Dear Family and Friends,
This week, I had the super neat opportunity to witness miracles.
The first that stood out to me was on Thursday. Thursday, we were impressed to go to Zenaide's house, even though we visited her on Wednesday. Instead of her always-happy expression, she seemed a little taken aback and sad. She let us in, and one of the first things she told us was that she wouldn’t be baptized on Saturday. We were somewhat shocked, as she had just had her interview the day prior. Turns out, minutes after her interview, her brother called and started bashing the Mormon Church. Then, her friends from her old church came to her house, crying and pleading with her not to leave her old church. Then she contracted some pains in her body.
As missionaries, we're used to this sort of thing. Dad calls this "swooping", as the adversary always does his part to "swoop in" at the moment where someone in the church makes an important decision, whether it be a baptism, mission, temple, etc. He does this because he does NOT want God's children to be baptized in the church of Christ. I think that I have never participated in a baptismal prep where something doesn’t go wrong in the last week. It's one more test of their faith.
Anyways, so from that moment to the end of the lesson, the spirit came, and the room (figuratively) caught fire. Scriptures, Liahonas, Conference talks, and Trainings that the missionaries received from the apostles flooded the minds of Elder Lailson Silva and mine. I never felt the spirit so tense in a lesson before. It was basically the following:
"What do you feel when you’re at church, or when you’re reading the scriptures, or when we're here teaching you?" "I feel good, a peace, a warmth in my heart" "Where do you think that comes from?" "God." "That’s right. And when your brother called, and when the Sisters from your church visited, how did you feel?" "Horrible." "And where do you think those feelings come from?" "The devil." "That’s right. So who do you think you should listen to?"
After a super spiritual lesson, Zenaide still was unsteady, and said she wouldn’t be baptized that Saturday. She said that she wanted to explain herself to her church first. We then warned her that the sisters from her church would only cry again and make her feel worse. Putting this aside, we gave her a blessing of comfort to let her mind clear so she could do the right thing. After the blessing, Zenaide asked us:
"Can you do me a favor? Can you call my Niece and Nephew? Tell them that the baptism is on again. I will be baptized this Saturday. I know it's what God wants me to do."
I can’t describe the joyous feeling that came over us. We left from that house so full of the spirit.
The next day, it was drizzling. I threw on my raincoat and left the house, thinking that the rain would stop anytime. Well, it didn’t. We went and visited Marinha in the hospital, and she was in pain. She had some unidentified virus in her stomach. We gave her a blessing of health, and she is now improving. But we left the hospital, and started walking. The rain got worse, and it got colder and colder. And I was without my umbrella. At one point, I got so cold, I said a prayer. When I looked up, there was a perfectly good umbrella just sitting in a garbage can.
The next day, I woke up with a huge stomachache. It was awful. The first thing I thought was "Great. We laid our hands on a super sick lady, and then went out in the cold and lowered our immunity. I’ve got whatever she's got." Then I thought "I don't have time to be sick. We've got a baptism today." So I said a prayer. Then I went to my handy-dandy E-Bola survival kit and pulled out the "Stomach Relief" medicine. Then an impression came to me "Don't take that. That won’t help you at all." That morning, I was guided to take the right precautions, and in 3 hours, I just had a little nausea. I went from an 8 to a 2.
The baptism went off without a hitch.
Well. That’s about all the time I’ve got. I love you all. Have a great week.
Elder Wassom's date to come home is October 4th, and should arrive back in Texas on October 5th!
Pictures: A hat I found in the street and Zenaide's baptism: