Definitely the highlight of the week. (Although I have to admit that I enjoyed when, at the end of one of our lessons, we asked a man we had just found and taught the first lesson to give the closing prayer. He blessed us with what literally was a 15 minute long prayer. My companion heroically didn´t even crack a grin during the entire thing. I had a much more difficult time and was thinking of what I would do if he just never stopped. You can´t imagine how long a 15 minute prayer is until you experienced one).
Anyway, this Sunday the ward we were assigned to had a total of 13 baptisms. 9 were from a different companionship and 4 were our investigators (well, technically 3 since one of them was only 8 years old and so doesn’t count as an investigator baptism).
Two of our three investigators (and the 8 year old) were children of Brother and Sister Orillana, who we recently reactivated. As they came back to the Church their children wanted to be baptized as well. My companion and I were thrilled to learn that, after working with the bishop for a week or so, the father was able to perform the baptisms of his three children. Our third baptism was of Sister Garcia, the wife of a member who had been inactive since he was 11. They´re both super nice and I was so happy to see them gain a testimony of the gospel and for her to decide to get baptized. (The circumstances that led to her making that decision really were miracles, but I don´t have time to explain them all now). What made it even more special was that I was able to be the one to baptize her! I had never baptized anyone before, but the feeling I had when I helped her make that covenant made all my hard work over the past few weeks worth it.
Ok, so talked about the end result of our work (well, it´s not the end, but it´s an important step), I´ll write a little about what we do to achieve it. One of the principles of the Guatemala central mission is ¨Hay urgencia en la obra¨ (there is urgency in the work). We are always doing everything we can to find and teach as many people as possible. As I´ve already said, we rarely sleep in until 6¨30, in fact, this week we got up as early as 4¨00 in the morning. We also usually don’t get back to our house until just before 9¨30. Then we plan for half an hour and then I have to update the area book with everything we did that day for another 15 minutes.
During the day we go to the house of a member named Hermana Luz to eat lunch for 20 to 30 minutes but we skip dinner because the evening is the most efficient time for proselyting. In other words, the 15 minutes I have before I go to bed are all I have to eat dinner. Ordinarily, I´d never be able to work that hard for that long without eating dinner, but the Lord blesses me with the ability to do it.
We also talk with everyone. One of the most interesting ways in which we do this is when we ride on busses. When we climb aboard the bus one of us goes directly to the back while the other stays at the front. When the bus begins driving again the missionary in the front stands up, trying to hang onto the railings on the ceiling (the bus drivers go at ridiculous speeds on super windy roads so keeping your balance is difficult) and at the top of his voice (we often have to shout so we can be heard) teaches and testifies about a principle and then we pass by everyone´s seats and ask them for their directions [to their homes]. If they want to hear more, we visit them when we´re in the neighborhood. Definitely something I would have found a little uncomfortable before my mission but I’m used to it now. It’s actually kind of fun
Anyway, we´re working incredibly hard but as I said, it´s all worth it as we see our investigators progress.
Thanks for all your support!