Monday, November 24, 2014

The Last Week Of My Mission Has Been The BEST Of My Mission

Elsa's Baptism! 

Querido familia,

I have to say I never thought this day would come. haha It still feels like I will just be a missionary for forever. I don't even know where to start this email SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED! 

I would like to say that this last week has been probably the BEST of my mission....probably the best week out of anyone's mission in the world...but I am kind of bias so I don't know if I can make that call. :) WE SAW MIRACLES! And I know I say that every week but seriously this week it was like MIRACLE of MIRACLES!!! Okay I will just tell you what happened....I don't even know how I am going to put it all in words but I'm going to try...WARNING: This is going to be a long one...

So when we planned for my last week we had made a goal to have a baptism because Patty had her baptismal date. But I pretty much knew in my heart of hearts that she was not going to be baptized that week. (She is still doing really well by the way but she just needs more time to build her testimony) I was pretty bummed because we didn't really have anyone else who was really prepared to be baptized this past week, but I felt really strongly about this goal! Well, Sunday night, right before I started into my last week, I was saying my nightly prayer and I felt that Patty was for sure not ready, but I also felt that someone was. I prayed to Heavenly Father and told him my feelings. In that moment I just knew that Heavenly Father had someone in our area that needed to be baptized. I told Him..."I don't know how you are going to do this, but I am going to follow your lead and we are going to find them!" I laid awake for at least an hour maybe more just thinking about this and how sure I was that it was going to happen. I thought that He was going to have someone move into our ward or branch that had already taken the lessons and was all ready for baptism...that was the only possible way I could think of it working...but Heavenly Father had something else in mind.

The next day; on Monday, we randomly decided to visit our investigator Elsa. We have not been able to meet with her since I arrived in Fort Collins because she has been really sick, like REALLY sick, she is on hospice care. (She has double kidney failure) She is taking a medication that makes her sleep all the time so every time we went she was asleep. We almost gave up on teaching her but on Monday we randomly put her in our plans. We arrived at her house and of course she was sleeping. But miraculously her atheist daughter Jennifer let us in! Her other daughter Nesley was there as well. We talked for a little bit and asked if we could share a message. They agreed and the spirit totally guided our lesson! We talked about God's influence in their lives and how God has a plan for their family. Nesley told us that since they have been taking so much care of their mom she has seen how God has helped their family. Jenny was a little thrown off by our lesson but told us that she doesn't know how but she thinks God may have helped them. When we talked about the Plan that God has for their family they both broke down in tears. I know they could feel the sprit, it was SO STRONG!...THEN Elsa woke up and came out to talk to us. We got talking about how when the sisters were teaching her before she had a baptismal date (her baptism was actually all planned with talks and everything but then she got really sick) and she told us that she still wanted to get baptized. Then out of the blue Jennifer says...."Mom you need to be baptized!" Then she turned to us and said, "What does she need to do to be baptized?" Elsa had already taken all the lessons (some twice), she loves the Book of Mormon, and she had been to church twice. So we told them that all she had to do was have a baptismal interview and come to church one more time. Jennifer's eyes lit up and she looked to Elsa and Elsa was like..."Okay well I will have to do tha"t. As I was thinking back to my prayer the night before and FREAKING OUT in my head at how fast my prayer was answered, I invited Elsa to be baptized on Sunday after church. She told us she would pray about it but that she felt that she should.

We came back the next day with the Elders to give Elsa a priesthood blessing for her sickness. After the blessing she told us that she would be baptized that Sunday. Jennifer was the only one home and was able to listen to Elsa's blessing. Then we offered her a blessing of comfort and strength and she almost declined but her mom told her she should do it to gain strength in this hard time for their family. The Elders gave her a beautiful blessing and after Jennifer was crying again. The Elders left and we taught Elsa and Jennifer the plan of salvation. It was like a member present lesson because Elsa was bearing testimony of how true it was, and Jennifer's eyes were glued on us the whole time. She was like a sponge just soaking it all in. Jen told us that she will pray about it and that she had a feeling inside that was like..."too much happiness."

We continued to visit them every day before Elsa's baptism. Sunday came and because of lots of fasting and prayer Elsa had enough energy to come to church and feel good at her baptism. Her baptism was AMAZING! She was so prepared and so ready. At the end of her baptismal service she stood up in front of everyone and bore her testimony and thanked everyone for accepting her as family. (The entire branch was there....first baptism in the Alta Vista Spanish branch!!!)  Jennifer said that she felt really good at the baptism and is now our new investigator! I just cannot explain the pure joy that we all had! I love Elsa so much. She has taught me so many things this week. AHH I just love er!

I can't even put into words how amazing this week has been we have also seen amazing miracles with Kika and our less active Enrique! He FINALLY built up the courage get Sunday's off of work and came to church for the first time in months! I also got to go to the temple with the departing missionaries. Oh my goodness I am so grateful.

One more funny quote of the week: (After dinner at a restaurant)

Hermana Stratford: "We need to find a candy dispenser."
Me: "Who is she"
Hermana Stratford: "What?"
Me: "Candida Spencer!...who is she? Did she marry a gringo, her last name is so white."

When we both realized what the other one was thinking we burst into laughter. hahah...incase you didn't know Candida is a common Hispanic woman's name...Too good. Too good.

I love you all more than you will ever know.
See you tomorrow :)
Hermana England

Elsa's daughter Jen
(who was later baptized!!)

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