This week was definitely interesting. Mostly because I hardly left the apartment. Don't worry, I wasn't sick...but my poor companion Hermana Ward was. It started on Monday and she wasn't feeling very good. Tuesday, she looked kind of pale and seemed a little out of it. I kept asking if she was feeling ok and she told me that she felt 'a little out of it' but we kept working. Wednesday, she could hardly get out of bed. She slept during studies and then we left to go to our first appointment. After that, she really didn't look too good so we called President and asked to go home so she could sleep. Thursday, we didn't even leave the house because she was really weak and couldn't get out of bed, and Friday we ended up in the hospital to get tests done to figure out what she had. She had all the symptoms of Dengue but she didn't have a very high fever. They ran some tests and determined that she had a kidney infection (which I thought was weird because she didn't have any of the typical symptoms but I'm not a doctor). She was put on antibiotics and now she is doing just fine.
So...what do you do when your companion is sick? I started reading Jesus the Christ by Elder Talmage. I washed all of my garments and socks. Cleaned the apartment, cooked some quesadillas, ate anything I could find because I was bored, listened to the same CD about 10 times, and watched the Restoration video and Legacy...in spanish. If you thought Legacy was cheesy in English, you have got to see it in Spanish. I also wrote a poem for my companion pleading for her to get better because I was going crazy.
On Wednesday, our appointment we went to was with Helen. Her baptism was scheduled for Friday. We talked about the baptismal interview questions and she still had some doubts about Joseph Smith being a prophet. I told her that she knows it is true, she just hasn't realized it yet! haha. We committed her to pray specifically about it that night (which we had asked her to do many times before) and told her to pay attention to how she feels after. The next day we had an appointment with her in the morning that we couldn't go to and her interview was that night with the District Leader. We decided to just call her and ask what happened. She said that she prayed that night and felt something 'weird but good' and she said that it was her answer! I was sooooo happy to hear that. On friday, Helen was baptized a member of the church by her husband, Edgar, who was baptized 3 weeks earlier. It was absolutely perfect and so beautiful.
The baptism was great. Our ward mission leader, Hno. Leo. is AWESOME. He is super busy because she studies and works (he's 24) but he really does all he can to fulfill his calling. He put together the baptism and it was really nice. It really helps to have a ward mission leader who does his job! The spirit was so strong. After, he asked Helen to say a few words but she gets panicky speaking in front of big groups of people, so Edgar talked for her. He expressed how happy he felt to have been able to baptize Helen and how they plan to never miss church because their lives have changed so much! Ahhh! I can't tell you what it feels like to hear that. Pure joy.
We have an investigator, Alberto, who has a mom that I just KNOW needs to be a member. I told Hermana Ward that I am going to baptize her and one day she is going to be a temple worker. Her name is Lucy. I have invited her to church every time we talk to her but she goes to a different Christian church sometimes and she also works a lot. He had a short lesson with her on Saturday and I asked her to come to church. We also committed Alberto to get to church ON TIME because he has not been able to partake of the sacrament yet. He was like 'I'll try...' so I had my doubts, but on Sunday, he walked through the door during the opening hymn....WITH HIS MOM! I was so happy. She loved the church and I really hope that we can find time to teach her. She will be a great member! :)
After church, we went to visit a menos activo named Margarita. We had never met her but her mother in law goes to church regularly so we asked her to take us to visit her. We walked into her house and she was sitting on her bed watching TV. When she saw us, I could see anger or hate in her eyes. I introduced us and asked if she had a few minutes so we could share a message. She said NO that she didn't have time for us and that we could MAYBE come back another day. I was like...awkward...what do I do?! I can't even explain the darkness in her eyes. She looked so miserable. So I asked if we could sing her a hymn before we left and she agreed. Before we sang the hymn (I Know that My Redeemer Lives), I bore my testimony that I know that Christ lives and that she is a Child of God. We sang the hymn and I wasn't expecting what happened next. First, she started arguing with her mother in law about personal issues...so I was thinking 'oh no! the spirit is going to run away!' But then my companion asked if she could say something and began to testify of the atonement and plan of salvation. That this hermana had a purpose to her life and that through the atonement, all these hard feelings she had in her heart could be taken away. Margarita began to cry! I was standing there amazed because just a few seconds before I was thinking 'We'd better get out of here before a family feud begins' and just a few moments later, she was in tears in my companions arms. The spirit was able to get through the wall of hurt feelings and anger she had put up and touched her heart. Something that she probably hasn't felt in years. I ended up talking to her for almost an hour while my companion did her dishes. She told me all about her family problems. I won't go into many details, but she has a really bad relationship with the family of her husband (who doesn't live with her anymore). She told me that she has anger and hate in her heart toward them. She is diabetic and has a lot of health problems. I read some scriptures with her and told her that she needed to come back to church in order to rid her heart of these feelings and that Heavenly Father was giving her another opportunity to change. That is WAS possible to feel happy again through the atonement of Christ. She told me that she misses going to church, that she loves the hymns and she knows that she is missing out of many blessing because of her disobedience.
This is an experience that I won't forget anytime soon. The change in this Hermana in just a few minutes was amazing. She had such a darkness about her when we walked in and because we were able to testify with the spirit, her heart was softened and was a different person. She apologized for being rude and had a desire to change.
I know that the spirit is the real teacher in this companionship. The changes that I have been privileged to see in the lives of my converts, investigators, and less actives are miracles. These things don't just happen because I can speak beautiful, flattering words, they happen because the spirit testifies to them of the things they need to do to change. Their hearts of being softened and their desires and being changed to be more aligned with the will of the Lord.
I am so grateful to be here on the mission. I am sure my email last week sounded really sad, and there are many days like that, but then we have moments like a baptism of someone you have come to love so much, or a dear sister who just needed to hear that someone loves her and that she is needed here makes it all worth it.
Also, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, MEXICO!! I am wearing an embroidered shirt today - which I am obessed with. I am going to buy a ton before I come home and start a trend in the US. VIVA MEXICO!
I love you all!!!!!!!! Thanks for the love and support always!