Sunday, February 14, 2016

Miracles - February 8, 2016

Hello Everyone! Just like the title says, the only word that can describe this week is miracle. We were able to have 2 baptisms on Saturday of Diego and Luis Ruiz. Most of you probably dont remember but the first week that I got here in the field we found Luis, he had tried to be baptized 3 times before with 3 different sets of Elders. He has a literal phobia of water and it has made it almost impossible for him to be baptized. About a month ago we told him that he could do it and if he did all that he could he would be baptized in a month on the 6 of Februrary. He started doing everything, reading, praying, seminary etc. He passed the interview easily and was super excited up until that day. Anyways we got to the baptism that day with Diego, who was super excited to be baptized and finally be part of his group of friends who are all LDS. We were waiting and waiting and waiting and Luis wasnt there. We were calling his Mom and his sister and everyone and no one was answering. Finally half an hour later he showed up with his mom in tears. He got changed and was still crying but he asked for a priesthood blessing from us. We entered a room and gave him a blessing. In the blessing I dont remember anything that I said, only that it was said that he would be baptized that night. We went on with the service and Diego was baptized. Luis and I left to practice right before we were to enter the water. He told me that he wasnt going to go in unless I literally tackled him and to please do what I could to help him to accomplish this. We got to the door of the font and he literally froze up, he couldnt even put a foot in the water. All of his friends came and after half an hour he finally got in the water. He walked straight to the corner and wouldnt come out for another 15 minutes. Finally we got enough space that I could say the prayer, and me and him both entered the water. When we came out the witness said that literally 5 hairs of his head didnt go in. Luis would not enter the water and I had honestly never felt worse in my life. I left to go change and one of the young men caught me and told me that Luis was back in the water ready to try a different way. We went back and he was back in but he wouldnt let anyone touch him. We were in there with my companion and another guy in the ward completely submerged in the freezing water for 2 hours and Luis literally couldnt do it. He told us that he would try later and that now wasnt the time. After 3 hours of trying with him, sitting in the water, we left the church. It was one of the saddest experiences of my life. The next day we went to church and everything and Diego was confirmed. But Luis didnt come to church. I had to make a call to President Madsen the mission president asking about some things for the upcoming week. I felt prompted in this call to as him about the situation with Luis and what we could do. I explained what had happened the previous night and he told me. "This kid has a stronger desire to do what is asked of him and is doing all that he can, he did all that he can and that is what God asks of us and 5 hairs of his head shouldnt impede him with the blessings that he can recieve for what he put forth." He told us that with this effort of the first baptism that we did that it was valid and that Luis was really baptized only because of the condition that he has. It was a miracle and we rushed to tell the bishop and Luis. It was as if a burden was lifted off the whole family and i have never seen any of them so happy before. It was one of the greatest experiences of my mission by far. I dont know what more can be said about this week, this experience seemed to make me forget about everything else that happened. We were super excited for Diego to be baptized. Anyways this is the last week that I will be in Barrio Tecnologico and I am feeling a little bit sad. It has become a home to me and I think it is going to feel like I am leaving on another mission when I leave here but I am looking forward to being able to find more people to help and serve in other parts of Oaxaca. Thank you all for the love and support that is being felt here through the prayers and letters. I hope you all have a great Valentines Day this week!
The baptisms of Luis and Diego

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