We gave it our all this week with the teaching times aspect, but were hampered in a few ways by funerals, other stuff, and just some straight up bad luck. Regardless, we still had some very interesting experiences with new investigators as well as newly progressing investigators. But my favorite part of all was the baptism of Tojo, Rondro, Fely, and Neny. I think I'll start at the beginning and work my way backward, hopefully I'll have enough time to finish all the stories.
The baptism was extremely spiritual, but was made even better by the level of conversion that the people displayed. These new members have been learning from anywhere between 5 months to a little-bitty 1 month. They were all practically golden investigators, and all have their own individual stories of conversion, but I think I've told you all but one.
Rondro is a girl who learned many years ago with the rest of her family. Her dad got baptized, her mom got baptized, and she should have been baptized at that time if not for her father having problems. By that point the father had decided that he wanted nothing to do with the church, and that meant that Rondro would be waiting
another 4 years before being able to make that sacred covenant. About a month ago Rondro finally came to our attention when her 18th birthday occured. Everyone and their dog, all at once, began practically screaming at the missionaries "BAPTIZE RONDRO!" It took us a few days for the importance of their words to fully sink in, and then another couple of days to actually find her house. She was a shy girl - her mother being shy as well - but totally and completely committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The same cannot be said of her father.
Every time we would come over it was like there was a giant wall blocking the missionaries; he would almost completely ignore us. We would say hi, and he would generally nod, but there wasn't much more than that. Finally the day of Rondro's baptism came. We were 20 minutes into the meeting, about to start the actual ordinance, when guess who walked quietly into the room? That's right, Rondro's father. The man who had been estranged from the church for some several years came right into that room and took an almost divinely empty seat beside his daughter on the front row -- right where he was supposed to be all along. He didn't end up
coming to church the next day, but I'm sure that a light has been re-lit inside of him. Will it burn for long? Will it actually but him back on the right path permanently? Only time will tell. But putting all those questions aside, I know that I saw a man who doesn't really know what he wants in life anymore, but knows that what may be lacking is what he'd already left behind.
So, we'll go to work and pray for the best. Nothing else you can really do in such circumstances. We'll teach him as much as we can, try as hard as we can, but in the end it is all up to that man alone; ain't a thang we can realistically do when it comes to them terms.
Terribly sorry but I really have to go now. We have a dinner appointment very soon that we will likely be late for. Wish us luck.
With Love and Prayers,