Well, just 9 months until I come home. It has been going by so fast, and I´m afraid how fast it will continue to go. But I´m super excited to call home this month! I´ll let you know as soon as I have the date and time figured out. Plan substitutes for your classes in church, because Mom´s staying home that day hahah. My mom is the greatest and that´s that.
So, that baptism didn´t happen. That´s the first time it´s ever happened to me, having a baptism the week of already planned and have it not happen. With Coco, we were going over the baptism interview questions and asked him about tithing. He said that he couldn´t accept and would never accept tithing because he was poor and had nothing to give. He really is very fortunate and well-off, he just wants to use his money to record music (he´s a songwriter) so he says he doesn´t have any. If somebody isn´t willing to keep all the commandments after their baptism, they shouldn´t make the covenants, so he didn´t get baptized. With Osvaldo, ugh. Different story. His brother Juan Carlos is the first councelor in the branch presidency. He has been the one who goes and picks up Osvaldo from his house in his car to bring him to church and lessons with us. Osvaldo had a drinking problem for years, but about 2 weeks ago he stopped drinking and said he hasn´t drank since. He was so excited for his baptism and wrote down my companion´s name and my name so he could remember the missionaries who helped bring him to the truth. The day of his interview, Juan Carlos
showed up at the church, but without Osvaldo. He said that Osvaldo was drunk when he went to pick him up, thus he couldn´t be baptized the next day. But we know that it was a lie. Juan Carlos has been saying that he thinks it´s too early for Osvaldo to get baptized and he wants to wait, he even complained to the branch president that we put a baptism date with Osvaldo for so soon. So we explained to him that Osvaldo accepted the invitation all by himself without any persuasion or anything from us. We said we knew that he is ready and he has a testimony. What he really did was didn´t bring Osvaldo to his interview (who has no other way of getting there, he doesn´t have a car or drive and is too old to take a bus) because he doesn´t want him to get baptized yet and made up the story that he was drunk. I must say I got more angry than a missionary should get. But we´ll keep working with him and try to get him in the water this week or the week after. I´ll keep you posted.
I wanted to tell everyone a story about Osvaldo that he told us last week. He is 60-something, and has been sick for years. He had some sort of big operation some time ago, and they thought he had colon cancer. He did some studies 2 weeks ago, and the doctor gave him back the results in a sealed envelope. He was too scared to open it, and it sat on his table. He took it back to his doctor that week and told his doctor to open it. His doctor opened it, and he said he was a nervous wreck. Poor old guy. These were the results that were going to tell him if he has cancer or not. While his doctor was reading over the paper silently, before he told Osvaldo the results, Osvaldo said "wait just a second, I´m going to go to the bathroom." Well, he went into the bathroom, but he didn´t really have to go. He went there to say a prayer. In his prayer, he told us that he said "Heavenly Father, I don´t know if I have cancer or not. But if I do, you have to help me. I won´t complain, but I can´t do it alone." After his prayer, he said felt completely calm and wasn´t nervous at all. He walked back and asked his doctor to tell him the results. The doctor smiled and said that he is completely healthy and doesn´t have cancer.
Here was a guy that in our first lesson had no idea how to pray or that he even could, and that his little niece had taught him the day before. He had told us that one day he saw his 10-year-old niece (a member) praying, and he was impressed that such a young girl knew how to pray. He said to her "Now I want you to get your books together and study so you can teach me how to pray this Sunday". She said that she didn´t need to study and she was going to teach him right there. He was shocked at that, and told us the story, and we re-taught him how to pray. He said his first prayer ever at the end of our first lesson together. I was almost in tears knowing that I had impacted somebody´s life in such a profound way as he told us the story of the doctor´s office and his prayer. I don´t mean to say that because we taught him how to pray, he changed the results and because of his prayer he didn´t have cancer. I´m not saying that. I´m saying that because he learned how to pray, he remembered it in a time of great need and used the great power that prayer brings to deal with a hardship in his life. He was ready to accept the will of God, and because of that and his faith he showed in his prayer, he wasn´t nervous or scared about whether or not he had cancer. It really was a blessing to see that I´m making a difference in somebody´s life. I thank my Heavenly Father for letting me have experiences like that.
I love and miss you all. I´ll write you again next week. Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. I love you all very much.