Eddie, my little nine year old. We went over to his house and all the little children flocked to his house and we had a lesson with about 7 kids outside. We read in 3 Nephi 17 where Christ prays with the multitude and blesses the little children. Then we all made prayer rocks. I adore all those little children, even though technically we are only teaching Eddie. Well, we went over the next day and he said he wasn't so sure if he wanted to be baptized. Usually when people tell me this, I feel like my heart has turned to cement. But this time I just knew it wasn't true and to keep teaching. We asked if he had any questions and he's like "Ya...how is there a God? and did he really make us? and why are we here? and how did Jesus get here?" BASICALLY EVERYTHING IN THE PLAN OF SALVATION. He was blown away that we lived before this life and that we are all brothers and sisters. Obviously, we only taught a few things, but it was way cool how that's our message exactly. Afterwards we had a long coversation with his mom, and she said "if I would have known the church before I was married, my life would be completely different. but since finding the church, i've been given the patience to deal with the things I have. And I know that this church has the truth because I've studied with other people. And something was missing. I asked God to please show me what I needed to do. I asked him to show me how I can know him better. And then I met the missionaries. And they taught me the plan of Salvation. And I knew. I want this for my family".
We invited Eddie to the baptisms on Saturday and he was super nervous. He would only sit and talk to me. During the actual ordinance I asked him if he wanted to go closer with the other kids. He said no and that he felt weird, like everyone was watching him. I eventually convinced him to come sit on the front row with me. Then when all the kids starting running up, he asked if he could go up too.
After all the ordinances he runs back to me and said, "so maybe I kinda really wanna be baptized."
I introduced him to more kids and his primary teachers and he asked if he could be baptized that day, he said "remember how i told you I felt weird in the church? well...I feel good now. I really like it. I get to come tomorrow right?"
biggest smile ever.
The next day I call his ride for church and he told me that Eddie's dad said that he would take him to church. That sounded fishy, so we went to go visit him. As soon as Eddie saw us, he ran out and said, "I don't wanna go to church today". When we asked him why he just kept making excuses. I reminded him of what he said the day before, and he just looked down and said, "my dad wont take me". I told him we had a ride, and that if he asked his dad we could all go to church. (the mom is working, so she wasn't there). Eddie runs inside to tell his dad, and his dad starts screaming and telling him he can't go. Eddie comes out, almost in tears and says he can't. I wrote the dad a note, and he started yelling again saying no and a bunch of other stuff. One of the neighbors came by and asked if we were taking eddie to church (that whole complex just observes us teaching the kids) we told her the dad wouldn't let us. So she goes in and tries to talk him into letting us. More yelling. Eddie is now crying. The neighbor comes out and said that the dad "doesn't want that kind of responsibility"
So I'm sitting on the steps, not knowing what to do. My little sweetheart eddie is inside helpless with his crazy dad and the mom is gone.
Then, one of the girls who made prayer rocks with us, saw us and came running over to give us hugs. She asked if we were going to church and we said "ya, we're here for eddie"...just a little distracted by what was happening, that we didn't even notice her run away. She ran back to us and said "my mom said I could come to church!"
what the? never met the woman in my life.
I told her that we would want to ask her mom permission first, and so the neighbor (who helped us before) was like, "hey, I'll introduce you!"
So we go across the complex, and tell her what was going on. And the mom, Dulce said, "ya...I guess you can take her to church". (why someone would trust two complete strangers to take the 8 year old is beyond me...but whatever)
We took Noemy to church and she said, "this is the best day of my life!"
When we brought her back, the mom asked all about it and we explained who we are, what we do at church, our purpose...and to make a long story short we are teaching the whole family now. (The parents and three kids!)
I guess that really shows how such a messy, crazy situation can turn into an unexpected blessing!
Onto Transfers. I'm still here in East Tucson. We got the call on Sunday night, and Sister Miller got transferred. I'm now with Hermana Hallett. She's from Seattle, Washington. She's majoring in Dance at a school for the arts in Washington, and has been a member for a little over a year. also, I may or may not be training. what? But yep, I'm super excited for this transfer. I little on the surreal end and not really knowing what I'm doing. But hey, God sure knows what's going on...so I'm banking on that. but enough about that.
On Saturday there were four baptisms, and there was this one moment that just completely had me in awe. I wish I could have recorded it. My two buds, Elder Serrato and Elder Rusk were both in their white baptismal clothing, sitting next to all these people we love. Almost the entire branch was sitting in the primary room. I had Eddie on one side of me and Victor on the other, and we started singing "families can be together forever". I just looked around the room, and I saw these familes I love singing to their little children this song, the teenagers I joke around with just smiling, and the ones being baptized smiling and crying. I just had the most distinct thought in my mind that "THIS IS THE GOSPEL. right here.". And it was the best feeling in the world.
and to finish up with a kinda funny story. At least it is for me. There's this lesson where we teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ by using a tea bag. At the end you light it on fire, and it floats (signifying baptism by fire and making it to heaven). Elder Serrato and Elder Rusk both voluteered me to show it to the members we were having fhe with (millie). while they were eating I tested it out, just to make sure it was the right kinda tea bag. I tried it like 5 times and it didn't work. So I broke the news to them that we would have to do it another time.
Elder Serrato then said, "you just don't have enough faith. let ME try it".
So they make a HUGE demonstation about it. and they even place the tea bag directly on his hand to set it on fire. They light it, and it's burning...and not floating.
still burning...not floating. It's about a cm away from engulfing his hand, and it still is floating and eventually he freaks out and blows it off his hand (onto the members carpet mind you! no worries...no fire damage). I stand up and say "SEE! I HAVE FAITH!". we all just keep over laughing because we almost had a minor disaster, but you know..it's part of missionary work.
moral of the story. Listen to Sister Waters.
anyways. I love you all. Outta time. So glad Millie sent you that pic mum. She told me you wrote her back and wants to show me the email later today!
LOVE you! Pray I don't completely implode this transfer!