February 16, 2014
It was a wonderful, crazy week here in Clinton. I have some big news, and you probably already guessed what it is, but I'll start with the craziness of the week.
Monday was fairly normal, but Tuesday was just interesting. We had one of the members, Nick, drive us thirty minutes away to visit a part member family. Well, we got to the family's house and they let us in right away, but they kind of pushed us aside. We walked in and the little girls led us to the living room and we sat down. Well the husband was on the phone and the wife was washing dishes and we just waited patiently while the little girls entertained us....for almost an hour. We literally sat on the couch for almost an hour until we were finally acknowledged by the adults. A little awkward, but okay. Turns out they're going to church in the Wallace branch which is fifty minutes away, when they should be coming here in Clinton. The little girls asked about baptism, and the non-member mom understands the importance of it, so we're hoping to start working with them a little more often to see if we can bring them into the fold.
On Wednesday we planned for J's baptism. We got the program made, figured out the baptismal clothing situation, and made calls to make sure people would be there. Then, later that night we had a lesson with J. We put the finishing touches on the cake with her and made sure she was taught everything. She's very accepting and says that she will do whatever the Lord asks of her. I don't doubt it! This woman's got faith!
Thursday was RIDICULOUS. We were planning the night before and I had a feeling that we needed to weekly plan in the evening instead of during the day like we usually do. Well, that had some good reason (tenia razon). We got home from interviews with President around 3, and then we left for an hour. When we came back around 4:15, the apartment was flooded! The toilet had leaked out a bunch of water. The bedroom had about an inch all the way around, the kitchen was a slip n' slide, and the living room was a beach (half dry, with a nice tide coming in from the bathroom). So we spent about three hours trying to get all the water up. We moved all the furniture and then attempted to get all the water up with a mop and bucket and two shop-vacs. Turns out the septic tank backed up or something and all four apartments in our unit got flooded. But ours was the worst, of course. So we had a large fan blowing on the carpet for four days and our sleeping situation fell to pieces. Luckily, the Wests were nice enough to allow us to sleep in their place, so we've slept there every night since the incident. I wouldn't mind staying her. The queen sized-bed is incredible. But I figure this is all just some form of opposition before the baptism.
On Friday we had an excellent lesson with K. He's the man that believes the Israelites are black. The good news is that subject did not get brought up and we were able to have a great lesson with him. I gave him the large print scriptures (thanks mom!) and he ate em up. We read a chapter with him and it really opened his mind to the doctrines found in the Book of Mormon. He says that from what he's read so far, the Book of Mormon has helped him "fill the holes" that he had before. That's what it's supposed to do! So we invited him to start reading and he should be more motivated now. I'm hoping to see him hit the water one day, once he drops his absurd beliefs. Later that night we had our last lesson with J before the baptism. We made sure everything was set and that she was all ready. She said she wasn't even nervous but that she just felt "ready."
And now....for Saturday! So we did studies at the church, had some Papa John's, and then filled up the font! It took a few hours to fill, and the water wasn't getting warm very fast, but we did it just in the nick of time! The baptism started at 4 pm, but at that time, the only people there were us, the sisters, J, and the Wests. We got a little nervous about that. But fifteen minutes later the room was filled with people there to support her. So we sang an opening song, had a great talk on baptism. And then she got baptized! I had the privilege of baptizing her. She insisted, so I took the honor. It was really a great program and she was very happy to be there to take that step. After the program, all the members came up and hugged her. That's what made the difference in her conversion. We had a member there every single lesson and they really took her in at church. She comes to church like she's been here for years. That's how it should be.
On Sunday, we had A and K at church and Josefina got confirmed by Hermano Navas. J wore heels for the occasion. She was very happy after church, and we plan to visit her on Wednesday to see how things are going. We're hoping that she can influence her family to join the church in the future.
And that is the joy of missionary work. Just because we decided to talk with Josefina in the park, she entered the gate through baptism and is now on the path to Eternal Life. It's been a joy being a part of it, and something I will never forget.
And that was my crazy, wonderful week. And I'm thankful for it.
-Elder Landon Carroll