As usual it was a crazy but absolutely perfect process.
We showed up to the church Saturday morning to ¨End the Drought¨. First baptism(s) in Barrio Centro for over a year and pico!!! As we started the font, we were surprised by muddy water and cockroaches!! Several long hours -and some fear-conquering- later (for some reason scuba-diving with roaches has never made it on my bucket list...?), but finally the font was clean. The water was a bit chilly, but at least it was free of the unwelcomed guests...
Everyone showed up for the baptism, and Felipe had me in tears before we even got started as he walked out and did a little ¨How do I look?¨spin in his white jumper.
The baptism was HERMOSO. and they literally were GLOWING as they went one-by-one into the font! I think that we all got our own little glimpse of heaven behind the scenes as they hugged and kissed each other, shivering, but smiling ear to ear.
Afterwards, as everyone was eating and chatting, I was standing back observing, like I do. Mauricio came up to me, and nudged my arm. ¨This is all your fault, you know!¨ I looked at him and shrugged. he just smiled, ¨In the best possible way!¨
Sunday morning was their confirmation, and it was every bit as amazing! The blessings that the bishop gave were full of promises. I felt like my heart was literally going to leap out of me as I felt the LOVE of Heavenly Father that his precious children had found their way back into his fold and family. AS A FAMILY.
After, the bishop had them go up front, and then he did something that I´ve never seen before. He introduced them to the congregation, then the congregation to them, as their new ward family. Then, he turned to all of us, and said ¨All of you, who commit right now, to stand by this family, love them, support them, and encourage them for this next year, until they´re ALL in white, do so my raising your right hand.¨
Another overwhelming flood of emotions as everyone raised their hands. This family is going places in the gospel. They are in this thing for the long haul!
We had our first ¨recent convert¨lesson with them last night, and they are now just dying to finish learning all the details of the temple. They have an interview with bishop on Tuesday to figure out details for the trip to Chile the last week of January, and they´re already marking their calendars for a year from now!
I´ve been blown away each day this week as I write in my journal, as I listen to this family explain their ¨journey¨ to their friends. I´ve said from the beginning they´re not ¨normal¨. I´ve never met people more prepared, and more ¨chosen¨ in my life! The only response I can think of when people say ¨Congrats, Hermanas¨ ¨Bien hecho!¨... is ¨I,Hermana Cox, have done NOTHING.¨ The Lord knew from the beginning He wanted this family in His church, and He has done a perfect job of preparing them every step of the way.
This gospel is magical. It changes lives. I know it. I see it every day. In the lives of these people, but more so in my own. Time is oh so short, but of eternal importance. Christmastime is a time of miracles. The Lord has a way of softening hearts and opening minds this time of year. I know that what they say will be true, Christmas in the mission is the best of your life. Of that I have no doubt. Bring on the Christmas Miracles. We´re already off to an unbelievable start.
I love you all SO very much!
Stay safe, healthy, and WARM up there in the Arctic!
Esta semana que viene!