This week really was a week of miracles! We met a lady named Ines who is visiting her brother, who is an active member of the branch, for the summer. She's visiting from South Carolina. We met her last Sunday at church and she asked if we could come over and explain some of the things that she learned in Church.
We had our first lesson with her on Tuesday and she loved it. She said that she's been looking for something for so long and she's been to so many churches but none of them filled her heart until she went to our church on Sunday. We invited her to be baptized and she said she'd read the Book of Mormon and we set up an appointment for the following Sunday after church.
On Sunday the branch president asked all 5 of us missionaries to speak on the 5 missionary lessons in Preach My Gospel. During one of the talks I leaned over to Elder Olsen and joked that Ines would be able to get baptized right after church because she would have received all of the missionary lessons. After church we taught her the second lesson and at the end she said that she had a gift for us. She told us that she wanted to be baptized August 3 and she had already looked up the church buildings in South Carolina. We were so excited....but it gets better.
We went to our branch presidents house last night for Family Home Evening and Ines came with her Brother's family. We shared a spiritual thought about the Book of Mormon being the keystone to our religion and then the president talked about how Heavenly Father has a gift for her and He's just waiting for her to accept it. She said "lo quiero ahorita!" (I want it now!). We discussed a few more things with her and set up this Saturday at 7 to be her baptism. We're going to teach her every day this week to prepare her for a baptism in less than a week! She'll be baptized 11 days after our first lesson with her. CRAZY!! But she has been very prepared by the Lord. She's even been thinking about staying in California with her brother's family so that she can have their support.
Looks like we'll have 2 baptisms this Saturday! One for Jocelyn and one for Ines. Pray for both of them :)
Our other miracle was Miguel-Angel. We've been teaching him for awhile and during one of our lessons with him last week he told us that he needs help quiting drinking. He's already been deported back to Mexico 5 times for drinking and driving and he got arrested on Sunday. We asked him why he keeps drinking if he knows it's costing him so much and he said he didn't know why. We asked the elders to come give him a blessing and it was so spiritual. After the blessing everyone was talking but I looked across the room at his 3 year old daughter named Mireya.
She was starring at me and our eyes locked for what felt like 5 minutes. I couldn't look away from her. And she didn't look away from me either. She didn't even blink. I realized that what we were doing for Miguel-Angel was just as much for her. It was as if she was pleading with me to help her dad. At that moment I felt stronger than ever that there is a reason why I'm here on my mission. I knew that she is a daughter of God and if her Dad accepts the gospel, it will change her life forever. I don't think I'll ever be able to forget how I felt as I looked into the eyes of that little girl.
The rest of our week was good too. I went to Salinas and spent a day with Sister Green (my trainer) and her new trainee, Sister Thornton. It was really fun to work with Sister Green again. I love doing exchanges because I learn so much from each companionship.
The only not-so-good thing about this week was on Friday evening we had dinner with the zone leaders at a members house from the Spanish branch. Her food is always SO good! Buuuuuut all five of us woke up Saturday morning with food poisoning. We're all better now though.
I sent a letter to Mom and Dad this week. Let me know when you get it! And thanks for all your letters this week. They're very much appreciated!
I love all of you!!! Have a good week!
Dios les bendiga
Love, Hermana Billings