Elder Colton

Elder Colton

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Incredible Hermana Camacho

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

Shout out to my cousin Thomas who is going on his mission to some place in Russia (the name is way too hard to spell).  Not quite the "cool factor" that places like Salt Lake City Utah have but o' well, I guess Russia has its perks too.

Please send any General Conference tickets you can.  You'll be my favorite person for a few minutes if you send them :)

So last week I told you a little about  family but not too much.  Today I shall change that.  Maria Camacho is one of my favorite people in the world.  She was baptized into our church four years ago and is from Mexico (like everyone I teach).  She is the mom of 3 kids: a 22 year old who I don't know who is married with 2 kids, Adrian who is 19 and was baptized 2 years ago but only goes every once in a while, and Katia who is 17 and went to church for awhile but hasn't decided to be baptized yet.  Hermana Camacho's husband has never been interested in the church in the slightest bit. 

Hermana Camacho is one of the most incredible people in the entire world.  I don't know everything about her and it is impossible for me to explain her situation, but I'm going to attempt at doing it from both my and her point of view.  It will be long, but it will touch your heart and be worth it.  

First I'll start with her's:

Four years ago when she decided to join the Church it was because she was going through a rough time with her family and felt peace and joy whenever she met with the missionaries, went to church, read the Book of Mormon, and prayed (aka...the Holy Ghost helped her feel peace and showed her this was the path God wanted for her).  None of her family supported her when she made the decision, but she knew it was right and stuck with it.  For years she went to church each week by herself.  At first her family didn't show any interest, but little by little they began to open up.  (This is all from bits and pieces that I've picked up from her and from other members of our congregation).  With time, they began to have weekly family nights (which we call Family Home Evening in our Church) where she could share something from the Bible or something generic about families (anything specifically related with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was taboo).  

Her oldest son made a bad friend and went down a path no mom wants her son to.  For years Hermana Camacho prayed and prayed for him to forget about his friend and come back to his family (which consisted of two kids and his wife).  Eventually the friend was deported back to Mexico and Hermana Camacho's son realized he needed to change.  So he changed...a little.

With a little more time (meaning another year or two), her younger two children, Adrian and Katia, began to come to church with her.  Adrian decided he wanted to be baptized two years ago when he was 17 and stayed strong for more than a year.  Katia said she wanted to wait some more time.  Both came to church consistently until 6 months or so ago, when someone at church did a dumb thing that ticked off Katia and Adrian and they stopped coming (and I don't particularly blame them).  Hermana Camacho, of course, kept coming weekly but because of the incident, couldn't keep the same level of activity that she had before or else her family would anger quickly.  She asked to be released from her callings in the church, could only stay at church for the main worship service, and the family home evenings nearly stopped.  It broke her heart but if you asked her she would probably just say "God gives us trials and I just keep praying for my family."

So to sum up her point of view: For years, all Hermana Camacho wants to do is share her joy that she has found in this Gospel with everyone she can, especially her family.  At first they don't seem interested, then they change, and then someone makes a dumb mistake which made her family not interested again.  

My point of view:
1. On my first day here in Layton at my very first dinner, the family we ate with mentioned in passing that they knew the nephew of Maria Camacho had been talking with missionaries a few years ago but then moved.  2. The next day as I looked through our records, his name stuck out to me.  3. That first Sunday, a member of our congregation approached us and gave us the information for one of Maria Camacho's best friends, who she said was interested in meeting with us.  4. The day after we finally met Hermana Camacho, she calls us and says she has a lesson set up with us on Thursday at 6:30 with her best friend.  That's way too many "coincidences." 

We began teaching Hermana Camacho's best friend (who just had a baby so is going to wait until she can be baptized) and in the process, got to know Hermana Camacho very well.  (by the way..."hermana" in spanish means "sister" and in our church we call everyone by "brother" or "sister" instead of "mr." or "mrs."  During one of the lessons, her daughter Katia came out of her room and sat down and we were able to talk with her for 15 seconds.  The next week we came by for a lesson with Hermana Camacho's best friend, but she forgot about the lesson, so Hermana Camacho asked Katia to come out and talk with us.  She was fine with that so we sat down and had a lesson with her.  The next week we had another lesson with her (and with her best friend who joined the church 3 year ago and is going on a mission in a few months).  

So to sum up my point of view: God makes absolutely sure that I meet this family and that I am around them quite a bit.  

That brings us to where we are at know.  (Very summarized version, but it will do).  Tonight we have a family home evening with the Camacho's and the family of Katia's best friend.  Please pray for both Adrian and Katia.  They are 19 and 17, one of the most important time periods of someone's life.  Please pray that Adrian will have the desire to come back to church and do what he knows in his heart is right, including forgiving those responsible for the incident.  And please pray that Katia will have the courage to do the same.  They need your help.

Love ya'll,
-Elder Colton

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