March 28, 2016
I need to tell you all about the miracle of fasting. I want to testify you that fasting works. Here's why:
These past 2 cycles (about a 3 month span of time), my comp and I have been visiting a 14-year-old recent convert, along with his mother and 8 year old sister who weren't members. The mother had been investigating the church for about 2 years, but had never had the desire to be baptized, until the missionaries invited the 14 year old to seminary. He went to seminary and he fell in love with it and started studying the scriptures more and decided to get baptized. But the mom and sister still didn't have the desire to be baptized at that time. They were always progressing, just very slowly... so we decided to be patient with them. A couple weeks ago, we felt prompted to invite them to fast on the first Sunday of the month. These investigators were basically active members that went to church every week, but they had never fasted. They accepted our invitation to fast, and even though we told the 8 year old that she didn't have to fast for the full 24 hours, she did it. The next day, the 8 year old told us she wanted to be baptized. When someone calls you telling you that they want to get baptized, you get to their house the first moment possible! We ran over and made a date for her baptism and started to plan everything. In that moment we challenged her mom to get baptized on the same day as her daughter. She didn't flat out accept the invitation, but she did say she would pray to know if she should. We told our ward mission leader and he told us that he was going to fast for her.
Well, the day after the ward mission leader finished his fast, we had an appointment with her and we decided to take a leap of faith and talk about the baptismal interview questions and prep her for a baptismal interview. After we reviewed the questions, we asked her if she would choose to be baptized with her daughter. We quite literally sat there waiting for 3 or 4 minutes just waiting for her answer. When she said "si." The Spirit filled the room and the excitement we all felt was so special.
But there was still the struggle of following up with her until the day of her baptism. She had had baptismal services planned before and had not shown up, so you can imagine that we were a little nervous, especially when she called us to tell us that she was freaking out and was really anxious. We had felt the Spirit confirm that she was ready for her baptism, so we knew it was Satan working on her. My comp and I started a fast for her and after our fast we never heard a word from her about feeling nervous or anxious! Everything went perfectly and they were baptized on Saturday (with a ton of members there because everyone knows and loves them!!), and then they confirmed members of the church and given the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday.
It was a miracle and I really do feel like our fasts as missionaries, as well as those from the ward members, and this sweet mother and daughter are what made it happen. Sometimes I have just thought that fasting is something that I do just to show faith or because I should because it is the first Sunday of the month. But really, I want to testify that God listens to our prays and our fasts. When we can't do anything more, we can fast and pray and put it in His hands. He will make the impossible, possible.
Also, it wouldn't be right to ignore that yesterday was Easter! One strange thing about the culture here is that Easter is a big deal, but also, is almost completely forgotten. Let me explain. This past week is called Semana Santa "holy week" and all students have vacations and many people don't have to work... but as we talked to people, we realized that many of them didn't even realize that the reason that this week is holy week is because it was the last week of the Savior's life. I'm sure many people back home forget that too... but as missionaries we focus on Christ so much that it hurts our hearts to realize that many people forget Him. And here the day most celebrated is actually Friday, the day He was crucified. Everyone gets together as a family and eats food and dances and listens to music (don't know how we were able to sleep, our neighbors were going crazy).
Well I want to share my testimony that I know that He came to the Earth, established His church and was a perfect example for us. He loves us so much that He sacrificed His perfect life so that we could have a chance to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father. And then He took His life up again and broke the bands of death. I know He lives. And I know that because He lives, we will all live again and that we will be able to be together as families forever. It is such a privilege to share this message with others and show them what Christ did for us.
I love you all. Have a wonderful week (:
|We found the bus back to Salt Lake City ;-)|
|Sometimes missionaries have fun too!|