The wind here is absolutely ridiculous and it seems that Mother Earth herself is trying to show us who is boss. It has been a fight to stay warm sometimes and my hair is ALWAYS in my face. So...I cut it all off and am now bald. #rashdecisionswithprecision
So we had a pretty interesting week as far as unexpected things. We might as well start with the bad first. We were teaching Joan the other day and the lesson was going really well. He has already received all of the lessons and is ready to get dunked and we were discussing his baptism of which he was very excited. His Dad came home from work and began to scream and yell and swear for the dumbest reasons. We tried to have a conversation and compromise and love him but he would not stop yelling and accusing us of pressuring his son and put his finger in my face. I honestly couldn’t take anymore and in the nicest voice I could summon asked him to lower his voice. That is when he lost his mind.
Elder Amaya was pretty much frozen with fear and the member we had with us is a recent convert. I realized I was the one with the most experience and that they were expecting me to do something. Now this man is a bear. I mean freaking enormous. He began to come towards me with his hands in fists. Now, I am confident in myself and my ability to protect myself, but I was by far the smallest person in the room. I stood up quickly and held out my hand and said, “Stop right there!” He stopped and I felt the Spirit testify to him through me. I told him that he knew the church was true, that he knew I was a representative of Christ, and that he knew that I possessed His power. I told him that if Joan didn’t get baptized because of his stubbornness, his blood would cry from the earth and condemn him at the judgement. He turned white, then purple and kicked us out. It was hard to leave the family like that but I know Joan has a testimony and will continue. The seed has been planted.
We were pretty low in spirit when one of the members of our ward, who is an ex-bishop, found us in the street and told us his secret...his daughter isn’t a member and almost nobody knew. I was able to really feel better about my work here when he told us because he said he wanted me to bless his grandson in sacrament meeting and teach his daughter the lessons to baptize her. Her name is Catalina and she is 17. She was actually born just outside Las Vegas and has a 3 month-old baby. His name is Ismael and I blessed him this Sunday. We have a family home evening with her in a couple hours.
We also visited a less active family and had a great experience. Instead of boring them with the typical “come to church” speech, I felt inspired to just ask them about their last spiritual experiences. They have three teenage daughters and usually hate when the missionaries come over. Their mom told me I am the first missionary to be able to connect with the whole family and that I teach in a way that is so naturally spiritual. She made fun of me because last week I told her I don’t see myself as an overly spiritual person and I really don’t. I have come to realize that spirituality has nothing to do with how much we talk about Christ or who has the biggest testimony. It is simply our understanding of gospel principles and the simple ways we apply them in our life day to day.
I know this church is true. I honestly don’t know how, I just do. It is a blessing. It is a challenge. And it is the only true way.
With much love,
Elder Aidan Rich
Elder Rich and Elder Amaya. "It gets dark early so sorry the lighting is bad." (Punta Arenas gets about 7 hours of daylight this time of year.)
I guess this is why missionaries go out in twos. So you have someone to buzz your head for you.
No more problems with wind-blown hair.
Pablo's baptism - Elder Rich, Pablo, Elder Amaya
Pablo was baptized by his brother-in-law.
Pablo's son who was screaming and running around the whole time. Also, a kid gave the closing prayer and when he said "amen," his little brother screamed, "AMEN BROTHER!" I was laughing so hard. The church is true where ever you go.