Natalie In Panama – Week 19 – In Which She Has A Baptism

This week has been a little more focused on Hermana Damalia who had a baptism for Saturday. There was some drama but I will get to that.

This week we did some contacting. We took some of the youth with us. We had about 4. We did a huddle with them and explained that they needed to be reverent and polite all of the time. We explained that we would call on them to give their testimonies. They did great. We contacted about 7 people and have one new investigator. We took turns with the youth in picking houses to contact. The youth even did the opening conversation where you explain who you are and that you would like to share a message with them. Anthony, one the youth, even gave out a book of Mormon. They had a great time.

Another good thing this week is that some of our joven [youth] really opened up to us. We visited one whose mother died 4 months ago and he is really depressed. He’s going through the mourning process without any help, so he’s having a hard time. We stopped by and he really opened up to us and started crying. He doesn’t have a dad and has to help take care of his siblings, work, and go to school. The poor kid. He’s only 19. We talked to him about praying to feel the companionship of the Holy Ghost and to feel the love of God for him. He seems to be doing somewhat better now.

The other is a less active who confessed he’s having a hard time because he’s the only member in his family. He had ended up drinking and smoking because of some friends. He knows this isn’t the right path, but he still hasn’t come back to church. I’m going to have to do some more work with him, but telling us is a good first step.

On to the baptism and the DRAMA. We have had a hard time getting Damalia baptized, because she is really sick and can’t come to church. She had a great desire to be baptized and has been taught the lessons from missionaries over the years. It’s just that finally she has the desire to be baptized. Our district leader talked to President Carmack and explained the situation, and he said she could be baptized if we had a witness who could say they had seen her in the church before. We had more than one so that worked out.

Then we planned the baptism for Saturday, but didn’t really tell our leaders because we have had only two meetings with the ward mission leader, so haven’t had a chance to communicate anything. So, Saturday we went to the church to fill the font, and it was locked. The President of the branch saw us and got really mad at us and said there was not going to be any baptisms, because no one had told him. Alvarado and I tried to talk to him, but he was not going to listen, so we left. We had to call Damalia and tell her that the baptism would be Sunday after church. Then we had to tell the other Hermana’s what happened, because they also had some baptisms. We met up with Vargas and Latu and they were mad. We went back to the church and had to wait to get into meet with the President. It was about 2 hours, so everyone had a little time to cool down. We met with the President and his councilors and Lincoln the ward mission leader. The President basically scolded us for not telling him, and made sure we understand now that we have to tell our leaders. That’s fine, I just wish he had spoken a little more lovingly than scolding.

Anyway that night Mia, Hermana Damailia’s oldest daughter called us and told us her mom was worse. They thought they might have to take her to the hospital. Alvarado got really frustrated with the way things were happening. Vargas tried to talk to her about accepting God’s will, but Alvarado needed more time to think. Later Vargas and I talked to her and talked about how in the Book of Mormon the missionaries also had problems and not all those who were converted stayed faithful. Alvarado felt that she hadn’t done any good in Veracruz, which is not true. I pointed out to her that with Damalia we have done everything physically possible and now the Lord will take over the fight. We have done what we could, and need to trust in the lord that he will fight for her, and I have no doubt that that night he was fighting for her. After we talked to her for a while Alvarado was better.

That event made me have more respect for Vargas.

Sunday we had the baptism after church. It was great. Everyone was there and the spirit was really strong. All of Hermana Damalia’s daughters were crying and she was crying. She wasn’t feeling well, but she said that when she entered the water that all of her pain stopped. Then when she left the water she didn’t feel pain anymore. She has had a lot of faith that if she was baptized she would be healed. Her faith is amazing. She’s been better every day that I’ve seen her.

We went and visited them after church. They are all so happy with the baptism. They are so sweet and made bracelets for Alvarado and me with our names and butter flies on them. This family definitely has a great love for us.

We found out who has changes Sunday night. I´m staying and so is Vargas. Alvarado and Latu are leaving. I hope I get a great companion. It’s going to be a little weird being the official senior companion.

I love you all, and am so happy that all of you seem to be doing great.

Love you lots

Natalie

  __________________________________________________________

E-mail Hermana Natalie Palmer directly at natalie.palmer@myldsmail.net

Even a short, encouraging e-mail would be great!

If you would like to write to Hermana Palmer, here’s the mission mailing address:

Mision Panama

Carrasquilla Entrega General 0834

Panama

Republica def Panama

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