Actually, it is not for 1000 days. It is just that 3 years times 365 days plus June 27 through June 30, 2008 equals 1098 days, and that is way too cumbersome to convert into a blog headline. Futhermore, our release date will not be determined until May or June of 2011. Therefore, 1000 Days sounded just about right, more or less. Having noted all that, we are humbled and thrilled (Pres. Uchtdorf would refer to the feeling as "joyfully overwhelmed") about having this marvelous opportunity to serve in La Mision Mexico Veracruz.
Pdte. y Hna. Pete and JoElla Hansen
Pdte. y Hna. Pete and JoElla Hansen
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Mom and I attended a baptismal service in Poza Rica. The elders told us that they hade some investigators attending. One was named Felicitas. We were about 10 minutes late for the service which made us about 30 minutes early. One of the missionaries noted that Felicitas had arrived. They said that she had been going to church for 4 years (the elders kept contact with her but she was not being treated as an active, progressing investigator) and had been to at least 4 baptismal services. Her adult children are members. Her pretext for not joining is that she is waiting for her husband who keeps saying that he will join someday but that he can't get off work to go to church. He works for Pemex (Petroleum of Mexico) as a supervisor of some type. So, I walked over to Hermana Felicitas and struck up a conversation. Wanting to demonstrate for my new missionary how to invite someone to baptism and how to be direct in doing so, as is taught in "Preach My Gospel."
I told her that I had heard she was about to be baptized. She said she was. I asked her if she would invite me to her baptism. She smiled broadly and said that she would do so. I then asked her when it was scheduled. She said in a few weeks. I told her that the missionaries were planning a service for the following Saturday. I invited her to be baptized on that day. She laughed and said, "A ver," which means "We'll see." Trying to make a clever rhyme, I responded, "No hermana. A ver, no; hacer, sí." Loosely translated, "We'll see, no; do it, yes." She giggled, but quite nervously. Then, she sort of half-way committed to being baptized the next Saturday. Having done all the damage I could, I went to the other side of the room and sat down by Mom.
About 5 minutes later, Felicitas got up and left. She had a badly misbehaving granddaughter with her and I was hoping that was why she walked out before the service started. Mom said, "Nice job. She left." Now, it was my turn to giggle quite nervously. Felicitas did not come back.
The next day we attended church in that very ward. When the meeting ended I was up front talking with a young man from Brazil who is working on contract for Pemex. I saw Felicitas sitting in the back of the chapel. She left for class before I could go talk to her. Probably a good thing.
Friday morning the zone leaders called. They had just finished interviewing Feliticas for baptism! WHAT??? I asked to talk with teaching missionary. He said that they felt that they should go teach Felicitas the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5--the story of explicit obedience required by his bathing himself in the River Jordan 7times to cure his leprosy. After that they invited her to be baptized on that same Saturday. She accepted. I talked with her on the phone. She was almost giddy with joy. I asked what had changed her mind. She said that as they prayed in the lesson that she continued to have doubts. But, as they prayed, she said that every one of her doubts and questions were answered. She said that it was made clear to her the exact time and date that Heavenly Father wanted her to be baptized. She said, "He spoke to me." So, at 10 a.m. on that same Saturday, Felicitas, which kind of translates "happy," was joyfully baptized into the Church.
So, life is good in Mexico for Felicitas and her baptizing missionaries, Elders Berrett and Quintero.