Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Maria Eduarda (August 25)

This week was good, lots of good stuff happened, but all paled in comparison to Maria Eduarda's baptism! It was possibly one of my very favorite experiences of my mission!

So here's the story...

We had everything all set up to interview Maria Eduarda for baptism on Saturday, and talk to her about who she wanted to give the talks and what hymns she wanted. But, and hour before the interview, her mom called us and said that they were in Campinas and wouldn't make it back in time. And that's when I started to panic just a little bit. I got just a little bit worried that Duda's mom didn't want her to be baptized (she's been inactive in the church for years). But, they said that they would go to the church early to do the interview, so it was all good. But we forgot to ask Maria Eduarda about the program and when we tried calling back, nobody responded. We later called our ward mission leader and just about every member in the ward to help up organize the baptism, but NOBODY RESPONDED and we started panicking just a little bit more. We even called the other sister in Valinhos just to see if it wasn't our phone that wasn't working. But, sadly, they answered and we discovered that just all the members were busy. We went to a member's house and asked them if they could fill up the baptismal font so that it could be ready for the next day, and they said no problem. So that was good. After we got home, we stayed up to midnight making the program and making a cake to eat after the baptism...It was a good time :)

Sunday morning we called and called Duda to see if she was on her way to the church and she didn't answer. But just before we got super worried, she called and said she was on her way. We got to church, and the missionary who was supposed to interview her was late, so we had to do the interview after sacrament meeting. With all of the stress and confusion, we didn't even think to check the font, but the member came up to us after sacrament and said they forgot! So we had to clean and fill the font during Sunday school so that it could be all ready for the service after church.

But in spite of all of the craziness and last minute set backs, Maria Eduarda was baptized and it was amazing.

Maria Eduarda is so special, and has such a sweet spirit. She loves the gospel, and is a strong influence for good in her family. Her mom and her brother were both less active, but her brother started coming back to church, and yesterday, the same day as his sister's baptism, he received the Aaronic Priesthood. And for the first time in years, her mom came back to church. Right before the baptism, her sister, Mariana, opened her mission call. She's going to Chile. In her talk at the baptism, Mariana thanked Mariana for being an example to help her family come closer to their goal of going to the temple. Her brother said the closing prayer at the end of the service, and he thanked the Lord for his family, and the gospel. The whole family was crying, and you could see the light of the gospel shine brighter in their eyes.

This is why I decided to serve a mission. To give families this wonderful opportunity to be blessed by the gospel. The very first principles we teach as missionaries are that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and that the gospel blesses families. I have gained a testimony of these truths while on my mission, and am so privileged to be able to share them with others.

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week

Carlos (duda's brother), Sister Pennington, Mariana (with her mission call in hand), Maria Eduarda, Sister Galarza and Duda's mom

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