Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Carlos says the darnedest things!

Nestor got baptized! His wife is so happy! He got to the church early and when we asked him if he was excited he said “that’s why I got here so early.” When he got confirmed the branch president blessed him to be a leader in the church. I can see it! His family just needs a little more preparation to be able to get sealed in the temple!

Jose Luis accepted to be baptized this next week! We decided to teach him the 3 hard laws- word of wisdom, chastity and tithing before church so we could be sure he would stick with the baptismal date and we could announce it on Sunday. He listened, understood and it was all so easy for him to accept that we also taught 10 commandments and fasting. I’ve never taught so many commandments in just one visit!
Natalia told us she wants to be a missionary! And Faca from El Carmen put in his mission papers, well that’s what Hermana Gentry tells me. I can’t wait to hear where he is going!

Carlos got back from Cordoba. He came to the appointment and said he can’t commit to living all the commandments and that he didn’t want to continue with las charlas. But it was easy to see that he just doesn’t have confidence in himself and that he believes it all. He likes it all. So we were able to commit him to keep learning. When the elders came to do the baptismal interview we set up an appointment to talk to Carlos. (He says that sometimes he doesn’t tell us really how he feels and it would be different with men missionaries.) That seemed to help him. He came to church on Sunday and in gospel principles and Eduardo (the ward mission leader) taught about obedience. At the end Carlos asked, “Does that mean I have to obey what the sister missionaries say, even if they say I should get baptized the 6th of September?” hahaha. Eduardo just said “even better!”

Recently Carlos has said some other pretty funny things:

“You guys will stop making me meet with you guys if I get baptized, right? In that case, I’ll get baptized tomorrow.”

Remember that general conference talk called “ Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You”? Well, we gave Carlos the magazine to read President Monson’s talk so he could know if he was really a prophet. Carlos looked at the list of talks and said “Of course this is the one you gave me. So that if I have doubts I ask you guys. But I already know what you guys will say. You’ll say I should get baptized.”

On Saturday we’re walking down the street and we see Matias(investigator) with Eduardo (ward mission leader) hanging out. It was basically one of the best moments EVER. It made us sooo happy. After seeing two baptisms, Matias is warming up. We nonchalantly mentioned that we were planning his baptism for the 6th. He didn’t say no. So it’s pretty much a done deal!

Fernanda came to church. Turns out all her siblings and her mom are members and she just wants to start all over! She is pretty excited to get baptized the 6th too.

Well love you all!
Hermana Pearson
Nestor's baptism

Monday, August 18, 2014

No stress baptism: Just add water.

Natalia got baptized! It was the most perfect, easiest baptismo ever. It didn’t even cause me stress. Our misión leader planned it all and got the priesthood there to baptize and be witnesses. Natalia had all the lessons she needed way early in the week and she understands everything perfectly. She had her interview and passed with flying colors. She even brought her boyfriend and we taught him while we waited. She told our district leader that she wants to be a missionary like us. The only thing that almost went wrong is that the pool had a leak. But we had a feeling to check on the pool early in the morning and we realized the problem. We made a temporary fix and turned up the water pressure and later the mission leader made a better fix and when it was time for the baptism, we had plenty of water.

And another miracle came out of her getting baptized. The elders came from the city to give her the interview and while we were outside with the elders waiting for Natalia, a man came over and started talking. He said he saw us all the time and was interested in talking to us but he’s an old guy and didn’t think he should stop young girls in the street. Just that day he happened to be closet to the church to get his haircut and when he saw us with men missionaries he felt comfortable enough to talk to us. Three days later, there was a guy that we didn’t know who came to church. We asked all the members who it was and nobody knew. So we went and introduced ourselves and asked his name. He said Miguel Angel. It took me a minute to realize it was the guy who stopped us in the street. He actually came to church! We couldn’t believe it!

