This week was great for our district! We had 4 baptisms and one of them was Ricardo! I will send pictures. Planning and stressing over a baptismal service for someone that you've taught and prayed about for weeks makes you love them even more. It was such a good experience. I'm so grateful for his parents and all that they've done to help him understand the gospel He's so blessed to have been adopted into an LDS family.
On Sunday, the branch had 2 more baptisms. One of them was a complete surprise. She'd met with the missionaries for awhile and decided on Saturday that she wanted to be baptized. There was already a baptismal service being planned so she joined in!The neat thing about the baptism on Sunday was that Elder Echo Hawk from the first quorum of the 70 came. While the girls were changing into dry clothes he got up to say a few words. I'll never forget how strong the spirit was when he spoke. He's a full blood native american and we were in a room with all hispanics. He stood up and said "We are Lamanites". I got the chills even typing that! He shared his testimony about the book of mormon and how important it is for the descendants of the Lamanites (so those that were in the room) to read about their fathers and share the book with their fellow Lamanites.
After the baptism the English ward that we're working in had a youth baptismal service. Amber and her kids came so we stayed for a short while. After the kids were baptized Anthony asked us when his baptism was. We told him that it's going to be in August and he said "awww can't I do it sooner?" We told him he'd have to ask his mom so he did but she said "we'll see". Typical mom answer. I think it was really good for Amber to be there and see the ordinance that she will soon be making.
During church Amber saw me filling out my fast offering slip and started asking questions about fasting. We briefly explained it to her but she didn't seem to like the idea of skipping two meals. We pass around a calendar during relief society every Sunday for people to sign up to fast for missionary opportunities and when it got to her she leaned over and asked me if she was "allowed" to fast. I said of course! So she signed up. I know her efforts, praying and fasting will soften the heart of her husband and they'll be able to do what they need to do in order for her to be baptized in August.
Amber is always full of questions when we go over to teach her. Somehow we always have an answer and I can promise that it's the spirit EVERY single time.
For example, I usually only bring my spanish and english copies of the book of mormon. Before we left our apartment the morning of our lesson with her I felt like I should bring my Bible. I was in a hurry so I just grabbed one of them and it happened to be my English Bible. During our lesson Amber told us that she had two concerns. The frist one was that she said that one of her friends told her that we don't read the Bible. The second one was something that I can't remember right now. But I pulled my bible out with a thankful heart that I had listened to the spirit and brought it with me that day. Her second concern was something that I had read that morning from the bible but in my Spanish bible. I had marked it in my Spanish bible so I would have been able to easily find it and I was kicking myself for not marking it in my English bible too. I opened up the bible and it opened to the exact chapter and verse that I had read that morning that answered her second concern. The fact that I can't even remember what her concern was makes me realize even more that it really was the spirit guiding me.
Amber said "Wow. You girls really can't be stumped" But I know it wasn't us because I did NOT know the reference that she was looking for and I was not planning on bringing my bible with me that day. We ended up teaching her about the Holy Ghost (because that's what she requested to learn that day) and we taught it using all scriptures from the Bible. She said that she keeps praying for an answer about this church and there are so many "coinsidences" that make her think it's true but she's not sure if they're answers. I told her that she can call them "coinsidences" if she wants to but that she better be expecting a whole lot of coinsidences. She found that funny.
I wasn't planning on spending so much time talking about Amber but really quick I wanted to mention our mission tour with Elder Echo Hawk. I learned so much and took a lot of notes! Somehow him and his wife ended up sitting by myself and Sister GG during lunch. President came over about 10 minutes into lunch and said, pointing at me, "she runs track!" and then walked away. We then spent the next 40 minutes talking about track and only about 10 minutes talking about missionary work and some of their experiences.. But he started it! He ran the 400 in HS and played football for BYU so he kept asking me questions. My track life seems so long ago but it's still so much a part of me!
Well I wish I had time to write more but it's time to go. Hope everyone has a good week and I hope to hear from you soon!
Love, Sister Billings