Yay!! It happened! Armando was baptized!!
I woke up yesterday so nervous and excited... just wanting so badly that he would be able to make it to the church in time to be baptized before church..... and more especially- that his family would come. As we sat in the church with a full font and everything ready.... great was our joy and surprise when we saw a red pickup come roaring in with... the Axume Family- 30 minutes early! Although not ALL of them came (I guess someone has to stay to milk the cows...)... in came Armando´s brother (his second time) and two of his sisters- Carman and Delia. They were all very groomed, looking sharp... and super stoked to be there! (don´t believe their stiff faces in the picture... they´re really happy people! - I just don´t know why latinos don´t like to look it in pictures..) The baptism was simple, sweet, and powerful. Armando was VERY happy... and his brother Neris told me afterwards, ¨The Lord wants me to get baptized in two weeks.¨- I wanted to question it and say, ¨How come not after church?¨- But I gladly accepted it- because it is such a direct answer to our prayers...and to his. SOooo... 12th of March is his big day! Carmen and Delia LOVED church... and asked us very excitedly, ¨When are you coming to visit this week??¨- they´re all reading and praying about the book of Mormon. We hope to make a date with them this week too. :) --- Armando recieved the Aaronic Priesthood after church and said to me, ¨Now we have to preach!! Juan Carlos and I have a LOT of work to do! We need to go teach and help our families!!!¨- oh I could have burst. Watching our little Pajonal congregation of the family Axume and Juan Carlos piled into that little red pickup... was just what we needed to see as sweet a reminder that the work will undoubtedly progress there.
We are going door to door and trying to gather in as many people as possible... and are talking to and teaching A LOT of people... so it´s just a little disheartening when hardly anyone actually makes it to church. Yet... the real miracle is... that hardly taints my hope, aspirations, love, and vision for Pajonal. Though Hermana Fuentes and I don´t quiet have the same enthusiasm for the situation... undeniable... there is an exteremly white field in those mountains... and they will be harvested.
Though we´re not always seeing the BIGGEST changes and progress all in one moment in our area... I am still seeing progress and triumphs in our new converts in Candelaria. Like yesterday... I got to sit back and watch Carolina greet and adore members that entered the chapel (and she doesn´t even have a calling!!)... that Herardo received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday... and the Family Martinez are SO zealous about EVERYTHING in the church!! We were visiting them last night, when a neighbor came over to ask Berta a question. As we were talking... randomly,quickly, BOLDLY, and enthusiasically Berta said, ¨Oh Sandra! Why don´t you come to church with us on sunday??¨... and the whole family all at once jumped in, ¨YA YA YA!! COME COME COME! It´s the best!!¨ hahaha... they continued to talk all at once telling her about the activities... the scriptures... how everything can help her family.. how much she will learn... how happy she will be..- they even invited her to be baptized!! We were standing outside during all of this... and a storm started in... so their was this warm and strong wind whirling around us with raging lightening... and I can´t really describe it..but it was just a delicious and euphorical experience for me... to see such a profound conversion and love of the gospel in this family... that they had Christ in their countenances and heart... and desired, just as Alma after his conversion, that all partake of what they had been given. Sandra couldn´t possibly resist being intrigued... and excited to come to church this sunday. :)
This week I´ve been thinking a lot about D&C 123:12-14 - how there are a lot of spiritually hungry people in the world... en Pajonal.. but they know not where to find the bread of life. ... and how I want to ¨waste and wear out¨ my life to bring these things to light. When I have this perspective and fire... I´m told I´m obsessive and crazy. I had an interview with President this last tuesday.. and without me saying anything before... he paused... and said with such inspiration, ¨Sister Clark, BE CRAZY.¨- I didn´t know whether to laugh or cry with how perfect it was for me... but it gave me such relief to so many worries that I´d been having.
So... here I go... more CRAZY!