It was my first real lesson in a home without electricity, and one of the most spiritual experiences in weeks.
We found these two teenage girls, Handry and Celeste, contacting in the street one day. It was like my third day, and we just passed by really rapidly and invited them to church. They accepted, but in a whirlwhind of learning streets and names, I quickly forgot about them.
My companion did too, and we didn't pass by to bring them to church that Sunday.
It was a Friday or Saturday of the next week when we were walking one day, and my companion literally stops in the middle of the street and kind of screams.
Of course, I don't remember, but somehow she does and the next day we find their house. The mom and dad are sitting on the rocks out front, talking to a neighbor. All the kids happen to be home, and we share something with the whole family. Sometimes this companion and I don't always manage to teach with great unity, but this time, yes. The Spirit was SO strong. I walked away knowing I was leaving sacred ground.
The girls couldn't come to church that Sunday, but came to Young Women's and a baptism this Saturday, and church yesterday. We stopped by in the afternoon to see what they thought and how they were feeling - we had already invited them to be baptized once.
Lo and behold, the whole family was there again. (This is kind of a miracle. Apparently a lot of elders have visited this family in the past, including our current district leader, but they could rarely find the mom at home, and only met the dad once.)
It was about 5 o'clock and raining, so kind of dark. They lit a candle, and I brought out my little flashlight and we settled down to talk about why we have to be baptized in water. (The family is Catholic.) Turns out that the grandma of the girls wanted them to start Confirmation classes this Sunday, but they went to church instead. The mom, who is amazingly prepared, said she had always wondered why in the Catholic church they don't baptize in the way that Jesus was, and that it was the decision of the girls. The girls, glowing in candlelight and with the Spirit, both said they felt really good when they went to church, like they were already members. They agreed to be baptized on the 24th.
Only the father was left to give permission. He stood silent against the wall, his arms crossed. We asked him what he thought... Silence.
The member who was visiting with us just happens to have been Catholic... and went to the same Catholic church building as this family like 10 years ago. She bore her testimony.
The Spirit was SO strong.
Two neighbor girls, friends of Handry and Celeste that we taught once but who have never been to church, spoke, and said they want to be baptized too.
The Dad said he felt like it was fast, he's going to talk to his wife and give us the answer to night, at a family home evening with the bishop.
I know this church is true. I know this whole family can be baptized, and am so grateful for the girls for being so apt to feel the Spirit and brave to set the example for their parents and their two little brothers. I am so grateful for the missionaries who came before us, who prepared this family to reach the true church.
Nobody said missionary work wasn't messy, but it sure is beautiful. And you don't need electricity to see and feel the light of Christ.
Love you all.