Monday, January 20, 2014

Bolivia, Charcas—Week 17

My beloved Family and Friends,
How is everyone? I hope all is well and that you are all having a great Martin Luther King Jr. Day!
This week was great! And today is even better because we are practically the only people in the internet cafe, so the internet is fast!

The week started out pretty normal, and then on Tuesday, Samanta (one of our investigators) told us she wanted to be baptized this week instead of next week. We talked to the Elders, they gave her an interview, and we made plans for her baptism on Saturday. Samanta is really great. She is 13 years old, and has grown up in the church her entire life. She had originally told us she didn’t want to take the lessons because they are boring, but we promised her that we would make them more fun. During our first lesson with her, she told us she wouldn’t be getting baptized until she turns 18 and is able to make a good decision about whether she wants the church as a part of her life or not. Then, very recently, she told us that she wanted to get baptized before February. And the rest is history. She was baptized by her brother on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday by her brother as well. She is going to do some great things and I’m really glad we had the opportunity to baptize her (see my journal pages for details).

Other than that, our week was pretty normal. We are finally laughing again, so that’s good news. I have really loved being companions with Hermana Smith. I feel the Spirit so strongly when we are teaching lessons, and I feel like myself again with her. We are having great success and loving it here!
I hope you all have a great week and never forget who gave you your life and who is always right by your side waiting for you to follow Him.
I love you all so, so much!
Hermana Nelson

Journal Pages
January 16, 2014
We had the most beautiful lesson with Samanta today. The Elders wanted us to make sure she had a testimony before she was baptized, so we prayed a lot to know what to teach. We decided to plan lesson 1, but if we felt any sort of prompting, to follow it. We began with God is our loving Heavenly Father, and talked with her about her relationship with Him. We talked about prayer and how she feels when she prays. We then both felt like we needed to sing a song—“A Child’s Prayer” (in English). She speaks English, so we sang this one with parts and everything. The Spirit was so strong and afterward we each (including Samanta) bore our testimonies. She has a testimony. I’m really excited for her baptism. Her favorite church song is “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (in English), so we’ve been practicing it so we can sing at her baptism.
I love it here. I’m so happy!
January 18, 2014
Bautismo de Samanta & Happy Birthday Daddy!
Today was so very special! We went to the chapel and started the baptism. Samanta didn’t want to invite others besides her family, two best friends, us, and the Elders, so it was small and simple, but beautiful. Her siblings sang “Come Thou Fount” in Spanish, then her brother baptized her. She began crying in the water and gave her brother a huge hug. We then sang the special song we put together for her and I could barely get through it I was crying so much.
Afterwards, they invited us over for dinner and her dad told me a really cool story. He said that the first Sunday I was here and bore my testimony, he turned to his wife and told her, “That missionary is going to baptize Samanta.” I thought that was pretty cool, especially since we didn’t think she would get baptized. I feel like I am truly meant to be here. ¡Soy Feliz!
Hermana Nelson

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