We had a good week. The highlight was that we had a baptism! Wohoo! It was the first one in Zaragoza since January. We baptized a 70 year old woman named Ricarda. She was a true miracle. Several weeks ago a member of the branch presidency in Zaragoza mentioned to me that he thought that she might never have been baptized. Later that week we visited her and found out that she had attended church for several years however, her "husband" was actually married with another woman and so, unable to get married, she was unable to be baptized. With time, she stopped attending church. Later her husband died and a few months later she returned to church. That was when we found her. The Lord had prepared her and brought her back in this time to answer our prayers for a progressing investigator. It was great to be able to help her finally make that covenant with the Lord after all these years.
However, the baptism almost didn't happen. Here's a little story of what was going on Sunday night... Ok, so I had prepared everything for her baptismal service. My companion and I were in divisions and he still hadn't arrived in Zaragoza. Members were starting to show up and I was getting pretty worried. It was 5:30 and the baptism was scheduled to start at 5:00. Guatemalan standard time is even worse than Mormon standard time, but still, half an hour late made me start to be afraid. The last 3 baptisms we had planned all had fallen, 2 the day before and one the day of the planned service. Was this going to be number 4?
I went to her house to find her and Ricarda told me that she wouldn't be able to be baptized today. I was super disappointed and asked her why. Satan always works super hard in those last 24 hours before someone's baptism. I've seen him use everything, sickness, family problems, doubts, persecution, etc. There's always opposition. The Adversary is very astute and this time he employed a new tactic. Ricarda had a very large pig and it turns out that the pig just happened to start giving birth that afternoon. Ricarda said she couldn't leave or the piglets would die. We called some members who knew something about animal husbandry and we all gathered around to help her. It was pretty surreal. There we were, the men all wearing suits and the women wearing nice dresses, standing in the mud, helping a pig give birth, so that an old grandma could go to her baptismal service.
Then, to top it all off, one of the sisters in my district called rather hysterically to tell me that her companion had gotten really sick, was trembling, had a high fever, and couldn't speak and she had no idea what to do to help her. It was not a situation I had ever imagined that I would be in when I filled out my mission papers. However, we were greatly blessed and everything turned out well. The sister later recovered, Ricarda was baptized (still quite dirty from working with the pig), and the pig delivered 7 healthy, cute piglets. I hope she names one of them after me.
A solid week in all.
[Note the missionary on the right shinning a flashlight on the subject ]