We taught Nestor this week and he said he had a conflict in his schedule for the 30th to be baptized and asked if he could get baptized earlier! We explained that he had to go to church at least once more but yesterday he had to work until noon and church ends at 12:30. He said he’d come straight after work. We were nervous that he wouldn’t show up. But he did! So we set the hour of his bautism during the last song and the branch president annouced it at the end.

We’re hoping Carlos gets baptized this week too! He’s been in Cordoba this week and we haven’t been able to talk to him but he said by the end of his trip he’d have an answer for us on whether or not he’ll get baptized.

A long time ago, I realized we had records of a recent convert that didn’t have any teaching record. We asked around about her and no one knew her (because she went by her middle name.) Well we found her family and they said she had moved. We set an appointment with her family but never could find them. Yesterday we stopped by and her twin let us in. She already knows a lot from other missionaries from where she lived before and she told us ¨I want to be Mormon¨ so we said perfect. You’ll need to get baptized. And she said ¨Yeah, I know.¨

Matias continues to confuse us. He finally told us who invited him to church. Pablo he said. We don’t know a single Pablo. But we found a Pablo on some progress reports and we’re gonna hunt him down. Matias came to the baptism and after he went with Eduardo, the ward misión leader to the Bella Vista soccer game. Eduardo is helping a bunch. We’re gonna crack him!

We’re teaching Eduardo’s brother, Marcos and his practically wife. Marcos has been a member since childhood and has a testimony of the doctorine but he’s lazy in keeping the commandments. We had a lesson about the atonement and we asked how Marcos felt in regards to the Atonement. He had been joking around before and said ¨You want the truth?¨ His whole demeanor changed and he said “grateful” It was the most powerful one-word I’ve ever heard.

I love you all so much and hope we can all remember that if we’re really grateful for Christ’s sacrifice. We’ll show our gratitude with our actions!

Hermana Pearson

Natalia's Baptism

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's elementary, Watson

I cannot imagine a more miracle packed week, this email won’t be doing it justice. So 3 months ago we were teaching Natalia. She’s 18 and used to study with Jehovah’s Witnesses. She had accepted to get baptized and then she dropped off the face of the earth. We stopped by her house siempre (always) and she was never home. Her mom said she had gotten a job and was literally working all day. She even stopped going to school to be able to work more. We tracked her down and visited her at work and she told us that she didn’t have time right now and when she did she’d let us know. So I was really sad about that, obviously. Well for the month of August we made a calendar with scripture passages to read every day and a list of our investigators to pray for, and invited all the branch members to participate. We decided to put her name on the list even though we weren’t even teaching her. Well last Monday we had a feeling to go visit her. And she was home! But, quickly it was obvious she wasn’t gonna let us in. BUT we were able to set an appointment because she says she’s working less. We went back the next day and we had the most wonderful lesson. We shared 1 John 5:3-4:
 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
She said she realized that she has to be obedient to God and he will help her win the victory. She’s going to get baptized on SATURDAY. Yep, this Saturday.

We thought Carlos would need more time to prepare and to live the commandments but he’s been praying and reading and he understands. He’ll be getting baptized too…If he’s not in Cordoba… he leaves on Wednesday but he already committed to coming back on Friday for his interview.

We have embarked on a Sherlock Holmes scale mystery. We’ve been teaching Matias and Franco for a couple weeks and they are SUPER shy and it’s hard to teach them because they don’t like to answer questions and they don’t seem to understand. But they come to church and read and always come to the appointments. We’ve been trying so HARD to figure out WHY they want to listen to las charlas when they admit they are super uncomfortable. Well we always figured that their brother-in-law invited them because we teach them in his house but when we were talking to Matias we asked if has been wanting a change lately in his life. He told us yes and that even though he doesn’t know what kind of change, when his friend invited him, he dragged Franco along so he wouldn’t have to be alone. We asked who the friend was but he didn’t want to tell us. We can’t figure them out! It seemed Franco was interested and Matias was just along for the ride but it’s the other way around. We are so confused. The Spirit is definitely doing His job with those two. It’s the only way possible that they keep coming to church and listening to us. They don’t understand. They just feel good.

