Red, WHITE, and Blue: a Fourth of July baptism.
And so another transfer passes, and we're still here! (Not too much of a surprise but, good news!)
There's a BIG group of Elders coming in so things are being shaken up a bit, and we're about to become a really YOUNG district. It'll be exciting. I had the opportunity to go on an intercambio with Hermana Schmidt. She's very sweet and REALLY talks to EVERYONE. She's a great missionary and will enjoy her new area.
I feel like I should put in a little disclaimer and practice a little humility, so here it goes. Last week I mentioned that we were finally getting to see the fruits of our labor, how everything was great, etc. etc, right? Turns out pride comes before a fall (as the scriptures could have warned me) and- to stick with the "fruits" metaphor- our bumper crop failed, the fruit we were ready to pick rotted and dropped from the tree (and dropped us). In more literal terms, we were dropped by 5 investigators in 2 days this week. And it has been a little disheartening. But we've grown and learned and moved on and really, everything is ok because....Eduardo was baptized.
Eduardo was born in Cuba, raised in Germany, and lives here in Spain. He has fought in an African war, was asked to be a preacher, and read the ENTIRE Book of Mormon before we ever met with him. He had a friend in Germany who was a member of our church but was never put in contact with the missionaries. He was contacted by an Elder almost a year ago and somehow sort-of crashed a ward BBQ a few months ago. He's had SO many little opportunities and moments, and I know that the Lord has been preparing him to receive the gospel for a LONG time. We just so happened to be the lucky Hermanas that helped put the pieces together.
We contacted him in his elevator a few weeks ago, and it's only gone up from there (I crack myself up). We ran into him again in an open-air café, and then finally when my companion and another Hermana were passing by an antiguo investigador (who just so happens to rent a room in his piso) we finally got going. Since then I feel like HE's the one that's been teaching US. He read the Book of Mormon again in just two weeks, and has an unshakable testimony of it's truthfulness. On July fourth he was baptized by a worthy priesthood holder who just so happened to be the man with whom he spoke at the BBQ months ago. He was confirmed this Sunday and bore a beautiful testimony. He knows that the church he joined is true, and loves being a part of it. He became our ward grandfather, has befriended the bishop and his councilors, and I'm constantly amazed by him.
I know that the Lord is preparing people, and that if we follow the Spirit and stay focused in doing His work in His way, we can find them. Eduardo said he learned more about God this month than in his 71 years of life outside of the church. The knowledge we have is so precious. We need to share it.
I know that Eduardo was our oyster. I know that God is in the details, and is the true Lord of the harvest. The work we do here matters, even if we don't always directly see the outcomes of it. But when we CAN see the outcome... there's nothing quite like it.
So that's my update this week.
And sadly, we didn't end up eating those hot dogs.
Love you all!
I can count on one hand the number of Doctor Who "things" I've seen on my mission (it's 3.) and it makes me a little sad, but when I DO see one.... It's a big deal.
So we were putting together a present for Eduardo's baptism (he wanted the D&C because he's just TOO PERFECT) and Hermana Wiseman found this bag in the piso.
Cute, right? And THEN...
It was really hard to give to him, but the photos help.