Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy Days!

It's a great day everybody,

This week was one of the most rewarding weeks of my entire mission.  I just love it here in Huacho:Capital de la Hospitalidad.
I don't remember if I wrote about Anahí before, she's the girl that here parents are really messed up and I just felt that her only way out of the cycle created here is through baptism (I guess that goes for all of us though). Well, she was baptized on Saturday and it was amazing. We didn't get very many opportunities to teach her, but when she said the Spirit ''is an angle that we can't see, but we can feel it'' we both knew she was more than ready for baptism. Her mom and older siblings are all members of the church and her dad came to the baptism which was awesome.

Alright, now for the story. It all starts with having to do the baptism at 6 because her dad would be working until then. Then of course we add the fact that we are in Perú and the baptism didn't start until around 7:15 or 7:30. So I get into the water and you can imagine it's pretty cold. Now remember, we're talking about a 10 year-old girl that is about to get baptized. So I try to help her in the water and Elder Arciniegas takes her other hand from outside of the font. She makes it little by little down the steps and is on her tip toes in the water. I'm trying to help her, but she's already breathing pretty heavily. It was really cool to know we were making a difference in her life though.
I say the prayer and am about to help her under the water when she resists with all the strength her body can muster. Well, I take a second and try to talk to her like President Archibald had told us was okay to do. We try again and even worse. It was freezing cold and she doesn't know how to swim so she was double scared. It had been a couple of minutes so I decided I should say the prayer again and then nothing. We walked over to the stairs and she said she was going to do it herself. I'm not exactly sure how it all works, but I just was doing everything to help her get under the water. She went all the way up to her neck and couldn't go any farther. The bishop decides to shut the doors and comes into the font to try and help us. We keep talking and he says we should do it tomorrow to which Anahí replies immediately ''I'm doing it tonight''. Well, that was enough to make any grown man stop and we let her exercise her agency. Nothing was working and now comes the best part of the story.
Once again, not sure about church policy, but I was going to do everything I could to help her follow Jesus Christ. So, I go into the font and submerge myself completely, all the way under. It was so freezing cold, but I did my best not to show any reaction. She starts to feel a little better and when we open the doors the few people that are there are all surprised to see me completely wet and not her. Needless to say, I was pretty surprised too.
We muster up the courage for one more and I say the prayer. She tries to hold on to the railings that are out of the water so I put my arms under the water and try to support her. She almost goes all the way under, but just the tippy top of her head doesn't make it. That was after a couple minutes of talking after the prayer too so we give it one more go. The bishop is a witness inside the font and my companion is outside. I say the prayer for the fourth time and after about 40 seconds and two or three attempts on her part, she gets here whole body under the water and comes out. It was really special and she was so happy. So was I and freezing cold too after about 20 minutes in the font.
After we get changed she bears her testimony and says she felt clean after her baptism and ''new''. That was really cool to hear because we hadn't been able to explain things in much depth to her. I know Heavenly Father is watching over and loves every single one of His children because I was able to be a part of helping Anahí. She's such an awesome girl and can break the cycle now.
We are also helping an ex-obispo (bishop) make his way back and that is really rewarding. It's so sad to see them fall away, but we'll help him and his family back.
I hope everyone enjoys school this week. I can't say I'm jealous or anything though. I really am loving the mission and wouldn't trade this for anything. I'll be joining you all before we know it though so let's enjoy our time now.
I'm so happy to hear everything went well at the wedding and am so happy for Charlie and Kaitlin. I got the announcement this week and it was awesome. I'm glad Mariah is back safe and sound too.

Happy Birthday Aunt Kimber!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't have your email to write to you, but know that I'm thinking about you.
Have the best week ever and I hope you liked the story. The mission is the best ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your classes!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love your best friend living it up in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

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