Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Two Families Get to the Waters of Baptism

Celebration Time ...

Well its official!  We had 9 baptisms this last week. We helped two families get to the waters of baptism.  We are super pumped.

 The first family is named Ruiz. They are the family of 5 that has a father, a mother and three kids. We found them because other missionaries were walking in the street and the father (George) starting talking to them. We then received the reference to go and visit him from the missionaries and we went. There weren’t married, and he has conditional freedom for some past mistakes, and the kids didn’t want anything to do with us. To be honest teaching this family was a miracle. We started just teaching the basics to the father and he started to change little by little. Finally one day he just told us that the gospel is true. That what we had explained to him about Joseph Smith was true. He then started to invite this wife (Milagros) to hear the message… she had tons of doubts because she grew up with pure Catholics… but she could feel the excitement that George had for the gospel. The Children were complicated, because the family was not unified because Milagros no is the true mother of the oldest two children. She is the step mother. We started the task of getting them to pray as a family, this is the best way to unify and to help them understand better the spirit. We then started to talk to them about the possibility of getting married so that they could get baptized. In one powerful lesson the whole family accepted.  We starting working on explaining the importance of going to church and the responsibly that we all have of partaking of the sacrament. Marcelo, Georgina and Kaxandra, the three children, started to see the change in their parents and they began to get more and more excited. Finally this last Friday we had their marriage and then on Saturday we had their baptism. Friday night we threw them a big party in the church we had more than, 90 people there. The party was the biggest activity that we have had in one single ward in my entire mission. Let me just tell you mom I am starting to get really good at coordinating weddings. I think I might have to go professional…… no just kidding.  The highlight of the moment was when George cried thanking us for the change that he received in his life. We felt really good after he told us that.

The other family that we were teaching that also got baptized this last week is the Sinti family. This family is one of the most humble families that I have had the opportunity to teach here one my mission. Graci is a single mother of 4 children. Her husband had an accident, he fell off of his motorcycle and hit his head.  The doctors thought that he was done, that he would not survive but he did. He recovered and was let out of the hospital. Everyone said that it was a miracle. Weeks later the family started to see that he was little bit  going, for lack of a better word, insane. He literally is one of the people now that we see in the movies that should be in an asylum. It’s sad because he cannot hold a train of thought for more than a few minutes before he jumps to another topic or he starts to cry, or he just stops talking altogether.  He isn’t violent which is good but he is no longer able to function well in his family. So Graci, the mom of the family, had to go to work so that she could support her children.  She sells beans, and other first-hand goods, like juices and potatoes and uka (which is a plant that they eat here a lot). We started teaching the family about 2 months ago. They were coming to church off and on… sometimes they wanted to get baptized and sometimes because of lots of little problems they would get sad and have second thoughts.  One day she just told us that on her way home she went by the river so that she would have a relaxing walk to just think about her life. When she was walking she began to think about baptism and she told us that she heard a voice in her head that said that she should get baptized. From that day onward she started to come to church. The trials became even harder when her feet became infected because of a small cut that she didn’t clean. It became hard for her to walk. The girls and her weren’t coming to church. We started visiting her every single day, sometimes more than once in the day, just to see how she was doing. We almost lost her when we started to talk about the word of wisdom. Graci and her girls all drink coffee - which is just killing them. She didn’t want to put her addiction to bed but we convinced her with the help of one of her best friends that is a member of the church. This last Saturday the whole family got baptized. They almost didn’t show up because her feet were swollen again, but she made it. Her little girls were so excited to get baptized while we were waiting for the mom to get baptized we all began to laugh when the littlest girl (Cindy) let out a little a gas. It was really good because it let out a ton of nervous tension.

What a fantastic experience! I love the feeling of helping families get baptized.

Don’t worry Dad… I know that I have always been a 90%-er but this time I am going for the 110%. I am going to pass my goal and I have a hunger for more. We have a few new families that we are preparing right now that I think are going to get baptized this month of May.  All is well in Zion.
About the Elder Emett thing. Well I would love to go to Saint George and visit his family. Elder Emett and I have been talking about it a lot and we want to have the opportunity to have our families meet. I like the Idea a ton.

About the packages…I will be receiving the first package this week because I am going to go to Lima again. So don’t worry I made a few phone calls and it is there in the offices I will be personally going to pick it up.

So are you in the same apartment as you were last time?
 Yes I am still there in the same apartment. 
 Or is it different?
 Well, we changed the lay out but not the house. 
How is it different?
 Just the layout.
How are your sheets and stuff holding up?
 In this I have no problems at all…. I have great sheets.
Do you still have contacts?
Yes, I have just enough for the last few months of my mission… if you want to send me a package that would be nice just in case of emergency .
Can you get solution for contacts there?
Yes, but it is really expensive, just one bottle more would get me to the end.
Eaten anything out of the ordinary lately? 
Not really because I think I am just used to eating whatever they give me. I did however eat Piranha the other day. It is really tasty I like it a lot.
Do you still go to member's houses for lunch?
Yes, it will be like this for the whole mission. I like it because it is my chance to try new things. 
What have they been feeding you?
Well the same old rice and beans and lots of fried banana.  I like fried banana.

I love you guys a ton. I miss all of you a ton.
Elder Harris

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