Monday, January 11, 2016

Valentin's Baptism

Hey fam,

Life is good in the pueblito de Marcos Juarez.  Yesterday we were able to baptize my amigo Valentin Piriz, which was awesome.  It had been a while since the branch had a baptism, we did it right after church, and the majority stayed for a little bit...then left before the kid got baptized.  More on that story later, it’s a funny one.  

The week went well, we were able to teach quite a bit and found a boat load of new people.  Elder Diaz and I work well together, and the branch loves us.  Wednesday I gave a training on "inspired questions" and listening with love to the people that we are teaching.  The promise from Elder Holland is that if we listen with love (with charity, understanding the atonement and how it can be applied in the situation)  the spirit will tell us all that we need to say.  Missionary work isn't rocket science, despite the fact that some people try to make it be.  

Saturday we had a good lesson with an investigator named Alexis, he has a baptismal date for the 24th, we are pretty excited for him and the potential he has.  That night the ZLs came down and did the interview for my buddy Valentin, and he passed with flying colors.  Sunday rolled around, we had a great 3 hours (we did the agenda for sacrament meeting, the first time in the history of the branch that they sang an intermediate hymn!).  We had to help out in primary again...I had them watch a video about the Book of Mormon (the Mormon Message with the guy from England) and then explained to them the importance of it.  IT went better than the last time, por lo menos!  Then it was time for the baptism.

I will not be forgetting this baptism any time soon.  My comp was going to baptize him, they all got dressed with no problems, I directed the baptismal service, 2 great talks before the ordinance, everything going as planned, and then we head to the font.  Nobody had mentioned that the poor guy is terrified of water!  He walked down tall the steps but the last one, and then started to say 'you're going to drown me, you're going to drown me, I'm scared.'  We tried to calm him down, his brothers who are members tried to convince him that everything would be fine, but nothing worked.  Our branch president got down in the water with him to try and comfort him, same with our Elders quorum president.  When that didn't work, President's son got in, and showed Valentin how we baptize (my comp proceeded to baptize him, without saying the prayer...twice).  Still, the poor kid couldn't get over his fear.  But at the same time, he wouldn’t leave the font because he wanted to be baptized, it was a long half an hour.  At this point, just about everybody who had stayed for the baptism, left because it was lunch time and they were hungry.  Finally Valentin decides to leave the font, and goes with President to the bathroom.  About 30 seconds later, the kid runs out, basically jumps in the font, and says let’s do this.  My comp baptized him, and when he came up out of the water, he goes "that's it?  Can we do it again?"  I won't lie, I shed a tear.  It was going to be the second time in my mission that the investigator showed up to the service, and decided not to be baptized.  But President worked some magic, and God answered our prayers, and Valentin overcame his fear of the water.  It was quite the experience!

Today the sisters came down for Pday, its Hermana Barbosa's birthday, so we grilled hamburgers and had ice cream, nothing too fancy, but its been fun.  Glad to hear that all is well back home, every time I look at the calendar I can't believe how fast time is flying.

Love you all!
Elder Mangum

A Book of Mormon Story

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