Yesterday we baptized a man named Carlos. He is such a good man, and I am sure he will be a Bishop someday. He talked to missionaries and was almost baptized 20 years ago, but a few things popped up to keep him from getting baptized. He lost contact with the missionaries and didn't really pursue the church after that, but kept on reading the Book of Mormon and all of Jesus the Christ. Needless to say, he had a pretty strong testimony of the church and its teachings long before we found him. But one day a couple walked into the church during a ward Family Home Evening and said that their names were Pablo and Natalia and that Natalia had been a member of the church her whole life but was inactive at this moment, but were looking to come back to church. We set up an appointment with them a went to their house to meet Carlos. Carlos is Pablós Dad and was pretty excited to see us so we invited him to accept the discussions. He accepted and a great two weeks of teaching later, Carlos was baptized. One could feel that it was a really special day that was long belated. I had the privilege of baptizing Carlos and it was not very easy. Carlos is a pretty big guy and we couldn't find pants big enough for him until the night before the baptism. When we got to church early to start filling up the font, we turned on the fountain and nothing come out. We started freaking out and filling up cooking pots in the kitchen and running them to the baptismal font one by one. I swear I ran up and down the church hall in between the kitchen and the baptismal font 300+ times. This lasted all three hours of church until a plumber got there and saved the day. When it came time for the baptismal service, about 13 members showed up and I was running around like nuts trying to get everything ready, people into the chapel, and my own clothes changed. The actual baptism was a little rough. The water was pretty low and Carlos is a pretty big guy, so it was pretty tough. I did the ordinance, tried to put him as far as I could under water, saw that his tie was floating on the surface, and then tried to put him a little farther underneath the water. When I did this, it through off my balance and I almost fell into the water with him, but at the last moment caught myself and brought him out of the water. The rest of the service was buenisimo and Carlos gave an amazing amazing testimony of the church and of the missionaries. Sometimes as a missionary, I run from house to house doing my best to speak Spanish and teach with clarity. In these times, I don't realize how much the person is being changed by our message. This work is huge and I love it, and thanks to people like Carlos, little by little, I realize how big what missionaries do really is. It was really obvious to see that there was a lot of opposition coming from someplace against the baptism. Someone didn't want it to happen. But it did happen and it was too good. I am so thankful for that.
1/3 through the mission! All is well. Life is good.