BOYS will be BOYS
We have just received blessings all this week and it is hard for me to remember exactly how it all happened. As always, the Lord is doing His part as we try and do ours. While we have little time to work with the people, the people just progress with the help of the spirit. We were able to have 6 baptisms this week and we have seen so many miracles.
This week there were several training meetings for the missionaries and that makes for a busy week in the office because we have to prepare for their food and other necessities. My assignment consist much of helping missionaries solve money problems, buying things for the office and missionaries, keeping track of all the spending and organizing it all. But really my biggest responsibility is to baptize and be just like any other missionary. I am just happy to see that my Heavenly Father is helping me to maintain that focus always.
The baptism went well though. It was a little difficult for Gloria to get baptized because she is extremely afraid of the water. The first time I baptized her I almost had to force her into the water and she wouldn't get under all of the way. She was shaking too. The second intent was a success and she was happy to just know it was over. Afterwards, she bore a simple testimony...´´since coming to this church, I have felt so good. Now that I am baptized, I feel even better. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.´´ Mario was really happy too. He and his wife now have a house full of members and a goal to go the temple next year. In fact, we had a lot of success in teaching Eternal Marriage to our investigators. Edgar and Gessenia that will be baptized this week were enthralled with the message and took it all in. They have made huge changes in their lives and even Gloria´s husband´s heart was changed enough to come to the baptism and see her and his daughter be baptized.
This morning we woke up to a rainy day and in Nicaragua that means that you might have to be the noisy alarm clock for some members. The rain has a way of hitting the metal roofs of the houses here that just puts everyone into a deep sleep. The typical Sunday morning makes us look something like an unwavering door to door salesman that would even go as far as look through windows to find the people. We stand at the doors, fences, gates, etc and shout ¨buenas¨ until the people answer us. Then we try to get them excited to go to church if they are still in REM sleep. As we did so this morning, another wave of rain came and when we came to church there were only about 2 families there with 5 minutes to spare. Keep in mind that we start at 8am and most people don't have vehicles nor transport money. We started the meeting a little late but by the end there were 147 people there and almost 20 investigators. It was a miracle. Investigators are bringing other investigators and less actives there nonmember families. It is just so beautiful to see the hand of the Lord in the work. Every week He just puts the people in the way and if we are willing to take a step of faith and find them, things just happen. In other words, He makes things happen when we act on spiritual promptings.
When I was studying about Baptism this week in Preach My Gospel I began thinking more seriously about why the material focuses so much on Ordinances and Covenants. Many missionaries kind of skip over that part in their teaching but I began to ponder over the necessity of that material. It just hit me. I realized that what investigators really want and need is only obtained through covenants. As we promise to God that we will do certain things, He promises so much more in return. Nevertheless, many of us want to have God give us the blessing without really committing ourselves to do anything. Only upon making covenants and being faithful to them will He feel obligated in blessing us. There are some covenants that require us to outwardly show our promises...these are symbols and ceremonies called ordinances that help us remember with greater vividness the promises we make. One cannot seriously covenant with God that he will stop sinning and become a new man until he outwardly shows it through baptism. Having faith in God and staying home just doesn't work. When these ordinances are performed by proper priesthood authority, covenants are accepted by the Lord and the Holy Spirit of Promise seals it all. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints has the power and authority to baptize the Lord´s children upon the Earth and if we make and keep covenants, we are enabled to do even greater things.
Elder Grant Russell