Livin it up at the Hotel California.. in Brazil...
Baptism of Rafael and Alice
Well, as I stated previously on the phone, this week was crazy. Now let's talk about why.
I spent the whole week in division with Elder Silva, so Elder Marx could get to know the new area.
Tuesday, President Ribeiro came to our district meeting here to help get everything sorted out here, and he then told me I was going to go to Uruguaiana! That was kind of a surprise but also not. I suspected that I would leave.
Then, the next day, Patricia, the mother of Rafael and Alice, got back from her trip to Curitiba (she had been there for 11 days or something) and she was not happy when her kids told her on the phone that I was leaving the city. She was furious as matter of fact. I walked into her houseand the first thing she said was, "NOBODY is getting baptized!" So that was kind of a shocker, given that we have had these baptisms marked for the last 3 weeks, hoping, praying, getting excited.
Patricia loves the church, but has a LOT of doubts. But it was awesome. We sat down, and talked, and it proved to me that Rafael was actually way more ready to be baptized than I thought he was. Patricia ws just bringing up a ton of doubts, and Rafael was standing up for the church boldly in every one of them. Wow it was impressive. Rafael's entire family, plus their visitors that were there were like, "are you sure about this?" But he was totally firm. Wow.
So anyway, that showed Patricia that Rafael was ready. Then we just had to take care of Alice. So we shared Mosiah 18, to show how to get baptized, someone jsut have to want to serve God and obey his commandments, and then they will recieve his spirit. Patricia was very doubtful about their readiness, but I felt like I had taken care of stuff.
Then on the next day we came back, and she still didn't known if she wanted to let Alice get baptized. So we started up again. She was just so full of doubts. I tried responding to them all, be then I just decided to teach her the Restoration again, very impromtu. I was very specific about the Apostasy, talking about how without a Prophet, the doctrines of Christ were discussed and changed by men.
One of the reasons she is doubtful about baptism is because she realizes that its a big commitment for her kids, and she had asked the day before, "How would it be before God, if they or I are baptized and we don't follow our whole lives?" We have taught Patricia for a while, so after teaching all of this again to her, I said, "Look Patricia, I'll now tell you how it's going to be before God if you do not accept this. One day after this life, you will be before God, and he will say to you, "Look, I sent Elder Ball, Elder Wiscomb, Elder Poulsen, and Elder Marx to teach you my great message, and you did not accept. My gospel was presented before you, a chance for you to unify and strengthen your family, a chance for you to have a nicer and happier life, but you rejected this chance, and I cannot give it to you again."
As I said these words, I can tell you the spirit was very strong. She understood. Then I said to her, "Patricia, we have taught you so much. you must now make a decision for yourself if these things are true, or a lie. But do not do it, without praying with an extremely open heart." I then talked to her about how the best thing for her to do at this point is to support her kids. I said, "They have made their decision, and they are setting a good example for you. You must support them."
At the end she said, okay, we'll see you at the baptismal interview tomorrow. It was somewhat reluctant, but I won. It was like, "You win this time Elder Poulsen, but I'll get you next time!" Haha. It's a good thing we are such good friends with this family, or none of that would have worked. But yea it was quite the battle. It was a powerful lesson. We had the baptisms on Saturday. All was well. And the confirmations were excellent and very spiritual. But anyway, that's more or less why my week was crazy.
***Mom's note: This one totally made me cry!