Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 52

June 12, 2017
Makayla has been with Sister Rivera for three transfers now, 12-18 weeks.  At the end of this set of 6 weeks Sister Rivera will complete her mission.  She has been very hard working and focused!
Yes, Sister River will go home on the 11th of July :O.  The only thing that has to do with home that she likes to talk about is getting an i-phone, haha.  I even try to speak Spanish once in a while, but she won´t have it. 

Recently we had the missionaries over for dinner, a favorite event!  On this particular day I became distracted with work and my own calling...getting our wards girls camp ready.  I remembered they were coming just 10 minutes before they arrived! 
So I want you to know that what happened with dinner is totally okay, haha.  It´s a funny thing but I have found simple meals to be relaxing once in a while.  Sometimes, a meal has a 'hommier' feel when it is simple.  When something like this happens, the members have the same embarrassment, and promise a fancy meal the next time.  But look, if the food has good flavor and is feeling, there is not one problem.  Yet, you should continue making cool things for them for sure!  

Here the missionaries have really taken to immersing themselves into our neighborhood.  We see them at church often, they have sung in our choir, visited in our home and much service.  We have never been so connected with the missionaries before, we are loving it!
So that is really neat that the missionaries have made themselves known in the neighborhood, because I never knew our missionaries.  I think it is so important that they interact with the members because we have to work together.  But, another thing is that I only recognize like 3 people in that picture!  

A Young Women car wash fundraiser for girls camp.  The missionaries were so eager to help.  (They are standing in the center behind the car)...Elder Nelson & Elder Lamb

Such a sweet story of a young man who wanted a change in his life.  These two sister missionaries didn't give up on him even when others around thought they should.  So wonderful♡
So this week was a great one as usual!  
This is a picture of our baptism this week!!! I think that I can actually say that it was the most spiritual baptism that I have participated in.  Gabriel is 20 and was introduced to us by his girlfriend who is a member of our other ward.  I think we started teaching him during the beginning of our time here in the area.  During this time, a handful of people were saying that he was only showing interest in the church because of his girlfriend, and others were saying that he wasn´t a great influence on her.  Yet, knowing that everyone needs to hear the gospel, and that only the elder who would interview him would be able to judge his heart, we continued teaching and inviting.  The funny thing is that we never had our own reasons to dought his intentions or character.  These last few weeks we really witnessed just how wonderful he really is.  
Many times, investigators see baptism as a big commitment that they don´t feel ready to make, or even want to do.  Yet, he told us (and showed us) that he was tired of doing the wrong things, and wanted to turn his life around.  He reminds me a lot of King Lamoni in Alma22.  I don´t think I have ever seen someone so purely excited about baptism, and it was definitely and honor to see it.  
He spent a year and a half in the army, and there he learned how to "survive in the world".  He told us that what he learned there created a part of him that he doesn´t want with him anymore.  He was so eager to be baptized, allowing that good part of him to overcome the bad, as he put it.  When we taught him about the commandments, like tithing, he accepted with such conviction and faith, that I was surprised.  Truly, like King Lamoni, he was willing to do anything to receive the peace and eternal life that comes only through the gospel.  
It was the first baptism of Otavio, who baptized Gabriel, and he did perfectly.  When Gabriel came up he just stood there in the water hugging Otavio, and they both cried.  It was so special!  
The next day, Sunday, he showed up in a newly bought suit, dress shoes, and with his haircut.  Goodness, he is just blowing us away!  He even says that he is thinking about a mission ...!  
I am just so thankful to have been given the opportunity to witness such a paramount moment in his life.  It is so wonderful to see such faith and zeal for what truly matters.  

Hope you all have a wonderful week!!! 
Love Makayla 

The Baptism for Gabriel!...(He is standing in the very center in the white jumpsuit) 

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