It has been a crazy week full of lot's of exciting things. We've had a ton of really good lessons this week which is really great considering the fact that we didn't have our van for half of the week because it was in the shop. Despite transportation we managed to get ourselves all around town and see most of our investigators. The most exciting thing is probably the baptism of Francisca Borja! Francisca had been investigating for a little over a month. When she first started taking the discussions she said that she would never ever join our church. Well now she's a member of the church!
She understands very little English, so for the past month or so Elder Lazaro has been the only one teaching in the discussions. Last week we saw her multiple times and she told us that she wanted to be baptized that week! We didn't even have a legitimate date set with her, but with a lot of last minute preparations we managed to get her baptized and confirmed this weekend. We were pleased with how everything went and the cooperation of the ward with everything.
The baptism itself was probably the most spiritual ceremony I have been to in my life. The spirit was so strong in everyone present, especially in Francisca. She was so touched by the spirit and so eagerly soaking in every single word spoken; you would look at her and you just knew that she knew what she was doing and she understood the significance of what was happening. Many times before, during, and after the ordinance we had to pause because she was so overwhelmed with the Spirit; huge tears constantly poured out of her eyes. It was such a joy just to be there and to feel the heavenly sweetness that filled that room. Another interesting thing, because she speaks mostly Spanish and the Urbana ward mostly speaks English we had a bilingual ceremony where there were Spanish speakers with English interpreters and English Speakers with Spanish interpreters. Francisca also asked me to offer the opening prayer in Spanish... so I did! But now the ward thinks I know Spanish because I said the prayer so well. Truth be told, I read Spanish fairly well, so I had cheat sheet that I had Elder Lazaro make for me. I have a picture to send but the computer isn't "compatible" with my camera... these are kind of old computers.
Like I've said, the work is going very well here and I absolutely love it! We are going to have another baptism in a couple of weeks. We set the date with this investigator, Tom from China, a couple of days ago. He is ready and was even eager to set the date. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ (which is the third discussion typically) and when we had finished explaining the principle of baptism he stopped us, pointed and the word and said, "When can I do this?" How awesome it that!
So November 1 is his official date but it could be pushed back to be closer to his birthday if he is in town then. Tom is great. We love Tom.
Urbana reminds me a lot of Indiana. It's beautiful and full of trees and flat everywhere. There are also a lot of Indiana license plates here. I think we are almost an hour from the border. I really want to go back to Indiana.
I really enjoy serving with Elder Lazaro. He is really funny and we get along really well. We always have good time. He's easy to work and to teach with; he prepared well for his mission. He's also very humble which makes it easier to work with and be humble myself. Life for me couldn't really get any better. I'm having the time of my life! It's no wonder why Christ said, "whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall find it." (I think that's how it went). It is so true. By losing myself in the gospel of Jesus Christ I have gained more than I could ever give. I am happier than I could ever be.
-Elder Curtis :)