Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 98: Weddings and baptisms....Oh my!!!!

This week has been really busy. Elder Carlson and I have been running around from place to place trying to get so many people taught and get them ready for their baptisms on the 13th of May! We are trying to get two weddings all planned out and ready for the 6th of May, and there is a lot of work to be done to get everything ready! 

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about Alfredo and Anora and about their situation, and there have been a few more developments in that story that I want to make you all aware of. After that whole fiasco that went down, things were pretty calm. Alfredo and Anora were doing well reading the scriptures every day together and praying as a family and keeping every commitment that we threw at them, and things got better for them. Her parents were touched by the Spirit and agreed to allow the weddings and they became huge supporters of them getting married to keep the Commandments of God. Well this week we ran into a new and bigger problem- Alfredos Mom. She is determined to not allow the wedding unless her son participates in the African Traditions of Presentation of the Groom and Labolo. As we explained to her that the Traditions are keeping her son from keeping a commandment, she did not care. She says that if they decide to get married, that she will kick them out of her house (they are currently living in a side room of her house).  It got to the point where I asked her,  "Sister, are you going to condemn your son for trying to keep a commandment of God?"  And her response,  "Dang right.".
The conversation continued on like that for a while, and in the end we felt inspired to give her the best chance possible to change her mind. We put things very simple for her by explaining that False Traditions come from the Adversary and if she chooses to continue with her plan, that she will be supporting the Adversary and what he wants, and that she will be fighting directly against the Will of God. At that point she became so furious that she stormed off and refused to speak to us anymore... Alfredo and Anora backed us up, and they told us that we did not say anything wrong or anything that was not true, but at the end of the night Anora told us that they will probably postpone the wedding because of Alfredos Mom... I was so crushed. I had no idea what to say. They have fought for 3 years, and we have seen so many miracles these past 3 months to get them to this point, and now it may all go down the drain. It is really sad to see someone with such a strong testimony of the Gospel have their faith shaken by something like this. I'll let you guys know what happens this week next P-day.

But other than that we have a lot of people that are progressing really well. This last Sunday we had 22 investigators come to church including a new investigator that will be baptized on the 13th of May as well. His name is Albino. He was actually a reference of a recent convert that Elder Price and Elder Donker baptized just  a couple of weeks ago- Fernando. Fernando just showed up with him to church 2 weeks ago and we met with him a couple of times this week. He has progressed so fast. He is a really smart kid that loves and understands really well the Book of Mormon. He has a deep love for the Gospel and has a massive desire to learn more about and apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Briefly, here is a list of the names of those that will be baptized on the 13th of May, please keep them in your prayers. We need all the help we can get if they are all to be baptized on the 13th-

Joao and Cristina
Alfredo and Anora
Ivan, Mauro, and Dudu
Isabel, Admira, Sharia, and Catia
Ismael, Edilson, Sandramo, Ezequiel and Guilliermina
Amelia, Emilia and Yasilla

I love this work. I love these people. I know that God lives and that He is our Father.

Elder Rash

Walk along the beach with Elder Carlson

What a view with Elder Carlson

Elder Carlson with some cute kiddos

Elder Rash in his happy place!

Have NO IDEA what kind of fruit this is!

Doesn't look to appetizing

Ocean view

Love these boys!


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