Soooo this was the best week ever, because our family got baptized!!!
The story of the Familia Reyes -
Once upon a time, Junior Reyes from the Republica Dominicana was looking for somebody who had a Christian belief to come work for him. He was tired of his workers drinking and smoking so he prayed to have a worker who believed in God. Rene Fernando lost his job so he wasn't here legally anymore and had to go back to Mexico. He got a call from his nuera and said that she found a job from a guy named Junior. So he calls him, they set it up and he moves back to Canada! yay! The first time they met each other, Rene noticed that he had some Christian music in his car, so they start talking about that and Rene starts telling him about the Mormon church. Fast forward one month, Hermano Fernando tells Hermana Ratliff that he has a family that is WAY interested in having the missionaries go over. Hermana Ratliff sets up the appointment for the FIRST NIGHT that I was back up here. So that transfer day, she picks me up and we go and have a lesson with the family Reyes and the Fernandos. We weren't too sure on how they took it because Lorena was pretty quiet... she looked pretty bored and not too interested (come to find out she really was pondering on all her life's decisions and how she had to change!) they shocked us and come to church that weekend! As we were sitting with her in Relief Society, she turns and looks and us and just starts weeping and says how she needs to change. How she wants to become like us and she wants to be happy. So we went back a bunch of times and taught their cute little family with different members and we set the date of 2nd of October to be baptized and they said yes!!! Everything worked out PERFECTLY and yesterday Junior, Lorena, Melissa and Junior Reyes were all baptized! It was the mos amazing day. Best day of my mission and one of the best days of my life. There were so many members! So much support. The program worked out perfectly. I was able to play a special musical number on the piano and the spirit was so strong right before they got baptized. Hermano Fernando baptized them all and the baptisms all were perfect. They all came up out the water sooo beautifully, espeically Lorena who covered her face right as she came out and started weeping. Afterward, all the quorums were able to welcome them into the ward! The spirit was sooo strong. As I sat there front row, with my arm around Cristian (the 6 year old) I felt so much JOY (just like the talk by President Nelson) I had never been so happy. So much prayers and hard work and love had gone into teaching them and they were so ready! They actually had the missionaries knock on their door 9 years ago and Junior listened to them for a little bit, but then they never came back. It took them 9 years until they were ready to have the missionaries again. We have been talking a lot about how they want all their kids to serve missions one day, which has been so amazing. Ah words can't describe how perfectly everything went and how happy everyone was. That moment made everything sooo worth it. So everything went well and it couldn't have gone better. Last night while Sister Ratliff was up at the front of the room teaching ESL, the phone rings and it's Hermano Fernando. He said "oiga! (haha he always starts the convo off with that, because he always has good news!) I just talked to Junior and he said as he was watching Melissa come up out of the water he heard a clear voice tell him : This is my will. (Esto es mi voluntad) and it made tears roll down his cheeks" ahhhh that was the coolest thing ever!!! When he told me that I got the biggest chills! God talked to him! It was so amazing. Best day ever. So thankful to have had the opporunity to help this family come back to where they need to be!
Another story that happened this week.. we were on exchanges and we were going to sing to this old man. There were three elders and then Sister Longson and I. We walk in and oh my he was the cutest old man ever!! We sang a couple of hymns and the spirit was really strong. Then we shared John 3:16 and after a little bit, he started opening up about how if God loved him, why did he take his wife. He, at first, came off angry.. but slowly he changed and he was so heart broken. His wife had passed away in January and he was alone. They had been married for tons of years and her passing had been really really hard on him. He then starts crying and oh man, old people have such a soft spot in my heart! So I'm having this inner battle with myself saying "I will not cry.. I will not cry. There are FOUR young missinoaries here and they are going to be so freaked out if I start crying" well right then, I just lose it! Now I have only "lost it" in one other lesson durign my mission.. I mean, big old alligator tears were rolling down my cheeks and I couldn't breath and I had to use my sleeve to wipe my face. And then HE starts crying even more. and bless these other missionary's hearts... they just all go dead silent and they had no clue what to do with themselves hahaha. But it was the coolest thing ever because I was able to look him in the eye and I PROMISED him and he would see his wife again. He kept saying "I'm trying to believe that, but my son says she's in a better place. But she's not with me, so how can she be in a better place?" And ah he just looked so heart broken. He explained how nobody else knows how he feels, how this pain he's been feeling for sooo many months hasn't gone away and that it won't. And goodness, it was so sad! It was breaking my heart! I told him that his wife missed him and that she was in a better place, but she was missing him just as much as he missed her. It was quite the powerful moment.. It's very amazing to be able to give that type of knowledge to somebody who doesn't know it. My heart was so full of gratitude as I left, knowing that I was able to promise him that he would see his sweetheart again. and then my head hurt the rest of the day because I had been crying so hard hahah
Man I love this work! I love being a missionary. The work is so great and I have so much joy serving the Lord. Thanks for your love and support!!