week!!!! :)
-We found a friend during weekly planning....