Monday, March 14, 2016

Two almost baptisms . . .

Marta bought a fish
Bejeu. I'm not sure how to spell that, but it's sooooooo good!

Marta taught us how to make bajue

This week has gone by so fast, we had some pretty stressful things happen. Mainly it was just hard because I felt alone, and didn't know what we needed to do... When you get to this point in the mission people just think you know what you are doing but what we had to go through this week I have never had to deal with in my mission...... This week we were supposed to have two baptisms .... things seemed to be all worked out but then something would happen and we wouldn't know if we were going to be having one or two baptisms and then we got to a point where we realized we would be having none...

It started Monday. We went to the family Mercado’s house for family home evening. Marta wanted to have the whole family together. We started making the bejeu and everything was going great, but then, before we knew it, all her kids without us noticing, slipped away to be with friends... so me and Hermana Gonzalez went looking for them because I have learned you just need to be a little aggressive sometimes. After looking all over we found Paola in her friend's house. She said she wasn't going to be able to come with us. We tried to persuade her and she said give me 10 min. so we went looking for the boys. We didn't find them so we went back to Paola. She said she wasn't coming again but we kept being pushy so she said ok, and started walking with us... but this was right when Marta decided to step in. She comes out of nowhere and yells at Paola in Guarani.... maybe you will think that Marta is being kind of crazy but Paola's friends are drug addicts... Marta keeps yelling in Guarani as we watch close by... Paola takes off. We go back to the house with Marta confused. Paola comes from the other side and starts packing her stuff... now maybe this all seems kind of crazy to you guys but I'm pretty use to family feuds going down in front of us. My hija (companion) on the other hand, is not and began to cry pretty hard, poor thing. We got them to talk to each other and when we left them that night they were a happy family and Paola was wanting to get baptized on Saturday. 

We still had the problem that Paula didn't have permission..... she needs to go and talk to the court. Every day she would say she was going to the courts to figure things out legally but then she would never GO!!!!! She passed her pre-interview and was all ready. We just didn't have permission. 

We prayed and prayed and prayed and finally FRIDAY they decided to go. It went well but it's not an easy process, so we are still waiting to see what the courts say. 

Now for Ismael, we went to talk to him to see what really happened and why he drank. He almost started crying. He said he doesn't know what happened. He told the kid he wasn't going to drink. But this guy was really persuasive and he gave in. We talked about repentance and he said he was really sorry. We decided that he was going to still be fine to get baptized on Saturday... the only problem was when we told our branch president he wasn't fine with that. He very kindly, with a lot of respect, told us that he didn't approve of this baptism. So we prayed about it and decided it was better to be in good terms with the president than force this baptism to happen. But everything was all set for his interview so he had his interview with our district leader and he passed! But the elder told him he felt he should wait one week more.  Ismael said MAN!!! I just want to get baptized, but he understood. It was so cute for the first time this Sunday he went to church with a white shirt and tie. We had consejo, I don't know what that's called but the meeting with all the leaders of the branch, and president thanked us publicly for listening to his counsel. So that was pretty rewarding and now everything is in order for his baptism this Saturday and nothing is going to get in his way!!!!!

Other than dealing with all that, this week just went by really fast. We have been finding lots of people lately but they seem to have a lot of doubts... the good thing is we know their doubts but the hard thing is they don't want to do anything to change their doubts.....but we have had some very spiritual lessons with these doubters and I just leave thinking HOW did they not feel that!!! but I know they did. Sometimes we build walls so tall that we don't want to accept what’s right in front of us. It’s one of the saddest things about being a missionary, seeing these people and knowing what they could become and watching them choose not to change. 

One last miracle. This week at the last min. on Saturday we visited the cousin of a member we taught a long time ago, before dengue. She listened to us and we invited her to church. She was like “I will go hermanas” ...... every Paraguayan says that and never goes.... but for my hija’s sake I left super excited and full of faith telling my hija that she was for sure going... even though I didn't fully believe it. Turns out when we got to church she was the first one there!!! So we will be passing by for her this week. Pray for DORA!!! 

I LOVE YOU ALL I hope you all have a great week!!!

Hermana Ball 

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