To follow up on Jocyleida's situation, two Sundays ago I was on a division in my own area, and I was with the District Leader from Santo Antao. We had an appointment with the family, and we started teaching them about the Word of Wisdom. At the very end of the lesson, Jocyleida asked if we could baptize her daughter the following week. I responded that we were planning on baptizing all of them together. Jocyleida looked at me and said:
"Well I don't really know about that".
There were a few minutes of silence, and I then asked, "What is your concern?"
She thought, and she thought, and she thought some more and then she answered "Look, it’s the same thing as before, and I’ve told you that I don't like the idea of having to get married".
More silence...is she putting a stopping point?
I instantly thought, no. There is no way that the Lord put a complete family in our hands to have them not make it to baptism, I completely rejected that idea.
I summoned up all the power and authority that the Lord placed in me. I felt full of his spirit, and I looked at her straight in the eyes and testified to her as an authorized servant of Jesus Christ that this was the Lord’s will for her life and that the Lord placed her where she was, so that she could prepare for the blessings of Baptism. I promised to her that if she took this step that she would be blessed for all Eternity and that she could return to live with her Heavenly Father again. I was as firm as I could be, and the words that came out of my mouth were things that God placed in me. I promised her that she would start seeing the blessings as soon as she said yes.
Silence for several minutes…my heart was pounding. I did not take my eyes away from hers. No one could have denied that the Spirit was there and that the spirit was testifying to her of the truthfulness of our message. After what seemed an eternity, she responded "I will think some more".
We left it at that.
I met up with Fernandes later and told him everything that happened. We prayed and prayed and prayed that night that she would accept. We spent hours the following day practicing our lesson for her in our companionship study. We were prepared to teach her about the Lord’s will and Satan’s will and that Satan was who was placing that fear in her heart. We wrapped up and went to go teach our other investigators waiting for eight o clock that evening when we would teach her.
Eight o’clock came, and they were waiting for us. We came in and sat down, had a prayer and some small talk. We asked if everything was ok. They said yes, and everything seemed normal. Jocyleida was a little quiet. The time for the question came up…
"So have you thought about what we discussed two days ago?"
"I have, and I have made a decision"
She paused and then said "I want to get married"
My heart skipped a beat right there. She did it!! She overcame her fear!! She felt that the Lord was there and that the Lord was telling her that this was the will he had for her. She felt it, and she knew that it was true!! She overcame 22 years of being against marriage to get married. What a miracle! What a joy!
This last week was all about getting papers and documents from several places including the City Hall, the registry, department of vital records and so forth. We helped them in all the processes as getting married takes some time and requires a lot of papers. I remember last Wednesday that we went just with Jocyleida to get a copy of her birth certificate. She seemed extremely happy that day. I was curious as to what was making her so happy, because she is generally very quiet.
When we walked out of the City Hall, she found one of her close friends walking nearby. She called her over and starting bragging and telling her on how she is preparing to get married. You could see this joy in her heart, and she was radiating. Then she pulled out her husband’s ID and showed it to her and said: "look! This is my future husband”.
I smiled as I know that the Lord changed her heart, and she has not turned back since.
Something that is really cool is that we had the baptism of an investigator that we have been working for a few weeks now. His name is Ivan, and he was truly prepared to receive the gospel. We went to his house for the first time last week, (we usually teach him in the chapel) and as we began to teach him, his mother quietly watched through the doorway. After a few minutes, I looked at her and smiled and said "Would you like to sit with us?" She did.
Through Ivan, her mom and his sister are now investigators, and we’re hoping that this could be another family. We haven’t met the husband yet, so we will see, but we have some good hope for them.