This week was a mile point on the mission. We had a General Conference weekend (a big world-wide meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ where the prophet and twelve apostles speak) with 8 baptisms in the zone! It was beautiful and inspiring to watch all of the missionaries help the investigators of the other areas as we all stepped in to help those visiting General Conference to feel the spirit. There were four sessions of General Conference held at our Stake Center, and after every single one of them a different area baptized. One woman who has been paralyzed in ambivalence about getting baptized felt the spirit so strongly during the Prophet Thomas S. Monson’s talk that she decided she would be baptized that same day. Being that she had already been taught the missionary lessons several times over, we organized a little mini baptismal service after the Sunday Afternoon session of General Conference and she was all smiles throughout. The whole weekend was like a little Day of the Pentecost (Acts 2:37-38).
We also had a baptism in our area of a young girl named Stefany. She is friends and neighbors of a little fireball we baptized last month, Cila. Cila got to know the church when we were teaching her parents. After we baptized Cila, we taught her about the importance of missionary work and she just lit up. The next Sunday she brought her friend and said, “Look, Elder Fleming! Look, Elder Sanchez! I’m a missionary!” We were just beaming, we were so proud of her.
As we’ve gotten to integrate our recent converts with the members, there are more and more stories that come to light about the changes our converts had to make so that they could be baptized.
I learned recently that the one pregnant young woman we baptized (the one who lost her husband to drug trafficking) was threatened by her boyfriend at gunpoint because she didn’t want to sleep with him anymore. Her boyfriend put his gun to her head and told her to sleep with him, but she wouldn’t because she had been baptized and committed to staying chaste. The boyfriend thought she didn’t want to maintain their physical intimacy because he thought she was sleeping with other men. She stayed strong, though, and said she wanted to be obedient to God. The boyfriend went off in a huff, threatening that he would kill her and the baby. Within the next few days, the boyfriend was shot and killed as I explained. It’s easy to think that God isn’t just if we don’t have our spiritual eyes open and have an eternal perspective. The strong young woman is excited to give birth to her baby boy.
On another brief side note, Rosemery who was baptized a month or so ago (the one we met by offering to carry her and her husband’s bags) took us to meet her sister. She is so excited to share the Gospel and is fearless about sharing her testimony. At Stefany’s baptism (the baptismal service we held this Sunday) Rosemery got up and bore her testimony for the first time. Mauricio, her husband who is not yet baptized, gave the closing prayer. I was all smiles.