Hola familia y amigos,
to be honest, this was a reallyrough week. We had a baptism fall through and had to drop a bunch of our other investigators who had baptismal dates. You might think that having a lot of people with baptismal dates means we're having a lot of success, but sadly, that is not the case. We're encouraged to set baptismal dates early on in the teahing process (firstorsecond visit), so we do. And a lot of people accept. But the thing is, very few people follow through. I've mentioned before that many people here aren't very reliable. Tons of people will promise to come to church over and over and then never show up. Or people will set appointments with us and then we'll get to their house and they won't be home. People just don't have a sense of commitment. We have a lot of great first lessons with people who seem really interested, but they lead us to believe that they're going to get baptized and then let us down and it ends up just feeling like a total waste of time. I know, it's never time wasted and hope that we've at least planted a seed in the hearts of the investigator's we've had to drop that will later develop into a testimony, but it's really frustrating.
Jennifer was supposed to get baptized on Wednesday. We visited her on Monday and told her we'd be bringing the elders the next day to conduct her baptismal interview and explained what it would be like and everything seemed to be going well, but the next day we arrived at her house for the interview and he dad said she was at her grandma's house. However, her mom said she was at her aunt's house and wouldn't be back until Monday. They were obviously lying to us. The next day, I passed Jennifer and her mom in the street and asked her what happened. She said she had to go to work to earn money for her schooling. I asked her when she'd be in her house and shesaid she didn't know. Ah, WHAT HAPPENED??? She was so positive and ready to be baptized! We talked to her mom later this week and she said she took her Book of Mormon with her so I believe she still has a desire to get baptized. Maybe it really was just unfortunate timing. I don't know. But I do know one thing: there is ALWAYS a trial in the week before a baptism. If you think things are gonna just go smoothly, you're wrong. As I've seen with every one of my baptisms so far, there's always an obstacle. Satan is working really hard to keep people from taking this important step in their life. I still have a lot of hope for Jennifer and the next time she's in her house, we're gonna verify how she's doing.
Another of our investigators, Marlo, had a baptismal date for this weekend, but we visited him this week and he said he feels closer to God in another church. We emphasized the importance of the priesthood authority and the proper organization of the church. We invited him to keep praying and reading the Bookof Mormon and promised that if he'd be patient, he'd receive an answer, but later in the week, he messaged us and said he didn't want to keep receiving the lessons because God had indicated that the other church is where he was supposed to be. NOOOO!!! Our first lesson with him was so awesome! He was so hungry to learn and even asked if he could get baptized before the set date if he felt ready! What happened? I think Jorge got to him. We were teaching Jorge, but had to drop him because he wasn't progressing and I think he was putting ideas into Marlo's head. Soooo disappointing!!
Our numbers were really low this week. We've been working hard and trusting in the Lord and feel like we've been teaching with the Spirit, but we just did not have any success this week! Every night we returned to the house totally wiped out and disheartened. I don't understand what we're doing wrong! We even fasted for Thomasa this week that her heart would be softened, but we visited her later this week and she made it clear she's never going to let go of her pride and change religions. Breaks my heart. I feel like we should drop them because they're not progressing, but Hna. Tarax thinks we should keep visiting. It's hard to know when you should drop an investigator and when you should keep fighting for them. How long to we push to help them understand until we should drop them and move on to other investigators? I don't know why this week turned out so badly. Maybe there's something we need to change in our teaching strategy or maybe it was just a trial of our faith. Either way, I hope and pray this week is better.
Love, Hermana Hawkins