Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Can we baptize you?

September 27, 2016
Dearest family,

I feel like I should just start by apologizing for my last letter. Apparently it was a little but heavy. I didn't mean to concern anyone, I was just trying to explain a little about what had been happening. Don't worry I am mentally healthy and still truly love the mission. 

Anyway it's been another one of those crazy whirlwind kind of weeks but we have been loving it. Last p day we spent all day shopping for gifts for our family. Yay. Seriously I am at a loss as to what to get for the boys and dad. So if anyone has any ideas help me out. Then after p day we got to meet with our brand new ward mission leader. His name is Joshua and he is awesome! All 6 of us went to his home in the car and we had some speed walking competitions on the way there just to keep life interesting. 

Tuesday we had district meeting. What. Weird. I know…District meeting on the right day. Our minds were a little bit blown, but it was awesome. Hermana Clark and I got to practice teaching lesson 1 and we really tried to break out of the routine of it, using different scriptures ext. it was so much fun. It is such a beautiful message. We also got to visit with Felix. It was the first time that I saw him since his baptism and he was literally so happy! I had never seen him like that it made my heart so happy. 

After that cita we had a crazy miracle. So we had set a baptismal date with C for the 17th. But because of all the craziness, we didn't get to teach her everything so we pushed it back just a little without thinking, and invited her to F’s baptism. Well she came, and when we went to go see her on Tuesday she said, "Hermanas. I was supposed to be baptized on Saturday, why didn't you let me get baptized? I want to be baptized this Saturday!"  Our jaws dropped. She literally was yelling at us for not letting her get baptized!  We then planned a baptism in 4 days. We taught her all of the commandments right then. As we were walking home I expressed some doubts that she was ready to be baptized. Well the next day cleared that up for me. I have never met anyone like her. As we taught her the rest of the commandments we asked her why she wanted to be baptized. She said, “I have found the church of God. I want to be part of it, the rest doesn't matter.”  I realized that she had been closed off from us, but she was ready for this, she wanted it. And she certainly was not going to let us get in her way! It was truly a humbling experience. 

On the way home we met with L. He is a less active member who told us that since he has started praying again he has felt so much peace. He has been going around to other churches asking if they had the priesthood. He was so discouraged when none of them claimed to be able to use it. He told us, "It's just you guys! Only the Mormons say they have it and can use it!"

Wednesday night we got to teach A the restoration. She didn't understand everything, but at the end she took a deep breath and told us how wonderful she felt. We invited her to be baptized and she agreed. Oh happy day! Then we helped some people with their English. And had an awesome noche de Hogar with the ward. 

Thursday morning we wrote our feelings down on a paper and burned them. It was fun, then we weekly planned. I love it! We then went to C's house with the elders to do her baptismal interview. Her little boy was running around like a madman and we were doing our best to help him be quiet. But then a whole group of police stormed the building. All of us missionaries didn't know what to do, and Elder Hamblin jumped in front of the door where the interview was happening and said, " No way, you aren't interrupting this!" but they were going to a different home - but it was still pretty funny. 

Then we got to teach some more less active members. The Spirit was so strong in all of them. I love when we teach people who already recognize the Spirit. Sometimes it is frustrating because they choose to ignore it. But most of the time it just makes it so much stronger. 

Friday morning we had to take the cercanias to Fuengirola, on the way out of piso my companion grabbed an English Book of Mormon because she felt like she should. When we were buying our tickets a lady stopped us and asked for help in English, we had an awesome chat and gave her the Book of Mormon. Miracles. It was funny she was from Liverpool and I did not understand a word she said. I guess the gift of tongues doesn't pass to English. We then had transfer meeting again with President and pretty much everything changed. 

Then we got to teach C in the church and he accepted to at least try to live some of the commandments. Then we got to teach G and he accepted a baptismal date! My companion gave him such a strong promise. She promised that the Lord would open his path if he put forth the effort. 

Saturday was one of the best days of my mission! C's baptism was at 12 and everything went so well! President came and brought his friend, which added to the stress of it all. But he gave such a beautiful testimony and so did C. Hermana Clark and I got to stand together and watch her get baptized and it was just such a special moment. Then off we went to get ready for the ward party that night. It was a party that everyone brought food and a performance from their country. It was so cool to see everyone represent. But no one told us we were supposed to represent the USA. We threw something together really quick and sang the national anthem, so so badly.  But it was fun and we had a bunch of friends that came! 

Sunday C and F got confirmed. It was so amazing. We also gave a whole ward effort to keep C's baby happy. Man. He is a busy one. That night there was another baptism and we were asked to sing. So Hermana Clark and I put together our best 2 min prep singing voices and made it happen. 

Sorry for such a quick letter of the week, but it has been a great one. Also I have learned so much that I was to be the Lord’s servant. I don't want to be telling Him how to do His job. He does it so much better than I could and He knows exactly what I need. 

Love you all,
Hermana Smalley 

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