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Wednesday, March 7, 2012
2.27.12 -- Huatabampo
The Atonement works. Even if it seems kind of crazy how big of an effect it can have when truly understood and applied. Unfortunately no one can understand or comprehend it that well unless they have done something similiar. That´s why I´ve thought at times that the repentant sinners are normally more effective (but not better, since that depends on the missionary) missionaries--Ammon, Paul, etc. But then there are those that had always been pure, remained pure, weren´t as successful, but were blessed more than anyone else--such as Nephi III in Helaman 10. Everyone has their own gifts, their own favorite principles of the gospel. But when it comes down to it, the other priniciples of the Gospel are just "appendages" of the Atonement, as Joseph Smith once said. Everything comes back to that.
Transfers today. The entire zone . . . (wait for it) stayed exactly the same. I´m staying with E. Olguin here in Huatabampo for at least another transfer. Haha, I´ll have 6 months here soon. Crazy.
By the way, "Huatabampo" is a Mayo (not Mayan, Mayo--one of the native tribes that lived here in Sonora) word for "willow in the water." Or "sauce en el agua." Cool stuff.
As for the week, I have some very good news. Remember the man that read 100 sections of D&C in two weeks? Well, something big happened.
We went to his work Tuesday morning and began to teach him (we´ve taught him in his work every time--I´ve never been to his house) about the meaning of baptism. I don´t remember how many times I had done that before, but we felt as though we needed to do it again. We were teaching, and after responding one of my questions to verify that he had understood the lesson, he suddenly said, "Me voy a bautizar" (I´m going to get baptized). When he said that, I just stared at him. My mouth opened a little and I just sat there. E. Olguin congratulated him and I was thinking, "Whaaa?" Then I snapped out of it and got pumped. YEEAHAHHH!!!! He was baptized on Friday--and was ready for it. He´s the kind of person that COMMITS--I´m pretty sure he only failed on 2 or 3 of his assignments the entire time I´ve taught him, which is why he waited so long to make the decision--a covenant with God is much larger that any commitment to man. And he wanted to be completely sure.
Haha, when we asked him who he wanted to baptize him, he pointed at me and said, "If anyone is going to drown me, it´s going to be you." I had invited him to baptism a few times before.
As for his story, it´s a long one. I respect my investigators´ privacy (which is why I normally don´t just write about my investigators every week), but I will say what he has felt change. He was born in Tepito, one of the most infamous neighborhoods of Mexico City, and one of the most dangerous. After a few years, he ended up in Huatabampo. He had read the Bible before, but had never truly had a firm belief in God. He was "Catholic" (but never really practiced the religion), and wasn´t interested in anything religious. But one day he went to a member´s vetrinarian (hospital? service? how do you say it?), where he saw a few pamphlets on the table. He picked them up, read them all, and a month later the member told the missionaries to go teach him. He´s read almost the entire Book of Mormon. He´s read every copy of the Liahona we give him. He understands everything, but unlike before, he has told us that he now TRULY feels the Lord´s presence in his life. He learned how to pray, and now does so every morning and night. He´s gone to Church more than most members.
I asked him the moment before the baptism what changed for him. He just told me, "I always knew I was going to be baptized, but I was just making up excuses when I said no to your invitations. I finally just sucked it up and made a decision." He didn´t literally say that, but it was the gist of it.
Mom, as for your question of "HOW are YOU doing", I´m doing great.
Adios. Enjoy the long email. I organized my letters well this week.