Wednesday, October 23, 2013

First Baptism! - 10/21/13

 21 Octubre 2013
First off. Of course the Red Sox make it to the World Series as soon as I leave on my mission. They will probably win this year and the next year while I'm still gone and then never win again the rest of my life. It's okay though. As much as it is killing me to know that I'm not going to be able to watch the World Series with the Red Sox, I would much rather be here. Being a missionary is the best. I love being able to focus on the gospel every single day. My testimony has grown sooooooo much in the 3 months I have been out here. I wouldn't trade this opportunity for 100 World Series titles.

This was such a great week. Such a blur too. Time flies by so quickly here it is hard to keep all the days straight. Thank goodness for my journal. It's kind of fun reading a page or two at night before I go to bed and seeing how much I have changed since the CCM. I love this place so much. When I first arrived I never thought I would learn to love Piura as much as I do right now. It really feels like home. And I'm definitely growing to love rice. When I first arrived I wondered how people could eat that much rice. Now I eat all of my rice and want more! Rice is sooo good! The people here all know how to cook. Every single day we get rice cooked a different way by our pensionista. No matter how it is cooked. It is always amazing!

One cool thing that happened this week was on Tuesdayl You'll never believe this but it was cold on Tuesday! I broke out my sweater that I figure I'll use 3 times on my mission. It was because it was raining almost the entire night and morning! Tuesday morning we walked to the stake center for district meeting in the rain! That was pretty fun. I figure that it is something that I'm not going to be able to experience very much on my mission. Because pretty much every other day is just sun. Strictly the blue sky and sun. There are hardly ever any clouds here. 

Looking out our balcony on a cold rainy day in Piura
First cold day in Piura

The rest of the week did not stay cold though. The entire rest of the week was HOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. I don't think I have ever sweat so much in my life. And I just have to smile because every day is going to be the same way now that it is getting close to summer! Luckily right now it still cools off at night. I don't know if I'm going to be that lucky in the summer though. 

The best part of the week was definitely this weekend with our baptism! We checked up with him multiple times throughout the week to make sure that he was still ready and excited for his baptism! Saturday night he had his baptismal interview with the zone leaders. During the interview my companion and I talked to the bishop and found out that his key to the baptismal font had broken and that there wasn't anyone that had keys. So my companion and I spent 30 minutes trying to break into the baptismal font. Finally I was able to get the lock to open with a pair of scissors. I still don't even know how it worked. I didn't even break it! 

His baptism was Sunday after church! The young single adults in the ward all came and were super supportive of him and the decision he was making to be baptized. I think it meant a lot to him that there are people that came to support him who are going to be his friends as he becomes a member of the church. The whole week I had been worried that either I was going to mess up with the words in Spanish, or that he wouldn't go all the way under that water and we would have to redo it. Luckily it went super smoothly! First try! It was such a cool experience!  A day that I had been dreaming about since I was a little kid. The day I would get to baptize one of my investigators on my mission! 

Sunday morning before the baptism I was starting to become full of doubts. Wondering if he was really ready for baptism or if we were just pushing him to be baptized. I said a prayer asking for an answer. The spirit never fails you. Pretty soon I was filled with calm thoughts and I knew that he was ready for the baptism. After the baptism he had the opportunity to share his testimony to all those who came to his baptism. As cool as the actual baptism was, that was the spiritual highlight for me. He bore his testimony about how he knew the church was true and that he had to "seguir adelante" [go ahead]. That was so cool for me--to see how far he has come. He was nowhere close to being ready for baptism when we started teaching him. But over the last 2 months he has gained a testimony of the church. It is so cool seeing how the gospel can influence someone in their life.

I love personal prayer. It is so important as a missionary. I spend a lot of time praying. Every time I pray, my testimony is strengthened of prayer. I know that it is real and that we have a Heavenly Father who answers our prayers.

I'm so grateful to be a member of "La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días". I know that the church is true!

Love you all! Thanks for everything!

Elder Baker

P.S. You asked whether we had hot water in our shower .... hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha I don't think it exists here in Piura. Here there are two temperatures of water. Ice and Hielo [Ice]. haha. 

Guess what? My Johnston & Murphy shoes are splitting apart from the sole already
--it's only been three months. We do LOTS of walking.

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