Alright!! About my week then. So first off the bad news. The baptisms didn´t go through. Enrique got cold feet because his family and girlfriend don´t want him to get baptized, and he feels insecure. Also, Claudia couldn´t get baptized because she isn´t keeping the law of chastity. She doesn´t live with her partner but they have a kid together and she doesn´t want ruin that relationship. She was so upset when she found out she couldn´t get baptized that she started to cry. She wants to work towards marriage though which is good, and be baptized after. It was quite a let down to be ready with two baptisms that both fell through. Also, our numbers were pretty weak this week unfortunately. We only had 2 investigators at church. The night before we had 6 that were our sure investigators that were going to go, but one got sick, one had to clean at her church, one had an accident and had to deal with that, and one just flaked out. It was frustrating, but we did have the blessing of 2 at church.
Now for the good news!! I think I saw what was the greatest miracle I´ve seen thus far in my mission!! Natalia, an investigator that we´ve had since before I got here, is a super active Catholic who works with the kids to prepare them for the First Communion. She has always been flaky with her commitments and has been really difficult. For three lessons in a row we were super direct with her. I wrote about her in the letter last week. During a lesson on Wednesday when I had the phone, she called me 5 times which is weird cause she never calls us. I didn´t answer cause we were teaching, but called her after. She said she had done some reading in the Book of Mormon and wanted to talked to us. We dropped everything and went to her house. She told us that she´d received an answer to her prayers about the Book of Mormon, and that she knew it was true. She almost started to cry when she was telling us her experience. She only read the introduction and the testimonies before 1 Nephi!! She said she wanted to be a member of our church, that she believed in the prophets, and that she wanted to stop smoking and change to join the church. I was almost crying cause I was so happy. She has gone to church once (didn´t go this week cause she had to clean at her church ugh). It´s such a turn around from the girl who told us time and time again that she was never going to leave her church, and I think she even promised her mother that she wouldn´t get baptized. It was incredible. After, she told us she needed some time so that her mother who doesnt like the church would accept it and so that she could finish her commitment to teaching the children in her church. She told us she needed a year. We thought, haha very funny, how bout 2 weeks. Last night we had an FHE with the Bishop and his family and 2 single adults in the ward, one of whom is the Elder´s Quorum President. We had a super spiritual experience in which Natalia opened up about how she felt uncomfortable about the church because she´s 22 and has 6 year old son, but how because of her experience she wants to completely change. She told everyone her experience with the Book of Mormon. She also told everyone that she needed a year. Nicól, the single adult, told her conversion story, Franklin, the other single adult told a story about his mission, and the bishop told his conversion story. The bishop was perfect because he told Natalia exactly what she needed. That she needed to act now to be obedient to God, and that it´s more important to follow the what the Spirit says than to keep her previous commitments. The Spirit was there super strong. She´s going to pray about her baptism. After her experience with the Book of Mormon, I´m confident that she´s going to get the answer that she needs to be baptized soon.
This week we also had the conference! We left here with a private bus full of missionaries to Concepción. All of the missionaries in the mission were in a chapel, and in came Elder Cook. We were so excited!! He taught us about how we need to focus on strengthening the wards and the branches. It was awesome. It wasn´t anything super different or amazing that he said, but it was cool because it was him. We all got to shake his hand too!! We also had a counsellor from the area presidency of Chile there. It was awesome. It was worth the long bus ride and the most uncomfortable sleep ever on a bus full of 60 missionaries. We went back to Talca and went to work.
I did a companion exchange on Friday where I went with one of the zone leaders and one of them came here with Elder Navarrete. I learned a lot. On Saturday, we had some members come and help us clear out a forest that we had growing in the backyard. The plants were seriously like 3 or 4 feet tall because I think the missionaries haven´t touched it for the 3 or 4 years they´ve been here. It looks way better now. I love our ward here, they´re so awesome.
Anyway this week was pretty awesome. Hopefully this upcoming week will be a little bit more successful in terms of numbers, and hopefully things will work out with some baptisms pretty soon.
I know this church is true. Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true. The experience we had with Natalia has strengthened my testimony immensely about this work and about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. It has a true converting power because it is the word of God. Jesus Christ lives and atoned for our sins. Through His restored gospel, we can have true happiness in this life and the life to come. I know it´s true.