Hola mi familia y mis amigos,
Well on Wednesday we have our next set of transfers (when our mission president tells us if we will be changing to a new area of Salt Lake City), so for the first time in my mission I might be moving out of Rose Park. Don't write any letters this week because I'll probably be changing addresses on Wednesday.
Highlight of the week: the baptism of Maribel.
I can't remember how much I've written about Maribel, so I'm just simply go to give an overview of how her entire life has been preparing her for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Maribel grew up in a Catholic household, similar to probably 90% of the Catholic people that we teach. As a little girl, she developed a great love for the Bible and has studied from it her entire life. During her studies as a teenager, she read the Ten Commandments as found in Exodus 20. When she read the second commandment (verse 4 and 5), she became very confused with the Catholic Church and the worship of Saints and the Virgin Mary. So between that and other parts of the Catholic Church, Maribel decided she didn't believe it was true and left it at that.
Once she moved her to Utah, she learned quickly that "when in Rome, do as the Romans" and began to hide whenever missionaries knocked on the door. (Sorry to break it to you, but as missionaries we knock on doors all day, everyday. We know without a doubt when someone is home and just not answering and when no-one is home).
Not long after moving to Utah, she met her husband Johnny and the two of them have been together for 8 years now.
Four months ago, my companion (Elder Moczygemba) and I went to the house of a women who asked us to visit her. She wasn't home at the time so we decided to knock on the next door neighbor's house as well. A man in his 20s (Johnny) invited us in and after a few minutes of talking, said he wanted to introduce us to his wife.
Maribel came out of hiding in the kitchen and we began to talk with her. We shared to story of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith and invited them to be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. She said she wanted to pray about it (which is exactly what we were going to invite her to do anyways) and we set up a return appointment and then left. And for the next two weeks...we couldn't contact them...so we stopped trying.
A month later when Elder Camacho and I were riding out bikes one afternoon, we decided to stop by and see if she was home. She was.
She immediately apologized for not answering the door before and said she was scared of us (who knew that a skinny white guy with a part in his hair was scary). We set up an appointment for the next day and when we came bike, she had a Bible open and was ready to talk with us.
We shared with her the Plan of Salvation (for any questions on that...ask my brother Kevin or send me a letter) and she felt the Spirit testify that what we taught was true (because it is). She told us she wanted to be baptized and then set the 2nd of September as her baptismal date.
Maribel told us multiple times that this Gospel is what she has been searching for her entire life. She has never been happier and now is working with her husband to help him learn of the same truths. She wants more than anything to have an eternal marriage in a Temple of the Lord (none of the "til death do you part" stuff) and begin a family here in this Church.
The Lord prepares people from the moment they are born (actually...even from before that).