Elder Cano and I have found out that we have a talent for making people cry. It`s most likely a gift we`ve been given to get people to spill the beans in the middle of lessons. So really, my mission life is an emotional rollercoaster leading to the healing power of the Atonement!
The past two weeks we`ve been teaching a less active member and his spouse who`s non-member. Their names are Isaias and Yudit (a weird Spanish way for the name Judith). Yudit has been an investigator for several years now, and she wants to get baptized, but the problem is that she doesn`t want to get married with Isaias. It`s hard because Isaias is an alcoholic, and has falls and rises every so often. We`ve been giving him advice on how to maintain his temper and overcome the temptation of drinking to forget his problems. One night, after bearing my testimony of the Spirit, he began to ball for about ten minutes saying, "Esta vez, voy a cambiar." They were going strong! Attending church and everything! But last Saturday we were headed to our room to change our clothes and eat lunch when we saw him on the corner drinking at a table with some "friends". There was a moment when, as we passed, he glanced at us, but quickly looked away thinking we wouldn`t see him. After thinking of what to do, Elder Cano and I walked up to him, despite all the drunks and began talking with him. I have to say, my heart was broken. He faught again with Yudit, and left all angry at the world and began drinking again. Refusing to come with us, I shared with him Ether 12:27 and just broke down crying. It`s hard to watch people completely refuse to be saved and just decide to change. But experiences like this just prepare us in our own lives and give us even greater testimony. Elder Cano and I walked away with watery eyes, but we haven`t lost hope in this family. On Tuesday we have and appointment, and it won`t be a moment they can forget!
We also had an incredible experience with Roxana this past week. During the time we`ve been teaching her, she`s kept a huge grunge against her spouse who left her about eight months ago. But there was a suddent moment where, after leaving her with Book of Mormon chapters to read on her own every day, we show up one day to find the darkness in her eyes completely brightened with the light of Christ. We sat down with her and she told us that after staying up all night, unable to sleep, she got down on her knees to ask with a sincere heart if the Book of Mormon is true. A peaceful feeling came over her as she was prompted to read Mosiah 27:25-29. Suddenly, she just felt the need to forgive her spouse for all the evil he had done to her in completely abandoning not only her, but their little son Pedro of 4 years, for another woman. When she told me that "Por fin, he decidido perdonar a mi esposo," it was like a rush of the Spirit came into the room. After all the tears, regret, resentment and moments of frustration that Roxana carried, the Atonement just swept in and did all the rest. We`ve made her cry so many times! She will now be getting baptized this Saturday instead of the end of the month as we had planned! Keep her in your prayers!
As district leader, I have the grand opportuniy of doing baptismal interviews for candidates. This past week, I intervied the zone leaders`investigator, Darlene, who is 15 years old, and whose mother got baptized the week before. I was impressed by her good heart, and innocent mind. However, at the end she wanted to tell me something. "Si, hermanita, compartame." She let me know that a member of her family had tried to assault her, and she, being so young, felt so terrible inside. She told me that she didn`t think God loved her. Tears in both of our faces, I pulled out my handy book of ilustrations, and opened to the picture of Christ suffering in Gethsemane. I bore my testimony so strongly that God loves her, and despite all that we can do wrong, he still loves us. I also explained to her that she wasn`t guilty for what her family member committed. By this point, tears are just cascading down our cheeks, but the Spirit let us know that she was ready to make a baptismal covenant. Despite the fact that I`ve never taaught her, she chose me to baptize her! What a special experience for me, and such a privilege!
At times, Elder Cano and I complain about the fact that everyone seems to have horrible problems. I mean, it`s just a fact of life that we have to face with courage. Christ is our greatest friend! I testify of the power of the Atonement in any person`s life. The Spirit has prompted me with the lyrics of the hymn, "I know that my Redeemer lives." What a beautiful hymn! It has recently made the top of my list. Anyway, I invite you all to meditate on the wonderful gift of the Atonement by singing this hymn,and to look for ways to apply such a gift in our lives. I love the Savior, and I love this gospel. He literally changes us so that one day we can be clean and pure, equal in glory and perfection. What a blessing to have such precious knowlege!