Let's see, what happened this week... A dog bit a chunk out of my shoe. NBD. (Rob's Mom: that's "no big deal") We were knocking on the door of a less active member that I hadn't met before when I realized that they had dogs, and big ones, because I could hear them barking. I stepped a little closer to knock again, and that's when I realized that the "door" was really more of a barrier with hinges. Why the distinction, you may ask? It's because it had a good eight inches of clearance below, enough room for one of the monsters to stick out its muzzle and sink it's teeth into the front of my shoe. I wasn't injured at all, but in prying my foot away from the jaws a small part of the soft front area near the bottom was torn off. It's not even that noticeable, but there it is. The closest I've come to being attacked by a dog. Let's hope that's the closest I get!
Also, our chapel was broken into on Friday night. We were in the home of a contact Saturday afternoon when he mentioned that he had a friend who was LDS. "Oh," we said, "What's his name? We might know him!" "Omar," he says. "Omar," I say. I only know of one member named Omar around here. "Not Omar Canaán?" "That's him!" he says. "Ah," I think. He's buddies with the stake president. Again, NBD. That's when he tells us that "Omar" had actually been there not too long before, but that he had to leave quickly when he heard that our church had been robbed. That was the first we'd heard of it! But yeah, it was true. They hopped the fence and found a window that was unlocked, made off with the pulpit microphone, and then broke into the office of the secretary (with a crowbar, it looked like) and stole a few more things. They left the computer, though, thank goodness, and the piano. I suppose the piano at least would have been hard to carry away, but I was still glad to see it Sunday morning. So, this week's been chock full of suspense.
Another week, more experiences, more lessons, more investigators. Ruth, an investigator of the sister missionaries in the ward, got baptized. It was a really beautiful service, and a very spiritual experience. And, about an hour before the service, I got a call from our zone leaders in Nogales. They were all set to baptize a family of four when they realized that the font was filling with cold water. Now, this normally isn't a problem. All over the mission, they baptize with cold water. But this is Orizaba, and it was already really cold that day, something that doesn't happen in the rest of the state. So the water was COLD. And, of course, they were frantically looking for solutions. We of course offered the services of our font, but the family had a lot of people that had come to see them, and they couldn't arrange transportation for everybody on time. In fact, the ZLs called me to see if we had any "resistencias." I don't know what that translates to in English (I'd actually never heard of them before), but it's a small metal rod with a coil on the end that you plug in and then submerge in water to heat it up. The thing is, we only had one small one, and even a few would take hours to heat up a baptismal font full of water. However, this is the Lord's work, and so after trying our faith (and our sanity) for a time, he helps us out. With a lot of prayer, the boilers in the chapel in Nogales finally caught and held a flame, and that combined with boiling water on the stove in the kitchen finally meant a... well, not exactly hot, but a lukewarm baptism. Good enough! The family was baptized, and the elders told me after that the father's prayer at the end left few dry eyes in the room.
I had the opportunity to meet that family before their baptism and chat with them a bit. Their testimonies were so strong, and their desire, and I thought repeatedly, "I want to find a family like that." However, as I talked more with them, I realized that although they certainly had been prepared by the Lord for the missionaries, that wouldn't have been enough on its own. From the way they talked about the elders, it was obvious to me that it wasn't necessarily the family itself, rather the attitude of the elders and the way they taught that allowed the Spirit to testify so strongly to them that what they were hearing was true. So, that's really what I want. Not to just be led by the Lord to a family like that, rather to be able to show my love for and testimony of the work with every word I say, every glance I firmly meet, and every fiber of my being. That's how I'll be able to be of use to the Lord here. That's how I'll be able to know that my calling was inspired, that I'm exactly where He wants me to be.
Until next week! I should know what going to happen this next transfer! Stay strong, I love you all, and don't forget to write! And read your scriptures! And not necessarily in that order!
Élder Rob Weatherford