We had such an awesome week! So much happened that I feel like it's been 3 weeks since I've emailed. First off, Lourdes was baptized on Monday night! It was such a last minute thing but I'm so glad that everything worked out. She was confirmed at water's edge so that she didn't have to wait until the next Sunday to complete the baptismal ordinance. Let's just say the confirmation was an interesting experience. Maybe I'll share more about it when I come home.Just about her entire family came to the baptism and she had a lot of support from the ward members as well. Her granddaughter, Jocelyn age 9, hasn't stopped talking about baptism and keeps telling us how badly she wants to be baptized. Her mom said that she'd be fine with it but her dad won't give her permission. I really have no doubt that most, if not all, of the family will be baptized one day. And it all started with the baptism of Jose-Luis!
The next exciting thing that happened last week was Maria's baptism. TWO baptisms in one week! But I know now more than ever that this work really is not about the missionaries. Maria was prepared and converted on her own. Our job is simply to find those who have been prepared and are already ready and willing to accept the gospel. And since God is hastening His work, it seems like we're finding more and more people who are already prepared. We made sure to see her every day leading up to her baptism on Friday. On Tuesday, we assigned her to read the 3 nefi chapters when Christ is in the America's. I expected her to read one chapter at most but when we went over on Wednesday she had already read 12 chapters! She also came to Lourdes' baptism and was honestly the most prepared person for baptism that I've ever taught. Because she was already in the habit of going to church on Sundays, she was baptized a week after our first meeting with her and she was confirmed the following Sunday during sacrament meeting.
Honestly, preparing for the 2 baptisms took up most of our time throughout the week. The only other exciting thing that I can remembering happening was during service. On Wednesdays the missionaries help some wildlife organization with weeding so we take a small hike and weed for 2 hours. I never thought I'd like weeding but it's one of my favorite activities that we do during the week. Mainly because we get to be outside and we don't have to wear skirts! But anyway, I walked by a huge pile of sticks and heard the loudest HISS coming from the pile. I paused in my tracks and said, "Umm something just hissed at me" I couldn't see anything so I slowly backed away. Of course all of the elders wanted to see what it was so they surrounded the big pile of sticks and the hissing turned into rattling. Yep it was a rattle snake. It was hard to see because of all of the sticks around it but I did see it's rattle! The elders said it was coiled up ready to attack but it didn't have a clear shot because of all of the sticks around it. Thank goodness!
Anyway, I know this email is super short and boring but it really was an exciting week! Definitely one of the most exciting of my mission. I hope this email finds everyone well and happy :) Love you all!
Love, Hermana Billings