Monday, June 28, 2010
Ft. Myers Week 8
Okay, I'm going to admit, this week was exhausting, but in the best way possible! I felt like we have been in a full on brawl with Satan as we have tried to help Freddi prepare for baptism. It has been weeks and weeks. For awhile I was lacking in faith a little bit because I didn't know if it was actually going to happen. Well, you better believe that we stomped on Satan and Freddi was baptized this weekend along with Juan. Also in St. Petersburg, Cipriano was baptized (he was the one that Sister Alva and I found that didn't believe in God. He was very angry with God for allowing his mother to be sick with cancer. His mom just died in Mexico. He said that he realized the difference that the Gospel has had in his life when he saw how he "dealt" with his mom's death, with faith in the Lord. :-) So cool! I'M SOOOO HAPPY!
President and Sister Colton drove down to come to our baptisms. It was so nice to see them one last time! It was a little sad seeing them drive away, but this was a baptism that should go in the Guinness Book of World Records! First, Sister Baum and I had to do splits at the last minute because Freddi was freaking out and said he was too scared to be baptized. So Sister Baum and a fellowshipper drove out to his house in Lehigh to talk to him. That left me and Cherell at the church to get everything ready. Well, we thought it would be nice to have Rojelio (baptized last week) go get Juan. Well he got lost and was 15 miles out in the middle of nowhere. So 20 minutes before the baptism was supposed to start, we didn't even know if we could get Juan OR Freddi to the church!!! Then president and Sister Colton showed up and I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to... ahhhh... you get the picture. :-)
Well, through prayer and miracles they both made it safe and sound. Oh, did I mention that the air conditioning broke in the church, so it was like a 100 degrees in there! So the members were really excited with us when they had to sit and wait for Juan and Freddi to show up. Well, while Juan was changing in the dressing room connected to the font, Freddi changed in the bathroom down the hall. Freddi finished first so we started to take pictures outside the baptismal room. Then all of a sudden we heard a big splash and a lot of laughing. With terror in our faces I looked at Sister Baum like, "OH MY GOODNESS!!! WHO WAS THAT?!" Well, Juan fell in the water! He full on fell into the water! At this point I about had it and couldn't help but fall on my knees and laugh hysterically! Sister Colton couldn't hold back the tears from laughing so hard! Oh, but it gets better! We never knew that it would be a fight with Freddi until the very end, but it was. Eleven times! He had to be baptized 11 times! Elder de Hoyos is a strong guy, and he still couldn't get him all the way under. Oh boy, I can't describe this well enough. It is surely a day that I will never forget. I love Juan and Freddi so much. They are amazing! I'm so excited for them. Yesterday in Sunday school we were still laughing about how Juan fell in the water. Oh boy! I love every part of being a missionary!
Well, we thought yesterday between the hours of 2 and 5 were going to be prime tracting time, but we couldn't hardly get anyone to listen to us. Why? Because of the World Cup! It is so amazing being down here and seeing how much of the culture is centered around soccer. Our chapel is full of people from all over South America! To see the rivalry between them is so great! I was sad to see that Mexico lost. Now everyone from Mexico that we talk to is going to be upset or sad. :-) So awesome!
So Sister Baum and I were driving down Highway 41. It is a pretty busy six lane highway. While we were stopped at a stop light, we looked to our right, and there was this amazing looking Spanish family in a Ford Explorer. We both looked at each other, and despite the awkwardness, Sister Baum undid her seat belt and started to stretch out of the car to try and hand them a pass along card. Well, the light turned green!!! SATAN! I didn't know he had control of the lights too! No I'm just kidding, but really! This was last Wednesday I think, so yesterday, we had just knocked on Luis's door (baptism date set for the 17th) to wake him up (didn't answer) as we were leaving the apartment complex a black Ford Explorer pulled in and Sister Baum yells, "That's that family!" So we turned right around and chased after them! :-) When we got out of the car after they parked, the dad was like (in Spanish), "Hey! you are the girls from the 41!" He was so excited to see us. He didn't know why but he said he felt sad the other day when he didn't get what we tried to give him. BUT WE FOUND THEM! Oh man, we are so excited to teach them! the Lord is in the work.
Have I told you about Luis and how we found him? Well I will now just to make sure. I don't think I could even count how many extremely awkward but amazing experiences that Sister Baum and I have had making sure that we talk to everyone that we can. Well, Sister Baum and I go on a walk or jog every morning. Usually around the mall that is close by, or on lighted streets. Well, this particular morning we took a different route, at first not knowing why. As we were leaving the apartment complex, we passed a Spanish man walking. We didn't think much of it. Well this is what I thought in my head, “Um we're in sweats and don't have any cards. Lots of excuses. Well, we didn't make it too far, maybe three blocks around the corner, and we both looked at each other and said, "um ya..." and we turned around and literally chased after him. By the time we reached him we were so winded and all we told him is who we were and asked him if he would like to learn more. He accepted. We took his info and the next day we called him and set up a time for him to come to the church. He arrived and it was an amazing lesson. He told us, "I never walk. My car always works, but for some reason that day it wouldn't start, so I had to walk to the gas station so my friend could take me to work." The next day the car started, so he took it so the shop to get it checked out. The mechanic couldn't find anything wrong with it. Luis is being prepared to be baptized on the 17th. He came to church yesterday and loved it!
I don't think I have told you anything about Diana. Diana is from Puerto Rico. She has a baptismal date for the 24th. (I feel like there are a lot of people I haven't been able to write about.) So Diana used to be a pastor for a pentecostal church with her husband in New Jersey. when we first started to teach her I thought she was crazy because she talked so much about the book of Revelations and things I have no idea about, but after about 4 visits I think she gained our trust. and it all made sense when she said she used to be a pastor. Her knowledge of the bible is amazing, and the reason I thought she was crazy is because I don't hardly know anything about the book of Revelations. To be honest, the book scares me, so it has been so much fun teaching her. What has converted her to the gospel is the spirit and the happiness that she has felt since we have visited her. I mentioned that every time we have come over she seems happier and happier. We asked her why and she said, "Well, it's because of this good book here, (holding the Book of Mormon), and because this is true. I used to try and make up excuses so that you girls couldn't come over, but now I just put everything else to the side because I know I need it." She isn't with her pastor husband anymore, she is married now to a Mexican man that we taught and he also accepted a date for baptism. I could go on and on about how amazing this women is. She left her church because of a bad experience with her husband and a member of the church. She has fallen away from God, and now she has found the iron rod and she couldn't be happier.
Love you all,
Hermana Vaughan Schultz