Monday, June 1, 2015

Part of a miracle . . .

Without a doubt..this week was one of, if not the best week of the mission. 

A lot of things happened but only one of them is really important. That is the story of Antonia Trevino...

So my companion and I about 4-5 weeks ago decide we have to make some changes to improve our work. One of the things we did was improve our planning for the day. We decided to ask God for the guidance to help us plan a day where we could find people who are prepared.  So 3 weeks ago we found like 4 eldery people playing bingo..and a younger woman who kind of chuckled when she saw us. We told them we would come back later.

Like 3 days later we go and meet this elderly lady and the younger woman (her caretaker). We talk and then share a message and invite them to church. The caretaker is like ´´I do not want to pray, or go to church or do that kind of stuff...but if she (Antonia) wants to we go can.´´ And wouldnt you know it..Antonia wants to go!

Now before i continue i want to share how Antonia is. She is EIGHTY FOUR and while she doesn't hear nor see well..she understands things. She also is in a wheel chair. Anyway, she is the sweetest old lady.

Okay, so we get her a ride and pass by at 8:30 in the morning and she comes to church!

Also, allow me to mention that this transfer has been hard because I haven't known the area.  Plus, I am still developing as a missionary and my companion just got here and doesn't really know how to do many things.  AND we haven't baptized all transfer so I have been fervently praying and fasting for the chance to have a baptism in the last transfer. I have also been reading a lot about faith and how to receive blessings.  So our zone made this covenant with specific things we would do and the goal/blessing was 12 baptisms for May. Before this last week we had 9..saturday we had 2, so that made 11...and 1 short. I start to think..this lady can get baptized if she comes to church this sunday 31 May and it will count for May.  We can baptize and confirm her after she comes to church. We talk to her and lo and behold..she says, "Yes, i want to get baptized."

And that's when problems arrive. She (who can barely talk) tells like everyone she talks to that she is getting baptized so I am psyched thinking everything is gonna pay off. But then we go like the Thursday before the baptism and her 2 daughters are there. We start to talk about baptism and the daughters get mad and are like...yeah you guys can't baptize her...she says yes to all invatations and she is already baptized. Now... we could've given up but the Lord gave us strength to speak.  I pointed out that this wasn't their decision, that she was a grown woman and could do what she wanted. Then they try to explain to me that she isn't sane.  I told them to ask her if she wanted to get baptized and they did and Antonia in her weak voice said, "Yes, i want to do it though it will be difficult."  Boom.. .would that deter the daughters? NO. So I tell them that those are her words and that SHE is going to get baptized if she wants. The daughters have to leave..and so do we, a bit discouraged. 

I come back the next day with a zone leader to do the interview. Luckily we are alone with Antonia and her caretaker...and she passes the interview. We tell her she can come with us to the church and get baptized. She says she doesn't feel well and also that she needs to ask permission from her catholic daughters. 

We ask if we can come by tomorrow to go to church together and then do the ordinace after the services. She says yes, that will work.  I know this won't happen if the daughters are there. So i call Antonia Saturday to verify that we are coming..and the daugher answers and tells me that Anotonia doesn't want to and can't. I tell her she told us something different and that we will pass by going to church and if she doesn't want to come, that's okay.

So we go in the morning, and the caretaker tells me that they can't go to church because the daughter is going to take her to Texas to shop. I ask to talk to Antonia (daughters aren't in the house, another blessing). So I enter the house and explain pretty much the same thing..that she can go to church and go to texas in the afternoon and that it's her choice. She says it would be better to wait for her daughter to come home first. I try one more time to explain that it's her agency...and out of nowhere she just drops all worries and says, "You know what, let's go." Her caretaker asks, "Are you sure?"  And I am thinking, "Yes, she is sure, and she said it, so let's go!"

So we quickly (20 minutes which is fast for her) get into the car and go to church. But then after sacrament meeting, she tells the depressing news that she has to go home for medicine.  So I ask..could we do the ordinance right now during church.  Antonia says yes. WHOOHOO. We talk to the bishop who talks to a counselor, who tells us we can't have an ordinace during church. So we ask Antonia if she could come back at 12 when church ends to do it. She says she can't. So we take her home, and I am feeling defeated a bit. 

We get back to church and at about 11:30 i feel the need to call her just to check if she can't come back. But before i can ask, her caretaker tells me that out of nowhere, Anotonia wants to come back. I ask if it's for baptism and she says, "Yes".  So we race to get white clothes and rides and prayers are in my heart that the daughter isn't there. Because they drained our font and we have no water now. It is hours to fill up BUT in another ward close they were going to have a baptism at 1:00 after their church. We call and ask if we can join them, and they say yes. So we go to pick up Anonia at her house and yesssss she is there. We take her to the other church and she is such a trooper. We have to put a chair sideways in the font to baptize her  And the water is freezing!  She is super old and she gets it..first time. My companion confirmed her afterwards.  I had never seen Anontia happier after the baptism...or myself.

I can't explain every detail although I have tried. The moral of the story is that we were blessed to be part of a miracle. It was nothing less than that. Her desire, with all the opposition...and the timing, and the 12 baptisms for the zone goal achieved was all the hand of the Lord. And my faith was exponentially increased.

Love the mission. I love God. I love you all.

Elder Smith

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