What a week! We started out with a bang on Monday. I´ve talked quite a bit about the Pereda family, a family that I met in March when I got here and was able to participate in their baptism. They´re 5, Carlos the dad, Isela the mom, and sons Carlitos, Mathias, and Rosita. I have really come close to that family, kinda going through a few ups and downs with them and witnessing their conversion! It´s been a really cool thing. Anyway, on Monday, we had a FHE with them and talked about Alma 32. Keep in mind, this is a pretty poor family, one of the poorest I´ve met so far. They somehow came across 11 ducks in May that they´ve been raising to be able to sell and make some money. Well, as we were about to leave on Monday night, they said, "Hold on Elderes!" as they walked out with 7 plates of duck and invited us to eat with them. The first one they´ve killed, and they didn´t sell it; they wanted to eat it with us! Wow, that was a humbling moment, and one I´ll probably remember for a while. And it was awfully tasty too haha. I thought lots of Ammon´s words, " Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us."
The other big thing that happened this week was the chance I had to participate in two baptismal interviews! The first one was with an older sister on Thursday night. The other elders in my district, and my branch, taught her. She was a super duper Catholic lady! To the point of having one of those statue saint things in her house, always looming in their lessons! None of the ward members thought she would progress at all. Lo and behold, she was baptized Saturday, and bore quite a sweet testimony after her baptism. I was kind of cringing with all the members and leaders at the baptism and their "Wow, I NEVER thought you´d be here!!", but it´s true! Heavenly Father is truly working with all of his children! That was sweet to be able to talk to her for a good hour in her interview and be a part of her baptism.
The other interview was Friday, of an 11 year old boy. A little different than the first one haha. I love kids! That was a fun thing, and we actually saw him get baptized in the same service as the first lady.
Mmm...I think that´s about it for the week. We had a fun zone training on Tuesday about the use of the Book of Mormon, and a sweet branch council yesterday. The members of the branch are so pumped about missionary work after seeing lots of baptisms this past month. They were all throwing out names and offering to go out with us, so we´ll do our best to capitalize on the momentum and see what we can do this month! The branch, and the ward mission leader in particular, have come a long way since March. If I did nothing else in this area, what a blessing to be able to be a part of that kind of growth and establishment of the church! We were pretty excited as missionaries yesterday.
Thank you all so much for the emails and pictures and words of support and everything! I take a picture of every email I get, and read them multiple times throughout the week! I´ve been so blessed to be surrounded by such loving people. Have a super week, and I´ll talk to ya next Monday!
Love, Elder Tanner Hart