Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nedson's Baptism

So transfers happened this Sunday, and Elder Weiss is off to the island of São Vicente to the area of Fernando Pó serving as a district leader and training a new missionary from Idaho.

Last night, we spent a good amount of time remembering 6 months of memories and telling each other how grateful we were that we got to serve together. Elder Weiss is an incredible missionary, and I’ll miss him. The Lord has used us in these past 6 months to perform miracles. We’re both eternally grateful for this tender mercy and for having a dream come true on the mission. We had 40 baptisms together and baptisms every week for 23 weeks straight. What a blessing! I don’t know how it happened, and I’ve spent some time wondering, "Why me?" Why is the Lord using me for all these miracles? Only he knows, and I hope he continues to trust my new companion and me with his children.

I’m now with Elder Abularach from Guatemala. I already know a lot about him as I got to work with him when he was in Cova Figueira. He is an incredibly hard worker and is responsible for much of the success that Cova Figueira is been having. After 4 transfers, he already loves the people and is crazy about missionary work. He is humble and open. This is going to be amazing!

This week we had an incredible turnaround with Nedson, one of our investigators. Towards the beginning of the week, he was telling us that he did not feel that he was ready for baptism because of the big promise that entails. We were a bit worried that he was not going to get baptized. We went home and thought about it and realized that we needed to be more focused on Nedson´s needs, than whether he will be baptized or not. We prayed and told the Lord our plans and said to him that his will be done. We went back the next day and told him that maybe he needed more time to prepare. We started teaching him much more calmly, and we had a very spirited felt lesson. However, the next day we went back and the first thing he said was "Elders, I wanted to see you since early today. I’ve been thinking, and I want to be baptized this Saturday".

Elder Weiss and I were surprised to hear this. This was a man that was not interested in keeping any commandments when we first started teaching him. We said, "Well if that is how you feel, then we can make that happen" The rest of the week was spent preparing him for these sacred covenants. This just shows me the power of the Book of Mormon. It has the power of conversion. Because of the unfortunate events that have been going on in this man’s life, he turned to the Book of Mormon and read and read and read all through Jacob. He learned about Nephi and his family and all the events of their early life. He said that, at times, it was the only thing that made him feel better.

He’s turning into a man of God, ready to obey his will, and he showed him this in the most magnificent way, by partaking of the waters of baptism. What made his baptism even more special was how Heavenly Father made all this happen. Since there was no water in the Chapel, we went and had the baptism in the ocean. This is something Nedson will never forget. As he came up out of the water, he was full of the spirit, and the happiest man in the world. He told us later that day that after everyone had left, he stayed at the beach until late reflecting on his baptism. Right before going home, he poured his heart out in prayer to the Lord. This is true conversion.

Elder Cuestas

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