Monday, February 23, 2015

Baptisms and Miracles

Hey family!! So this week has been busy! super busy!

First off, we had like no time to work this week. (I realize that doesn't quite fit with the first sentence).  Argentina just had it's "Carnival." It's a huge parade thing, but missionaries are asked to stay inside during most of festivities. Also, there have been fairly constant protests in all of Argentina against the President, so missionaries stay inside during those too.

Zone Conference

On Thursday, the entire zone headed up to Resistencia though for a multi-zone conference which included all the missionaries in Corrientes. We were able to rent a minibus for the day, so we rode up in style ...very nice. During the conference, Presidente and other leaders talked about the importance of baptism and what we need to do to encourage investigators to come unto Christ. I was actually pretty surprised about this because our zone is baptizing a whole lot more than we used to, but you can always do more, right!? Also we made these 72 hour kits which was pretty fun. Oh, we also got to watch the "Meet the Mormons" movie (awesome!) and a slide show of the mission. So all in all, the multi-zone conference was effective and fun.

Valentina y Lucas

Sooooo Valentina y Lucas were baptized this week! :D :D These are the 2 happiest kids I think I have met on my mission. They are so sweet, and they just love the missionaries sooo much. :) They were truly HAPPY to be there, just laughing and smiling the whole time! The mom was thrilled as well. She sent us a message at the end of the night thanking us for what we have done for her family, and arranging everything for the baptism.

Valentina y Lucas were baptized this week! :D :D

Bummer ...can't eat either one :-(
Made somebody happy though :-)
Oh get this, so often after baptisms, the branch opens up this little snack area behind the chapel -- for cakes, pop, cookies, etc. So our Branch President went out and bought 2 cakes because we were anticipating like 50 people at the baptism ...turns out one of the cakes was a coffee cake, and the other one had alcohol in it. Bahahaha, I mean bahahah, bahahahah was a complete accident, but super funny. We ended up giving them to strangers in the street, and went out and bought 2 more. Other than that, the baptismal service was awesome.

So I have 2 miracles to tell you. Do you remember Viviana? She had the sister that wanted to sue us. Ya, so last Thursday she came and found us and told us that she wanted to get baptized, and she didn't care what her sister thought. She came to church, and then to the baptism on Saturday, and she is now set to be baptized this coming Saturday. Whahoo!! We've already called Presidente and explained to him the situation, and he gave us the green light to go ahead and baptize her.  So she is going to be baptized this week if all goes well!

Next miracle. Remember Mirta? She has been an investigator of ours since I arrived here in Goya. She hasn't been able to be baptized because she and her boyfriend have been living together without being married. But they have been working on the paper work to be married. And the entire time I've been here she's gone to church almost every week, pays fast offerings, allowed her daughter Joana to be baptized, read the entire BoM and is currently reading DyC, and many many more remarkably faithful things. She is just incredible. So out of nowhere, she and her boyfriend have decided to live in separate houses to fulfill the commandments, and will move back in together when their paperwork is finally finished and they eventually do get married. So now she is worthy to be baptized, and we've scheduled that also for this coming Saturday!! :D

I would like to believe these miracles were blessings from God in answer to our prayers. Elder Felkins and I had a special fast this last week asking God to help us find new people He has been preparing for baptism, and to help our current investigators overcome their obstaculos ...and look what happened!!

Oh another noticia!! I received 2 letters from the Micheli family in Reconquista!!!!!!! :D They are so faithful!!! They go to church every week! And are preparing to go to the temple!!!! :D :D Bah! I am so happy!!! :D They told me that their dream is to be sealed as a family. :D I can honestly say I have never felt such instant happiness as I did when I read those letters. It just made me so happy to know that they are going strong and are happy to be in the true church. :)

I love the mission. I just love it, and I don't want it to end. I love being able to help people receive the blessings of the Gospel and see the amazing changes in their lives. Like I have said many times before, true happiness is found in the service of others. I know it is true, for I feel the joy that comes from it daily. I know the BoM is true, that this is Christ's church, and that He leads us to salvation.

I love and miss you all,

Elder Clemóns