Monday, October 12, 2015

Our First Baptism

Days slip by fast. This week was of particular note because I participated in my first baptism on the mission. I've looked forward to an experience such as this for a long time, thinking on the dramatic implications of someone choosing to come unto Christ, and therefore receive -- upon enduring to the end -- the greatest blessings God has to offer. Then being able to assist in such a cause is an indescribable privilege. 

For Elder Chujo and I, participation meant hard work all day to prepare for the service. We filled the font after a good deal of Peruvian problems and inconveniences. We went on a several-hour-long quest for baptismal clothing, including a great number of phone calls and call-backs and let-downs. Luckily, Peruvian Standard Time means if a Baptismal Service starts at 5:00, people will cheerfully amble in around 5:30 and the Bishop will arrive around 6. While the baptismal clothing was a little late, it was still received an hour before the service. 

An old man we recently found investigating the church attended, much to our joy. He's an adamant advocate of the United States, and reads each night of the grand men of the U.S. in the little English he can understand. He proudly told us the day before that he would be punctual like those in the States, but ashamedly arrived around 5:10, explaining he had to shave. He was still the first guest to arrive by a long shot. As we waited for the service to begin, I spoke to him about baptism and what it entailed. At times, we spoke in English slowly- a magnificent opportunity to bear my testimony without worrying about the grammatical structure. 

Eventually, of course, the service began, and in dear Peruvian form, I was casually shown that I needed to give the first talk in a couple minutes. I shared scriptures about the duty and blessings of Baptism. The program came to the ordinance, and Hermana Luz Polido was baptized. Friends and family bore powerful testimonies, and afterward we had treats, the old investigator talking animatedly with members.  Luz Polido was beaming, and I felt that this sort of community joy was the meaning of the gospel. 

We provided our investigator with a Bible, and I'd describe the reaction very similar to when Harry Potter gave Dobby a sock. He embraced me, kissed me on the cheek, and promised he wanted very much to know the word of Christ and would read it every night. 

The baptismal service, of course, was the highlight of my week and affirmed my testimony of the gospel of Christ. 

Until next week, don't be a stranger; write if you need anything; and keep in mind that Today's the Day!