Ah I dont even know where to begin... literally this morning was one of the BEST moments of my life!
But let me back track a little first. Becaues I know there are a lot of Investigators, and I never want to tell stories about them too much until their Baptism.
So this special story is about GUSTAVO. First off our District Leader, Elder Navia, contacted him one day in the street, and discovered that he was interested in hearing our message, but that Gustavo lived in our area. So he passed the address on to us, to contact him, and we did.
But honestly we were taken back by how HUGE his house is. In México I feel like there are three levels of economics. Super Rich, Poor, and Super Poor. But we soon came to find out that it isnt about a Humble House, but it is about a Humble Heart.
He read the Book of Mormon, he prayed often, and he came to Church. It was amazing to see the growth of his testimony in such a short period of time.
He was able to stop drinking Coffee right away, if it was something that God commanded, he was going to do it. He told us that he use to drink in his life, but he had given it up years ago. That he use to smoke, but that too he had given up years ago. And that to me was a great example that God had been preparing him, long before we met him.
So his baptism date was set for the 30th of August. But the week of his Baptism he was struck with an AWFUL ear infection and dwelling of his head. The Doctor said he shouldnt do the baptism this week, because his ear was so delicate. We said yeah, its okay, we will move it to the next Saturday.
But then early Saturday night our transfers came and I was told that I was being transfered to Hermosillo, in Sahuaro. I first thought my District Leader must be joking. I felt that I was being severely robbed! I had worked SO hard with my companion for three months. When we came together to an area with literally 0 investigators. And we had developed to the point where we had a Baptism Service planned for every week in September, so at least 8 solid baptisms. It honestly was heartbreaking news to me.
My companion and I made the decision to print out Baptism Programs for Gustavo, for a Baptism that we hadnt even received an answer that was happening so soon. My companion said, "Hermana, I really like that you have so much faith, but sometimes you arent realistic." Realistic has never been a stopping point of what potencial is for me.
But Sunday came, and he was still ill with a severe ear ache and his head was dwelling. We then visited him in the night at his house. He now knew that I was being transfered, and Elder Navia also (The Elder who contacted him originally, and was going to baptize him). I asked him what he thought about a baptism at 5 AM Monday morning? (Because I had to be at the Bus Station with my suitcases and everything ready at 6:30AM). I promised him that he would only be submerged in the water for about three seconds maybe, but that this decision would be something so important, and that it would last him a life time. And that his ear would be just fine.
Long story short, he took that leap of faith and said, "YES!" I cant even describe how joyful I became.
I then called our District Leader, and I explained that the baptism would be at 5 AM! But we still needed two more Preisthood Holders as Witnesses. So I then called two Elders from our District that I felt would be up for the task.
I began by asking the Elder that answered that phone, "Elder do you believe in Miracles?!" He replied, "Yes Hermana, I honestly do." I then asked him, "Can you please ask your companion if he believes in Miracles?" He replied, "Yes Hermana, he also believes in Miracles." I told him, "Well Elder when there are Miracles, there are also sacrifices. We have a baptism tomorrow at 5 AM. Will you and your companion come to the church at 4:30 AM to help us?" He was obviously taken back by the time, and asked twice to clarify that it indeed was what I was asking him. But he asked him companion, and they said yes. I told them, that they wouldnt regret it. And that they would be blessed for their sacrifice.
So with that... basically our whole District didnt sleep that night. I had to pack all of my bags nicely (two of the Elders that helped us were also being transfered). Me and my Companion woke up (well we never really fell asleep, because we were also filled with such excitement!) at 2 AM, we took a Taxi at 2:50 AM to the church (safety first folks). And we began to clean and fill the font at 3AM!
The next detail is one of my favorite parts of the whole story. We heard a car door slam, the six of us Missionaries looked out the window and we saw Gustavo, he was already dressed in white! He was brilliantly white in the darkness of the night/morning. It was as if an angel was walking towards the church.
He had his interview at 4:45AM, and was baptized at 5AM.
Call it crazy, call it diligence, or call it a miracle. I like to think it is a little bit of all three.
The spirit that filled the room during his Baptism Service was so sweet. It was like a dream, it was something I wanted to see SO badly. That it honestly seemed to good to be real. It was as if a peice of heaven had come to earth.
When I shared my thoughts during a small talk, I told Gustavo how truly happy I was to be there! What joy I was filled with. BUT, that God was even happier. And that there was a party in the heavens for his decision.
I had never been so anxious in my life for a prayer to end (the baptismal prayer), so that I could open my eyes to see him be baptized.
For me, today, yes it was a Miracal. And I find myself truly honored to have been a witness of it.
When he returned, my companion asked him how he felt. And he replied, "Renovated".
Gustavo gave the closing prayer, but before doing so he SO humbly thanked us for presenting the church to him in his life. His prayer was so amazing, he expressed his desire for his baptism. He said to also bless his family that they werent there in the moment, but that they could soon join him in this happiness. And he asked for a blessing upon the missionaries.
Here is a picture of Elder Navia (full circle there eh? Contacted him in the street, and was the one able to baptize him).
SUCH A HAPPY DAY!!
My camera is still broken :( so I had to get this pictures from my companion.
Also, you have two options in life, to be bitter about something that you didnt want to happen. Or to realize that God knows better, and to move ahead and find out what he wants you to learn from it. I have chosen path number two, and I am excited to see what lies ahead for me here in Hermosillo, Barrio Sahuaro.
P.S. Although my sweet talking to the mouse in Spanish, assuring it that I had set out cheese for it, never seemed to work. I then joked that he must have been translated, because I did not want to kill him. But I would like to give a personal shout out to Sticky Mouse Paper, Cheese in general, and Quaker Granola Bars. That did get the job done, and I did not capture one, but TWO mice. Gross! But I am now in a different city, and live in the second level of a clean house. And a mouse would have to be Superman to reach me this time! ;)
Love you all, have an amazing week!