Guilberto & Ana Julia Family
Rafael & Adela Family
This week was a great week, really busy, but great. We were busy trying to make sure that everything was ready and organized for the Baptismal Service on Saturday. We went and visited them every day of the week so that they could all be good and ready. We went to go teach one of the families that was going to be baptized on Saturday (Guilberto & Ana Julia). The lesson went well I guess, Guilberto is an 82 year old man and every time we come in and sit down with him he begins to tell us how his life is and how is little corn field is doing. He usually goes on and talks to us for awhile before we can ever get the chance to cut in and talk to him about his wedding and baptism. Yes, I said wedding. Guilberto got married to his wife last week also. He is 82 and she is 42... its quit a difference but they both wanted to marry each other and they were sure of it. But while Guilberto was talking to us we noticed that his sister was sitting in the room also making something in a bucket. We went over to look in the bucket and it just looked like it was full clumpy liquidy stuff. When we asked her what she was making she told us that she was making cuajara (a type of cheese here). Barrera and I instantly looked at each other and got a little queasy because we had been offered it before and eaten a little chunk a couple days earlier. She was just mashing it and dumping all of the liquid into another bucket until it was all out. It was pretty gross, I don't think I will ever eat white cheese again.
We went to teach some more of our investigators early in the week and they were really good. They look happy together and are coming to church. The wife is really, really big and the husband is kind of a strange guy, but they make it work. We passed by and talked to them about everything and about the importance of marriage. They both decided that they would like to get married. We asked the husband to offer the closing prayer, but he kept on refusing because he said that he didn't know how. So we quickly taught him and told him to pray with sincerity and to say what you would like to ask God for. So he began to offer it. In the middle of his prayer he began to say, "bless me with patience because well father, my wife... she's ugly but you know that" In that moment Elder Barrera and I almost started busted up laughing but we tried our best to hold our composer. Right after he said, "I know we were meant to be together to raise this family" and I realized that he was serious about everything and that he wanted to be with her and the children.
We also went and taught our other family that were going to get baptized on Saturday and they were all really excited and ready (Rafael and Adela). We had a mini testimony meeting with them on Thursday with the District President. They all bore their amazing testimonies about how they all received answers to their prayers and how grateful they are of us that we could be able to find them in their time of spiritual need. This is the family that the mom had asked in her prayers the night before we met them, if God could send them someone that can teach them more about his gospel and the life of His son. They really are an amazing family, I will be looking forward to one year from now when they are able to enter the Temple and are sealed as a family. I would come down and visit them if I could, that would be awesome. Adela bore her testimony on when she received her answer. In her story, she said that she had began to pray one night because she believed the church was true, but people were beginning to make fun of her for going to the "Mormon Church". She said she began to pray and said in her prayer that "I want this to be true, Father I want you to tell me if this is the path to go" and she said that in that instant, she felt a warm sensation come over her and that the words were caught in her throat and she said that she couldn't describe the feelings that she felt, she only knew that this church was true. As she was telling us about her experience, she began to cry and so did the rest of her family. It was such an amazing feeling that night, just having the Spirit there with us on their porch and feeling it so strong.
The day finally came for their baptism. They all showed up and the air was full of an electric feeling in the air and they were all baptized that day.
On Sunday, we were invited as a zone to go over to the Mission Home for a nice dinner with Presidente Hernández and his wife. The zone Monjaras also went to the Mission Home with us to eat. After dinner Presidente prepared a surprise for us and had hired a mini bus for all of us to go to the temple that night to see it with the lights on it. I went to go get in the bus but President called me back and said, "Sorry Elder Harding, but we need someone a little bit smaller that you" So basically he was saying that there was only room left for about 4 more latins. So me, 4 elders and 4 hermanas were left behind from the mini bus, but then President brought his SUV around front and we all tried to pile in there. When he asked, "Is there anyone else?" I was still the odd one out. He looked over and said, "Ahhh El gran Nefita" (Nephite) and he asked how is it that there is never room for me. He ran inside and asked a family that was visiting with him if there was room in their car for me. The man said there was so I went with him and his family. On the drive over, I got to talking with the member and his family. He said that they were the family of Hermana Ortiz, who came on the same day as me to Honduras, and that they drove all the way from Managua, Nicaragua to visit President Hernandez. I thought it was a little strange that the whole family would come down to see their daughter. We talked the whole drive and Brother Ortiz and I hit it off really well and we were joking the whole 20 mins. When he spoke, there were some words that I didn't understand like "Que Salvaje!" or "Que twenties". I asked him what that meant and he said, "Now Elder, don't tell me that you don't know the slang words from Nicaragua!" I told him that I never had a companion from there and he laughed. When we got the the temple I pulled him aside and asked him if everything was okay and if there was anything wrong, and why they had drove 8 hours to come see his daughter with his family. What he then told me totally caught me off guard. He told me, "Elder, look over there. You see my daughter over there holding her baby? She isn't a member. Do you know why? Because she was stolen from us when she was first born in the hospital. We just found her 2 weeks ago and she is finally reunited with us after 21 years. She is the twin sister of the Hermana Ortiz you know." I was so surprised that after 21 years they had just found their daughter. So they all came down as a family so that Hermana Ortiz could meet the twin sister that she never got to know. We then took lots of pictures in front of the temple lit up. It looks way better at night than in the day.