About Lidia, Vanesa, Valentín, Marcela, and Camilo, yes they are all progressing very well and all went to church again (thank you for your prayers). We have a baptism planned for Lidia and her daughter Vanesa for the 22nd and they definitely going to be ready. We also have a baptism planned for Camilo on the 15th. We still haven't been able to teach him much, but he's super dedicated, basically a "golden investigator" and we know he'll be ready too. Those are two miracles.
This week we got a call from a member who has a good friend named Luis who used to receive the missionaries and had been to church a few times. Luis was kind of progressing before, but had such a strong alcohol addiction that he wasn't really ready to committ himself more fully to living the Gospel, so they gave him some time. So this member informed us that Luis had talked to him, telling him that his girlfriend of three years had left him and he was basically in the gall of bitterness. He felt like his life had collapsed around him because of his addiction and he wanted to make things right. So he told the member that he wanted to go to church last weekend, but first wanted to talk to the missionaries. So as soon as we found out, we called Luis and set up an appointment for the same day with his member friend. Luis explained to us everything that had been happening in his life and how we wanted to try again. Luis is a very very smart man, with a degree in physics and math, and is an English translator. He explained that he felt foolish for being such a smart man but having made such stupid decisions and recognized that he if he had been smarter, he would have follwed Christ a long time ago. So we shared a little bit from the Book of Mormon in Alma 7 about the healing power of the atonement, and how to been clean of sins through repentance and baptisms. He looked at us with such determination and pain mingled with hope, and when we asked him if he would prepare himself to be baptised on the 15th, he immediately said yes and told us everything that he was going to do to prepare himself. At the end of the lesson, he said the prayer and between tears asked Heavenly Father to give him another chance. Few times in my life have I seen such humility and submission. Since then, we've been in contact with Luis every day and he's been working really hard to avoid temptation. In fact, this was the first time in 5 years, said he, that he went a weekend without getting drunk. He's literally doing everything posible to accomplish his goal, and always tells us how excited he is for the 15th of December. I know that with his prayers and ours, and the help of his Father in Heaven and all the members how have shown so much support, he'll be able to do it.
This week has definitely strengthened my testimony of the healing power of the Atonement and the power of the Gospel to change lives. We've been so blessed in this sector in the last two weeks, I don't know how to thank my Heavenly Father, because I know that none of the good things that have been happening were because we were capable of making them happen. Only God could have done so much for us. So I'm grateful and excited for what's to come.
That was the highlight of the week. We're still working with some other investigators that we hope will be progressing by the end of the week.
I leave you with my testimony that this is the work of God. That the gathering of Israel is directly related to the growth of the Church. I know this is His Kingdom, that Christ lives and loves us. Thanks for writing me. I love hearing about your lives, and pray for you always.
Talk to you soon,
Our cool new white board - turned christmas calendar