Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Letter #48, August 16, 2010

Dear Fam and Friends,

This week we had two more baptisms. Hna. Coco and Kester both got baptized this Saturday and came to church to be confirmed yesterday. It was a really great baptism service too. We got the word out and planned it out really well before hand with a special musical number (I sang the EFY arrangement of I Know That My Redeemer Lives, but in spanish) and even a little refreshment. It was good to see more of the members there. Coco was pretty nervous before and I was worried she was going to back out, but she went through with it and after said that she had no reason to fear. I don't know if I've written much about Kester. He is the 14 year old son of a recent convert named Isolda and we've been working with him for a long time and trying to get him ready and excited about being baptized. His mom didn't want him to feel like she was pushing him into doing it, and he was pretty wishy-washy for a while, but my favorite moment of the baptism was after they had gotten dressed and he turned around in his chair to look at Hna. Tunche and I, and with a huge grin said, "Gracias!" He really beamed.

We also had a miracle this week. Bernarda was using a borrowed wheelchair (did I already tell you about this?) for her thrombosis and had a lot of pain in her leg, preventing her from walking. But we were supposed to return the wheelchair last monday. Well, since we weren't successful in finding a replacement, we asked to borrow it for a couple days more but when friday arrived, we knew we would just have to take the chair away. We had been praying and praying to find another chair for her and when nothing turned up, we had heavy hearts as we headed out to Bernarda's house to visit her and get the chair.

Well, when arrived, I was surprised to see her sitting in a normal chair. And then, to my utter astonishment, she stood up all by herself and started walking towards us. Now the doctors had told her that she wouldn't be able to walk for at least 6 months, but she walked up to us and gave us a big hug and told us that she hadn't been using the wheelchair since tuesday. WOW! What a miracle. She said she could get around the house just fine and even went to the little store across the street. When we challenged her to get baptized, she told us she wanted to wait 6 months until she was able to walk and wasn't in so much pain, but we promised her that the Lord would bless her if she had the faith to get baptized now and not put it off. Well, we have truly seen those blessings in a very literal sense. She is so much happier and more hopeful and now we're teaching the guy who does handyman projects at her house. What a blessing. The Lord doesn't always answer our prayers in the way we think He will, sometimes he has a better idea. Instead of providing a wheelchair for Bernarda, he decided that healing her leg to the extent that she could start getting around was better. I think so too.

We also had a really positive lesson with Mijaly and Yoli this week. They both have a baptismal date for the 28th. The bad thing is, they didn't come to church yesterday even though we were really annoying and sang hymns outside their bedroom door for about ten minutes. But if we can get them to come this week, they are still on track to be baptized the 28th. We also have the possibility of baptizing Noel this Saturday. He had a date for last Saturday but didn't feel prepared. We're going to work with him really hard this week.

Well, Dad asked about the members and if they help us to fellowship the new converts. I think things are getting better and we had a lot of support at the baptism. Kester already has a lot of friends in the young men and went to the young men's camp about a month ago. I hope that we can really get some support from the relief society with Bernarda and Coco though. I still feel like there are a ton of politics in this ward, a few family fueds that run pretty deep, and a family that pretty much reigns the kingdom here (stake pres, bishop, rs pres, eq pres - all in the same family), but we've got a lot of good people who are also trying to serve the Lord. It really is the members who make or break the missionary work in any given area. I'm coming to realize that more and more.

I'm glad to hear that Leslie and Boston are doing well, that you've all been having lots of fun and that you're getting ready for school again! How quickly time flies right?

The picture is of my hair and of a wicked awesome fruit called Pitaya (pee-tie-ya). No one eats it, but they make it into a delicious fruit drink. The color is a bright fusia. Love it.

Being a missionary is the best thing in the world - the Lord always has the best ideas!

Love, Hna. Crosland

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