By the time Monday comes around I can hardly remember what happened, It feels like a blur! I do however remember my companion receiving quite a few phone calls at odd times (6am, 10pm) With weird guys named Fernando or Jose asking for me. "Is Hermana Inga (they never get my name right, its always either inga or ingrid) there? I just want to talk to her "My companion thinks it's hilarious but I'm thinking we are going to have to stop putting our number on our pass along cards or something..
I also remember eating with the pensionista in Chulucanas and the mountain of rice.. how could I forget? I also remember the pensions face of death when the LATINO elders said they couldn't finish their plate. Haha my companion and I are champions!
In order for anyone to really understand the situation I have to cover some background info: so as short as possible, this family lives next door to Pres Huertas and his wife Hermana Ide. Hermana Ide is Hermana Isauras Aunt. Missionaries have tried working with this family for years and years without any luck.
After the first couple of weeks in this area my companion and I stopped visiting them. The biggest reason being that Elder Cruz had informed us about the time he tried to get them ready for baptism and how close to impossible it is. But lately I've been having some strong feelings for this family. So yesterday I told my comp that we needed to visit them. Immediately before we stepped into their house I told my comp that I wanted to be very direct and straightforward. Right after I said the opening prayer I looked over at her and she asked .."So why haven't you been baptized?" They kind of just sat there and stared for what felt like 5 minutes. My companion looked at me to say something. I felt inclined to tell them how much I loved them and how special their family was to me. Then I testified of Jesus Christ and his love for them and how he was the perfect example. I told them of the numberless blessings available to them if they just followed his example. I told them about my own family and how unbelievably blessed we are because we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. Then I told them again of the blessings that are available to them only through baptism. Then I asked them if they would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. They looked at me and kind of half nodded. Hermano Jorge then proceeded to explain that of course he wants all of those things but he can't commit because he doesn't think he can just get up and change his life. He kept repeating little by little, little by little. To be a little more brief. He told us about all of the things that are keeping them from being baptized. He has had a drinking problem for a good part of his life. So we took care of that by helping him set weekly goals and committing him to say "No I need to spend time with my family" anytime his work buddies want to take him to a party. We promised him that if he prayed for help he would receive it. You can tell that this is something he really wants to change and obviously his family wants it as well. Throughout the whole process his kids were patting him on the back and telling him he could do it. Also another fairly large road block... Isaura and Jorge aren't married.. extremely normal, marriage hardly exists here. We addressed that as well and told them how easily we could help them get married if they just have the desire. During the lesson my companion was talking about baptism and how we can be clean from our sins. Then Helen wrote a note and passed it to her mom who after reading it passed it to me. It said ..."Mami, I want to be baptized so I can be clean from my sins"... If that doesn't totally rip your heart out then you don't have one.. So after asking several times we finally committed their family to a baptismal date of December 12th... The word commit might be a little on the strong side... At the end of the lesson we spent 30 minutes alone just getting Hermano Jorge to say the closing prayer. There we all were kneeling on their dirt floor just coaching him. It is extremely important that he prays right then and there, because you know that if an investigator doesn't pray then, they definitely won't be praying later. So we were determined. Finally after his entire family was getting a little impatient with him and our knees were in some pain he reluctantly gave a less than half hearted prayer. But it was good, it's progress, and we'll take what we can get!
More than anything Hermano Jorge is afraid. He's afraid of all of the changes he will have to make in order to be baptized. I really feel that with a ton of hard work and continuous reassurance we could get him on his feet and heading towards the right path. Without Hermano Jorge on board we won't be able to baptize Isaura and Helen.. who both know our message to be true and have known for a long time. It truly would be an absolute miracle if we were able to get Hermano Jorge prepared for baptism by December 12th. But I guess miracles happen everyday!