Woot Woot! Sweet week man so miracle story for the day! Sister Jasso and I had our first 2 baptisms this last Saturday! So cool! I wanted to write about them last week but was short on time and wanted to make a good narration. So this is the Story of Antonio Infante and Oilver Gonzalas.
Most decisions that are worth anything take courage in this life. Such was the case for Antonio and Oilver. They escaped from Cuba some number of years ago from their communist country. They set out in a little boat where they rowed for hours by hand to escape and go unnoticed by the searching coastgaurd in the middle of the night. They were stranded in the middle of the ocean without any food and very little water for 7 days. A yacht found them a week later and resued them from dying and took them the rest of the way to America where they have been living in Miami for an odd amount of years. They decided together that they wanted to start over and start their lives a new and start over in Canada. They made their way up the country and stopped in New York when they found out that they needed visa's to enter Canada. So they called up the only family they had in New York, The Pena family. The Pena's are members in our ward. Hermano is less active but his wife is one of my favorite lady's in the ward and she always feeds us sisters good food now and again when we are in the area. They asked the pena's if they could stay with them while they waited for their visa's. So remember that SuperDomingo I told you about a few weeks back? Well that went down 3 weeks ago from last Sunday and Oilver and Antonio happened to come to New York for that weekend so the Pena's brought them to church with them. They really enjoyed the lesson on the restoration and the following tuesday my companion and I had a appointment cancel. We felt prompted to go over to Hermana Pena's to find out more about the 2 cousins that were staying with her. We sat down with her and she said ya they want to learn more and so we said great, when can we teach them. She said well, I'll call them right now. So she called them up and the 2 men were so excited that we were there they ran all the way from junction blvd and a normal 15 minute walk took them about 5. So we taught them the plan of salvation on the spot. We talked about baptism and how we all need baptism by someone with the proper authority to be exalted into the celestial Kingdom. We talked about how God's set the way for us to return back to live him but its was their walk with God and their testimonies could be obtained through their humble prayer and study. That was that. Antonio is the younger one. Probably in his 30's and Oilver is in his 50's. Antonio 's desire started and was really strong from the beginning. He had never been religious before to any extent or been baptized before and Oilver had a broader knowledge and as we explained things to him his knowledge and desire grew as well. So we started teaching on that Tuesday and Wednesday they committed to a date for baptism for the end of the month. We taught them every day for the past 3 weeks straight. They are so stinking awesome. Rock solid and they just make my little heart so proud. They were golden. I just couldn't believe how easy they were. People always say the baptisms they have they don't do anything. Sister Jasso and I felt so blessed. We had prayed for a baptismal goal that we were working for this transfer and we said 2 this month. God so blessed us to reach that goal and to start our missions together in the right way. What a great and rewarding day it was. They didn't have any problems with any of the commandments. The only thing they even had to change was stop drinking coffee but they gave it up over night. No big deal. They were baptized on Saturday and confirmed the following day on Sunday.
It was so interesting to talk to them after the baptism. All of the sudden we had this deep connection to each other. They had been in search of a new life and a change to start over. Little did they know that they were going to find it while they were waiting for their visa's in New York. Then they also told us that a few days after we started teaching them they found out that they didn't need visa's afterall to enter Canada. So they just decided to wait till after they were baptized to continue on their way. They wanted their baptism to be with family and people that they consider family and friends. They are going to keep in touch with us and then the missionaries in canada can continue teaching them and find the ward they will be going to over there and such. It is so crazy how the lord prepares the way for the people that are sukpposed to be at a certain time at a certain place. i'm very grateful for the opportunity that we had to teach these awesome Cubans! I know that God simply used us as the instruments and it could have been any missionary. Yet it was Antonio y Oilver's time. Whahoo!!!!! Woot Woot Woot! And such a rich experience to be a part of. I'm sad they are leaving soon but hopefully we will keep in touch and I told them they have to come to utah some day to see all the Mormons. lol.
The rest of our investigators look weak next to Antonio y Oilver but they are doing good. Napoleon y Yolanda are there. We only get to see them about once a week because they are so dang busy with work here. That's the thing with new york is that the people Siempre ALWAYS are running and ALWAYS working. Very little time to listen or make time for God. Don't you think that's a little bit of an oxymoron? To busy for God? So many people do it though. I think it is an eye opener for me. Napoleon and Yolanda did refer us to their sister in law though that is a member. She used to run the whole ward over in Ecuador but then she moved to New York and married a Catholic and hasn't been back since. So, we wnet over and met her this week. She is really awesome and was super nice to us. She would like to come back to church and so we are going to work with her. I don't know what it is with people and not wanting to make the effort to church. Granted you can't walk a couple of blocks like you can ever corner in Utah but if I can do they can do it right? WE even leave our house at 7 in the morning to go and get these people so that we can make it to church by 9am. So that I can make it to be the ward pianist for the ward. She is cool though and maybe we can get napoleon, yolanda, Juanita ( the member), and her catholic husband coming to church. How sweet would that be?
Jonathan is doing good. He is so up and down. This is the thing about sin. Yes you have a greater knowledge of what there is to experience. You understand the importance of opposition and you can experience first hand the consesuences yet once you experience it, it is that much harder not to fall back into it. Change is a hard process. yes we have the atonment of Jesus Christ, yes it really does work and yes it really does change you as a person but that doesn't make it easy and it takes more effort than if you never did it in the first place. It takes work, perseverance, and an obnoxious amount of tedious concientiousness of doing the little things like reading and praying every single day! I feel for him and with all my heart I so know he is capable of doing it with all my heart. Some of the other investigators we drop but he's different and he's going to make it. We just need to get him some good solid roots in the ward so that after we leave he is secured in the ward so he won't fall. His next big task is going to learn how to love and to trust other people.
Mildred and her mom Fransisca are sweet. They were a member referral from the broncs. We have been teaching them with members and it has been really good but we are having a hard time getting her to come back to church. She has been once but she works the night before and she always feels so tired. She likes what we are teaching her and always enjoy's our visits but she isn't willing to change. I'm thinking something must not be clicking because true doctrine understood changes behavior.
Found jessica and her son justin from the Elders. She is cool. Lived a crazy life in the past but is in a place where she wants to change. She is awesome. Her son justin is practically begging to jump in the font. She has some work to do though. I"m wondering if we could get justin involved with some awesome kids in the ward his age. He is only 10 but he seems so much older to me. You can tell he has had to experience and deal with a lot coming from a disfunctional home.
We were invited by one of the Sr. couples Elder and Sister Heinhold to their home for an FHE this last week. They wanted us to come and meet a cute new member family that has 2 little girls. They live in an area where they only have Elders serving because it is a little bit more rough but they wanted the 2 girls to see some sister missionaries. They were darling little girls. Bianca is 10 and Cheyanne is 14. They both said they had thought about serving missions and that the missionaries had changed their lives. It is so intersesting to see how the gospel really does change the dynamic of the home. The spirit makes such a huge difference. The Heinholds said that when they took the family home after FHE the girls absolutley loved it and that it was a memory they'll never forget. Sometimes the small and simple things are what counts.
We have an apostle coming for mission conference this week. Elder Neil Anderson along with Elder Rasband and a member of the presiding bishopbric? Ya so it should be good. That's on Saturday. Family thanks for all your prayers and your support. I love you and miss you much. May god bless you !
Love Hermana Lewis.