Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 1 Post

This has been a great week! Doing cambios for the mission was a great experience! I was really able to feel the spirit and see how the spirit can guide us to the same conclusions. I am confident that this transfer will be a successful one especially because 21 new missionaries are coming to the mission. They always seem to bring extra "ANIMO"! 

Our area is really progressing well as far as investigators. We are finding a lot of people that can be baptized this month and we can feel that they have true desires to change their lives. 

The highlight of the week was definitely Gerardo's baptism! It was truly a miracle to see this joven of 15 years old get baptized! 

Gerardos conversion story is a long one! Gerardo is actually the son of a high counselor in the stake! Gerardo's mom isn't a member of the church and so for many years she has not given Gerardo permission to be baptized. He has attended church for years now off and on. I think it was one of my first Sundays hear when i heard Gerardo's dad share his testimony and mentioned that his son, though he wasn't a member of the church yet, had attended EFY and had loved it! When my companion and I heard this we were VERY interested in talking to Gerardo and seeing what the situation was haha. So the next Sunday when he came to church we set an appointment with Gerardo. The President of Young Men, Eduardo Gonzalez, also wanted to come so we told him about the appointment as well. 

During the ward council that we had we mentioned to the bishop that we were going to start teaching Gerardo and the bishop gave us some really good information of why he hadn't gotten baptized. He proposed that we should do a fast, with Gerardo and his dad, so that he could get permission to be baptized!!!! It was pure inspiration that Bishop Fierro received! 

So the appointment came and we went with Eduardo to see Gerardo. He and his little brother Pablo received us really well! We ended up just them the baptismal questions to see where they were at in their understanding of the doctrine and they were both more than ready!!!!! Gerardo really wanted to get baptized, but Pablo still didn't really want to do it. We hope that Pablo will desire to get baptized soon. But anyways, we ended up focusing in on Gerardo and mentioned to him the idea of the fast. He thought it was a great idea to do a fast, so him, Eduardo, his dad, the bishop and us did a fast so that Gerardo could receive permission from his mom to get baptized. 

Gerardo was true to the fast! He didn't even come to the ward talent show that night because he knew that there was going to be food there and he didn't want to be tempted. 

When we went to ask his mom if it was ok for Gerardo to get baptized the 27th of August, she gave it to him really easily! It was really crazy to see! She just said that if he really wanted to do it he could! We were really excited about it and we started planning for the baptism! But, just like every other baptism, there was opposition ahead...

When we showed up to do the baptismal interview with Gerardo, his dad answered the door and with really sad eyes said that Gerardo wasn't going to get baptized that Saturday. We started to talk to his dad and learned that Gerardo and his mom had been fighting during the week and there was a lot of contention in the house. His mom didn't want him to get baptized anymore... 

None the less, we still had faith that he would do it!!!! We talked to Gerardo's dad and he let us do the interview with Gerardo which he passed with flying colors! After the interview, we talked with Gerardo and his dad together for like an hour.... In the end of our conversation, Brother Pavon could see that his son really DESIRED to do this! This gave brother Pavon more confidence and we went through with our plans! We tried to talk to his mom again, but she didn't accept us. In the end Gerardo's faith and desire won out every other opposition that he had and he was able to be baptized last Saturday! 

I learned a lot from this experience. I admire the faith and determination that Gerardo has. He stood up for what was right and DID NOT back down. We learned that if you fast with faith, God will answer! But opposition is also part of the package. Our prayers may not be answered as fast as we want. A solution to a problem may not by as easy as we would like it to be, but the solution will come. God answers our prayers if we ask in faith. 

Have a great week everyone! Remember that fasting and prayer is key to building a strong testimony. 

-Elder Hagues

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