Okay, so this week was really busy. We had two baptisms for sure on Saturday with Cipriano and Milakia. We weren’t sure about Ernesto.
So, on Tuesday we had our district meeting, and it was just our district which was really nice. We focused on setting goals for Baptism dates. We set a goal of getting 5 new ones. We didn’t actually make it but that’s okay. We have two. Our district also talked about Ernesto and our zone tried to help us figure out what we could do that would help him feel sure about baptism. Then our district also decided to fast for these things.
Our whole week we spent getting everything ready for the baptism. We had lessons almost every day with Cipriano, Milakia and Ernesto.
This entire week Cipriano has been saying that he was just counting down the days and is super excited. It was awesome.
We also tried to make sure we worked on seeing investigators, and every lesson we questioned them about baptism. There are a few that might say yes in the next lesson. I really learned this week that it is important to mention that our goal is baptism in the first lesson, because then people know the real reason, and we can find those who are really ready.
We have to go back sometime this next month for Cambronero, because her visa got denied.
Wednesday night we visited Ernesto with the Riveron Family. They’re new converts and have only 8 months in the church. Apparently, Hermano Riveron drank a lot before, and the church has really changed their family. They shared their story, and testimonies with Ernesto. We also talked about that you don’t have to know everything before baptism. We promised him that if he prayed that night, and asked specifically about baptism he would receive an answer.
Thursday we had to go to immigrations. We got up at 3 am, and got on the bus at 5 am. It took over an hour to get to Panama because of the traffic. I dozed on the bus, but it’s really hard to sleep because I’m so tall, and I’ve realized I’m a pretty light sleeper too.
Immigrations is always kind of fun because I get to see all the sisters that came with me to Panama. Pula and her companion cracked me up, because they asked all of us about the song “Falling Slowly” from Once. They could remember the tune and not the words. Apparently they had spent the night before calling all the Americans in their zone and singing the song for them, trying to find out what the lyrics were. When they asked us, it took me a second but I remembered part of the lyrics. Apparently I’m the only one who does though.
I talked to Curtis, who was in the CCM with me. She still has the same companion but things are going somewhat better.
We got our I.D.’s for here, my pictures actually pretty good. So, now I am actually legal in Panama for a year!
Then at lunch at Yani’s, Cambronero called to see if we could teach Ernesto that night. He said yes, and then said that he had made the decision to be baptized that Saturday. We all gave a big cheer. I think people thought we were slightly crazy.
That night we had the baptism interviews. We did Cipriano and Milakia first. Cipriano took a long time, because he apparently kept telling stories. We were outside waiting, with Boyd`s (our district leader) companion, and I guess a sort of mini missionary too. We had fun just talking about random stuff. Milakia was super fast.
Ernesto was kind of in between on time. But he was sure, and that was all that mattered.
Friday we had divisions with Del Aguilar and Arboleda. It was a little weird because we all live in the same house. It went okay though. Arboleda had me take charge of the lessons more, but she is so sweet, and just helped out when I needed it. We had one person we were going to teach, but an Evangelico preacher was there, so we were going to come back at some point. Then the preacher basically tried to get into a fight with us. Arboleda just stayed really sweet and calm. It sort of turned into a lesson, but he said that only the bible was scripture, and there could be no more. He doesn’t know what he’s missing. He wouldn’t even take a pamphlet.
It’s okay. We contacted other people in the day who were more interested.
We got the clothes all ready for the baptism. Mario the ward mission leader took care of the program. We had two jumpers, and then used a dress from Del Aguilar and a shirt from Arboleda for Milakia.
We did a little teaching in the afternoon, and then had to finish getting everything ready. We had the Riveron’s pick up Ernesto, and we went to get the other two. We got to Cipriano’s house, and Hermano Rodriguez who was baptizing all of them, at their request, came to the house too. And Milixa, Milakia`s sister came with us too. So, we all walked together, to the main junction in the road, and then we saw Ernesto and the Riverons. We waited for them and then the whole group walked to the baptism.
The baptism room was all set up, and then we got them dressed and took photos.
Ernesto’s friend who introduced him to the church, Nixia, came. She is a beautiful woman, and Cambronero and I think she might be more. Her ward, though, is the first ward Cambronero was in, so some of them came and Cambronero was ecstatic.
We had a couple short talks, more like testimonies. Then Ernesto was baptized first. Then Milakia went second. She waited to side on the steps after her’s because she wanted to see her grandpa’s baptism. During Cipriano’s, Cambronero and I were praying and holding hands. We were worried that it wouldn’t go okay, because he has a bad knee. Mario was in the font to help Hermano Rodriguez in lifting Cipriano back up. What they did was they lowered him to a kneeling position and then laid him back. Then both of the men lifted him up. When he came back up the two of us gave a huge sigh of relief.
It went really well, and all three of them are so happy. They gave their testimonies at the end, and Cipriano was starting to cry, he was filled with the spirit so much. Ernesto was the happiest I’ve ever seen. Milakia is super content.
What’s awesome is that now Milixa is going to be baptized at the end of the month. She saw the baptism, and the happiness they have and want’s that too. These baptisms were definitely blessings from the Lord.
Sunday were the confirmations. They all look so happy. Nixia came to support Ernesto again too.
This week was great because we had the baptisms, and got to see blessings from the Lord.
Apparently we also get shirts for having 3 baptisms in one month.
I love you guys a lot. Glad to hear you are doing well. I am so excited for you, Michael. Cambronero has been praying for you too, and was just as excited as me to find out where you are going. Wooh! Oklahoma Spanish speaking!
Love you a lot,
Photos From Last Week’s Celebration
It’s A Service Project!
Alvin, Cipriano’s Pet Squirrel
E-mail Hermana Natalie Palmer directly at email@example.com
Even a short, encouraging e-mail would be great!
If you would like to write to Hermana Palmer, here’s the mission mailing address:
Carrasquilla Entrega General 0834
Republica def Panama