Monday, April 14, 2014

PraIse the Lord with singing, music and dancing...

Querida familia,                                                       14 De Abril 2014
This week we were somewhat unsure of of whether or not we were going to have the baptism that we had planned, but everything went well for us.
On Tuesday evening, the assistant to the president came out to our area to work with us, so he and I went to visit Carina and since he was already there I asked if he could give her a baptismal interview. The only concern I had was that she hadn't been taught about tithing yet, so I let him know and he said that it would be fine. So they had the interview and Carina did well and already understood tithing as a principle, just not from the Gospel perspective. So her interview was done and she was ready to go once we taught her about tithing.
Once Carina was ready, we started to switch our focus to her younger sister, Eliana, who had said that she wanted to get baptized, but was now having some doubts. She's been saying that she doesn't want to give up the dances, but has already gone for two weeks without going to one. She perfectly understands the abyss example that we used last week and says that she won't be participating in any of the activities that the rest of the people usually do there. Mostly these doubts have been coming from her mom that is saying that she won't be able to resist temptation, but her mom is kind of right actually; President Kimball said that no matter who you are, eventually a person will break down if given enough time in the right environment.
We tried thinking of scriptures that we could use to teach her and overcome this whole dance issue and found this:
"If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving."
Doctrine And Covenants 136: 28
Then here comes the inspired question: "With the music dancing and singing that is going on in those clubs, who is the one who is really getting praised?"
She said that she will be baptized this coming weekend on the nineteenth. We're hoping that she'll follow through, but more than anything we're trying to build her confidence and faith to be able to follow through; making good decisions is only ten percent of the equation, following through is the other ninety percent.
So Eliana didn't get baptized, but Carina did. We had some problems with her because as we got closer to the date, she became more and more worried as she began to confront the wall of her faith. Obviously in the end she made the decision to get baptized, but we were a little bit worried for a time.
On Thursday when we talked to Carina, she had spoken with some preacher about getting baptized and he tried to fill her with doubt about the Book of Mormon. So when we talked to her she asked, "why don't you teach as much with the Bible as the Book of Mormon?" So we went over the importance that the Book of Mormon has in the restoration of the Gospel and how it is proof that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that God continues to guide and direct His people upon the earth. She was still a little bit wary from her conversation with the pastor, but we answered all her doubts and questions and then helped her to remember her own testimony. When it came down to it, her real doubt was this: if she would be able to continue faithful until the end after her baptism. Well that sounded really familiar; that was the same doubt that Isabell had just a few weeks earlier that caused her to stop progressing in the Gospel. So we knew what to do from such fresh experiences and were able to help Carina get to the waters of baptism.
We also had another great achievement this last weekend: Marcos and Jonathan both received the Aaronic Priesthood in church on Sunday.
When we were talking to Marcos during the week about how he would be sustained during sacrament meeting and then ordained afterwards. When we explained how everyone raises their hands to share their agreement he said, "well then no one is going to leave until they sustain me." He is kind of a character.
The baptism itself went well on Saturday. Carina was still nervous, but excited. She only had to be baptized once and everyone enjoyed the service.
os amo,
Elder Burt

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