We taught our investigators a ton of commandments this week. And boy was it easy. They all just basically said yep, sounds good to me.

We had a lesson with Carlos in the church and an appointment with an inactive with his girlfriend after. The second appointment got there and THEY waited for US. I have never taught so efficiently in my life. Haha, but really with all these super great investigators we are teaching a lot these days! And enjoying every minute of it!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Careful: Satan bites. And so do dogs.

Where do I even start? We just killed it this week. All of our numbers were sooo much bigger than I’ve had in a long time/ever had. It rained bautismal dates on us and we’re feeling so blessed that God has given us some mighty fine investigators. At the same time we see how hard Satan works to convince us all that God’s got it all wrong and that obedience isn’t worth it.

We found a new investigador this week, Jose Luis. He is 35 and half his body is paralyzed. He said he’d come to church with us but that rarely happens after teaching just one lesson. But he came! And he got up in front of everyone to bear his testimony. The branch fell in love with him because he is super sweet.

Nestor is our shining star. He is the husband of the young women’s president. We invited him last week to pray about baptism. When we followed up, he said he felt a lot of peace and he agreed to be baptized on the 30th. We taught him and his wife about temples and eternal marriage. WOW. That’s what this gospel is about. The spirit was so strong and his wife is so happy that she’s so much closer to an eternal family. In another lesson we watched The Restauration and after we asked if he believes that José Smith was a prophet. He said. “No quiero dudar. Me parace que si.” Ï don’t want to doubt. It seems to me that yes.” He really is so prepared. The truth is I’m mind blown that he didn’t get baptized ten years ago with his wife. She said he just never paid much attention to the missionaries. He came to church for the first time too. His wife and daugther came without him and he showed up later. Because of his example, his inactive daughter and his “atheist” son showed up too. We were so excited! And he loved it!

Matias and Franco that came to church but we weren’t teaching them finally had a lesson with us. They beyond confuse us because they seem so disinterested but they keep commitments. Matias didn’t accept baptism (yet) and Franco said it was too soon but that it was something he wanted to do. During the next lesson we talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it’s true. We asked what he should do (refering to reading and praying) and he said “bautizarme” um, yep. He gave himself his own bautismal date for the 23rd!

Carlos has to go to Cordoba this next week. And we knew it, but we felt like we should invite him to baptism the Saturday he’ll be gone. Even though he didn’t accept that day, I think it helped him accept a date for the week after because he was a bit reluctant. He doesn’t want to get baptized in the cold but the member that was with us (Nestor’s wife) told about how she got baptized in the dead of winter and just before her baptism, the clouds went away and the sun shined. When she got out of the water, the clouds came back. He said he’d get baptized the 16th. In the next lesson we taught the word of wisdom. We thought it’d be a bit hard for him but he accepted it super easily. The doctors say he should drink a half glass of wine every day for his health but he isn’t and says it’s no big deal to keep the word of wisdom. So then we taught the law of chastity. He’s not such a fan of that one. He talked to the former branch president that helped him reason through but he’ll need a little more time to change and repent. We talked with him a lot about Satan and how he is intelligent and knows how to deceive us. I think more than anything what Satan tries to do is block our ability to see things with an eternal perspective.

Also a dog bit me this week. It was actually pretty funny because it was completely quiet and I didn’t even notice the dog. It bit me, I screamed a little, it bit me again, and then went away. Don’t worry mom. It’s healing just fine and Hermana Chaparro had me go buy a rabies shot so we’re all good.

We are really seeing so many miracles and I am loving Bella Vista so much! I feel like the Lord is really blessing us right now and I just want to live worthily of these blessings so that these people can really get baptized! We want to get them all baptized this transfer before I leave!

Hermana Pearson