Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 67: Like it Should Be

Hello friends and family,

This week was a great one! Because we petted a day old calf! And, the real reason... because Cristel got baptized. :)

Cristel is 9 years old and pretty poor. Her grandma is a very, very faithful member who got baptized about 4 years ago. Her many married children are in various stages of accepting or rejecting the gospel. Cristel's mom and dad are as far off as can be; they stayed in bed sleeping instead of coming to their daughter's confirmation. But the mom came to the baptism at least, along with Cristel's less active aunts and uncles, so that's a step in the right direction.

Anyway, Cristel is super cute. She's the oldest of her four siblings and helps out a lot around the house. She doesn't do super well in school, but she really made an effort to understand the things we taught her and read the pamphlets and scripture passages we left her. Her grandma drilled her on the steps of the repentance process, the substances prohibited by the Word of Wisdom, and the 10 commandments. By the day of her baptismal interview, she had it all memorized! I think the elder who interviewed her walked away astounded.
A mini miracle: The day before her baptism, Cristel had a fever and a lot of mouth pain. The day of her baptism, she woke up even worse, thanks to a cavity in one of her baby teeth molars that was infected. As we are in Guatemala, the solution was that her 19-year-old aunt pulled the tooth out for her. I don't know if they used anesthesia or anything, but it wouldn't surprise me to hear that Cristel didn't cry either way. She showed up to her baptism a few hours later, face completely swollen, but smiling. We asked if it hurt. ¨Not anymore,¨she said, shrugging her shoulders and running over to see the white dress she would put on for her baptism.

It was a beautiful service, for a beautiful child of God.

On Sunday we had a miracle too! But it started on Wednesday, when some missionaries from another area contacted a teenager who lives in our area, really close to our house, actually. We tried to contact him throughout the week but only managed to speak to him on the phone. Saturday night we invited him to church, Sunday morning we passed by... and he came!

He stayed for the whole three hours, really liked it, and was fellowshipped by Gaspar, who was baptized only two months ago but already feels so at home that he was explaining everything to Ryan and inviting him to institute. It was like the most beautiful scene in the world: Gaspar with his white shirt and tie, hand on Ryan's shoulder, gesturing to the church hallway and bearing his testimony. So beautiful. Like ice cream with sprinkles on top.

We visited Ryan after church on Sunday and he has a bunch of doubts about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. It'll be fun to teach him! :)

Well, I've got to go! But I love you guys a lot. Thanks for reading my emails, and thanks for all your efforts to follow Jesus Christ in your own lives, wherever you are. Jesus is our captain, our king. I am so grateful for his sacrifice. He lives.


Hermana Victoria Ison

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