I think this week we have seen Hugo, Belquis, Marta, and Omar on almost a daily basis for one reason or another. They've really been progressing; especially Marta and Omar.
Elder Marilaf, an Elder from Chile, came to spend a couple of days with me while my companion, Elder Miramontes, went to stay with Elder Marilaf's companion, Elder Beach. While Elder Marilaf was with me, he went and interviewed Hugo for baptism and cleared him to get in the water. So now, Hugo and Belquis are both ready to get baptized with just one slight obstacle: the marriage. We've been waiting for probably a month, if not a little more, for the papers we need to come through.
The wedding for Omar and Marta on the other hand is progressing quite a bit more rapidly. This morning we went with Omar to the courthouse to get his ID renewed; his ID was expired since he was eight years old and has never renewed it. So now that that's all done we just have to wait for his new card to arrive, which should only take a week or less, and then we'll be able to get everything else in order and should see a wedding within two weeks.
On Tuesday night, Elder Marilaf and I went to see Marta and Omar just because we needed to ask them a question, but we ended up having a much more important need for being there. When we got there we asked how things were and Omar said, "not so great." Well that was a strange response from him until he showed us his fingers; he had cut two of them with a machete while he was working. It was pretty bad looking and I almost asked him if I could take a picture, but I didn't He had a pretty deep cut on his middle finger that needed stitches and had cut off the corner of his index finger. So we explained what a Priesthood blessing was and then offered him one. He accepted.
The blessing he received was really cool. The greater part of it had nothing to do with the healing of his fingers, but rather to be a leader in his home and in his family. I'm pretty sure that Omar is going to become a leader in the Church. After the blessing he just sat there for five or seven minutes while we talked with Marta and Rosa; the blessing was probably the most powerful manifestation of the Spirit that he has ever felt and he was completely overcome by it.
But lately Omar has been reading and praying on a daily basis. Marta says that he always reads out loud and then asks Marta if she heard what he read. On Saturday, Omar was asking what it was that he needed to do before he could be baptized; what things he had left to do. He wanted to verify his baptismal date and Marta was kind of making fun of him and asked if he was in a big hurry to get baptized. Marta said that he just can't wait to be like us.
They did, however, have some interesting problems lately. They said that whenever they are in their home that Javier, their one year old son, starts to say, "no," over and over and doesn't want anyone to touch him, but that he doesn't act that way when we're there. So this morning after going with Omar to get his documents put in order, we went with him to his house and blessed the house. Javier seemed to be happy when we left, so I hope that that will be the end of their problems.
Something that doesn't usually happen to us too much is hear stories about incredible dreams, but we heard two this week.
First there was a member visiting her sister from Buenos Aires who had told the story about how she had really, truly converted to the Lord and decided that she was always going to keep the commandments. It happened to her when one day she woke up and couldn't feel her legs. She could use them, but not effectively and as a result spent the whole day in bed. The experience really scared her and her family. So she started to pray and think about why this had happened to her. Then she remembered the things she had been doing lately and how she had been acting and what she had been doing on Sundays. She realized that she hadn't done anything to keep the Sabbath day holy and then had the following thought, "You were able to walk fifteen blocks to go and buy clothes on Sunday, but you weren't able to walk six blocks to go to my Church?" She then made the commitment to always go to church and offered a prayer to express her desires. In that moment she could feel a warm, calming sensation come over her and the feeling in her legs returned and she was again able to walk.
The other experience was from a local member who had been experiencing hip pain. His experience was quite as transforming, but rather more interesting. He had prayed and fasted for relief from his pain when one night he had a dream that he was in a hospital. He said that someone dressed in white had come to him, but he couldn't see who it was, just that they seemed to radiate light. This person then gave him some kind of injection and when he woke up from his dream he didn't have any more pain and hasn't ever since.