WHAT A WEEK! I am just breathing a sigh of relief and am so thankful for a chance to sit back for a couple of moments. This last week was an adventure and man was it great!
To start off, this last Sunday Elder Mendez baptized the Salomón Family who left the baptismal service happy and excited to learn more. Their 9 year old daughter had tons and tons of fear of being baptized that night and absolutely refused to be baptized. We tried to encourage her but she just started crying and saying "NO". We decided that it would be best to let her watch her parents get baptized and next week she could be baptized. She even refused to put on the baptismal clothing. However, Monday night when we were about to start a lesson planned to encourage Pamela, the daughter, for her baptism and talk about the confirmations of the parents, a Jehovah's Witness knocked on the door........to our utter disappointment the Salomón Family invited him in and he offered to listen to our lesson. If you don't know very much about the Jehovah's Witnesses, they love to fight about doctrine using the Bible, don't believe in the Holy Ghost, and teach people that they must learn the Bible before they can be baptized. This was such a huge problem because we were teaching the Holy Ghost, confirmation, and helping Pamela have less fear of being baptized. He began asking me about why I was on a mission and what I was trying to acheive because he was looking for a way to attack me doctrinally in front of the Salomón family. We never want to have a Bible bashing party especially not in front of recent converts and someone that was going to get baptized. I having talked to tons of JW (Jehovah's Witnesses), knew where he was going and decided to change the subject asking him about his family. To my relief he fell for the trick! I told him that my family has 9 people in it. He then began explaining to us that he didn't have very many kids because families with too many kids do drugs in the street and are super dysfunctional. How crazy huh? I then explained politely that we are a large family that doesn't have even the hint of those sorts of problems; all of this in front of our wonderful family.
I then knew that we had to gain control of the lesson, teach, and testify. After we finished the lesson, the JW didn't leave. Knowing that after listening to what we shared with the family he would tell them all about how we were wrong, we hesitated in leaving but we didn't want to be rude. That's exactly what he did. We returned about 20 minutes later with an "urgent need to use the bathroom" and when we entered he suddenly decided that it was time to go. The next night we came back for our follow-up appointment and they were filled with doubts. They had shared with the Jehovah's Witness the things that they had felt during the baptism and he told them simply "not everything that shines is gold." The mom almost began crying as she expressed her confusion. It was a hard battle to help them remember what they had felt and that it was the Holy Ghost testifying to them. The Spirit filled the room as we testified and helped them remember that which they felt. It was a hard battle and I felt like the scripture in Mosiah 20:11 where it talks about fighting like a dragon for family. I love them and I was fighting with all I have to help them work towards the confirmation and Pamela for her baptism. It hit me after the week of passing every day and encouraging them that we were fighting for their salvation and man was it worth it!!
In the baptism of Pamela, the mom of the Salomón family gave the closing prayer and she began crying as she thanked the Lord for the blessing of finding the true Church and for being so good to her and her family. In that moment I realized just how worth all that time, effort, prayer, and fasting had been. SO WORTH IT! I love the miracles that I am seeing!!