Boy oh boy do I love life right now. Christian Yarleque has FINALMENTE committed to being baptized. Christian Yarleque is the wonderful Peruvian man whom I write about weekly, in case you've forgotten. His wife was baptized on the 15th of February.
Here's the Historia:
Yesternight we had the divine opportunity to teach their family for the first time after Maritza's baptism, since they've been pretty busy moving to a new apartment complex. We both felt inspired to talk about baptism even though Maritza has already been baptized, and warm up the spirit until it was hot enough to invite Christian to be baptized. Just like Remigio from the District 2, Christian said, "I need.. more.. time." We were so sad, but we kept our faith and persistence and tried to resolve his concerns of being baptized without being too pushy, but he didn't seem to change his mind. At the end of the lesson, Elder Hougaard and I bore simple testimony of the Book of Mormon, then, Christian said, "Maybe a little push towards a date will be good for me." Then we set a date for April 12th. O EVANGELHO E VERDADEIRO!!
A couple days ago on the bus back to our apartment from teaching the Johnson family, we experienced a miracle. I really felt prompted to talk to the bus driver and begin proclaming the words of eternal life, so I was obedient. The lady's name was Mary Beth, and she was depressed. She told me that she had hoped that I would talk to her because we seemed to be happy people. She said that within the past 5 or so years, just about everything bad happened to her- it was very sad. She lives alone and her only family in Albany is her sister, who is married and has a life of her own, and Mary Beth is afraid to bother her. I gave her some words of comfort about the Plan of Salvation, we recieved her contact information, and we will be meeting with her this week. There is nothing that can fill an empty soul but the Gospel. I love being a conduit of the spirit.
On Tuesday we began teaching a language class with the sisters for those who can't speak English, to better our finding efforts, and guess who showed up? The Burmese couple that Elder LaCario and I helped shovel out of their driveway last week on an exchange. My heart was warmed at least 4 degrees. I was able to train the father, whose name I cannot pronounce or spell, how to say the words, "Hello" and "I am Excited." He tried with much earnest. They are now reading the Book of Mormon, and we'll see them again tomorrow night.
The State University of New York now wants Elder Hougaard and I to be involved with their interfaith program, where we teach classrooms who study religion about our religion. If we get permission from President Wirthlin, this will be an excellent opportunity to find, teach, and baptize. Apparently back when Romney was running for president, a lot of students were interested in our beliefs, and the Interfaith program director tried calling our church a couple times to get a couple of representatives to come teach them, but sadly nobody answers the phones at the church.
Yesterday I spoke to the Branch about conversion. My favorite part about giving a talk is the new knowledge I gain from preparing it. In Helaman 15: 7-8, Samuel the Lamanite outlines the process of conversion. In order to experience the mighty change of heart we must talk to our father in heaven with humility and repent. If we desire to change, we can through the atonement, but only if show godly sorrow, a sincere heart, and a contrite spirit. Only through this pattern can we remain firm and steadfast with faith until the end. I know this. It has happened to me. I am still becoming converted here in New York.