|Paula and Joaquim's Baptism|
Well, first off that is the right Paula that we have been teaching. She said she wanted to find me but I told her I didn´t have a FB account, so I said, “Here, be friends with my mother.” So, I helped her find you :)
Well, as the title of this email shows, it was a great week. So yeah, I don´t know how to start but we´ll start with Monday. We went to Paula and Joaquim´s to have a lesson. We had already marked them for baptism for January 1st, but it didn´t happen. So, after that we prayed for another date and felt the 28th. So, a couple weeks ago we presented the 28th and Joaquim was like, “that is still way to soon.” But, we stayed strong and stuck with the 28th. So, we went there on Monday and talked about baptism and the 28th, our goal. Paula has been ready for 2 months, and Joaquim was ready, but not ready to get married again. Well, Monday we left there and the answer for the 28th was still no. So, we went back on Wednesday with the same purpose. Talked about the 28th, how excited we were and what not. Prayed about it, we all felt good, but we just needed an answer from Joaquim. But in the end, we ended up leaving with the answer still being no. So, Friday was horrible, for Paula and Joaquim. They hated it. It was kind of funny how bad the day went for them. Ever since they woke up everything just went wrong. When we got there that night they were just arguing about silly stuff. Paula met someone during the day that was just spreading rumors about Joaquim….just a bunch of nonsense. Well, we got there and they just talked and talked and we sat there trying to help keep things calm when it was needed. They eventually said, “Okay, we are done talking Elders, you guys talk.” So we did. I don´t even remember what we talked about. But in the end we talked about baptism and how they were ready, how it would help relieve the pain of the past, and would bring them closer to Christ. We read 2 scriptures about the Atonement. Bore testimony that they need to use the Atonement in their lives and talked about the 28th specifically (the following day). So, we ended with that and we all knelt to pray. We needed Joaquim to pray. So, we asked him to offer the last prayer. Well, we just sat there for a good 15 minutes, waiting. I was praying silently, because I had no idea what we needed to do, or how I could help the situation. We needed Joaquim to pray and couldn´t leave without it. But, I had the idea to pray too (aloud) but was a little hesitant, because I didn´t want to start when he started and I didn´t want everyone to think that that was the last prayer. But, I found the right moment and just went for it, and said a little prayer for us. After the prayer, we kept kneeling. I waited one more minute, and said, “Joaquim, will you say a prayer for us?” He finally started praying, that’s all we need was him to start, because that’s the hardest part. But, he prayed like a champ, humbly pouring out his heart to the Lord. It was a wonderful prayer and the spirit was very strong. It felt a little different, like something good was going to happen. Then he shocked us all, and said "I accept the challenge, I am ready." I didn´t believe what I heard. It was incredible! Paula started crying tears of joy. And then after the prayer it was just like the perfect moment. They hugged and the worst day ever turned into the best like that. Once again because of a prayer, oh the power of prayer never fails. Well, we only had a few hours to get everything ready for the baptism. But, we were so blessed and everything went so well. Well, they were baptized on Saturday the 28th and 5 pm. It was awesome. Then, at the end of the baptismal program there was a little time for them to go bear testimony, I didn´t know if they would want to. But, Paula went up in front of everyone and bore a solid testimony. Then Joaquim, his was amazing. He told the members there he wants to fill this chapel, why aren´t there more people here? It was awesome, they had these incredible testimonies that I never even had heard. Then Sunday they were confirmed and it was a done deal. Our leaders (know the story of Paula and Joaquim from the start) asked us what we did to help them change their minds, I said, “I don´t know. To be honest, I don´t think we did anything.” It was a miracle, the miracle we and Paula had been praying for, literally. That was pretty much my week :)
Zack HAPPY BIRTHDAY, I love you man. Well, I hope you guys all have a good week. I love you!