July 20th, 2015
Things are just fine and dandy in the DR. I wouldn't trade the missionaries in Vila Mella for anything. We have amazing missionaries in this mission, but I've truly grown to love these brothers and sisters as if they were my own. Perhaps we haven't had much success lately, but we're beginning to look at mission work through the eye of faith, and thus beginning to receive many blessings. So far we've had seven baptisms this month, and that's a notable improvement from the last two. In order to keep baptizing instead of having this "oh too common and familiar roller coaster" of highs and lows, we're planning another white night in August, and have several baptismal dates of families already. We have set a goal for every companionship to take a family to the temple and have a lesson there by the end of the month. That way, not only will the missionaries be starting with the end in mind, but their families aswell; seeing baptism only as a stepping stone to be able to enter the temple.
Personally, we're seeing many miracles here in Vista Bella. Due to a new policy that makes it much harder to baptize underage children without their parents, we're able receive blessings that we wouldn't if we didn't have the same focus that we do now. One investigator in particular, named Padilla, wouldn't have a baptismal date otherwise. His daughter was baptized at the beginning of the last transfer, and his wife was going to be baptized, but she needed an operation done on her stomach. Due to that operation, the baptism was postponed, then came the new policy, and at first it seemed like just another barrier, for her and for us. But it was a blessing in disguise. Padilla, the husband, was a challenge from the beginning. But after his daughter and wife realized that she couldn't be baptized without her husband, they worked hard on getting him to lessons. And it worked. We had an amazing lesson in the temple, and the following lesson, his attitude toward taking the lessons had changed completely. We put a baptismal date for him and his wife. He committed to go to church the next Sunday, and sure enough, he went. If we had continued doing it our way, that couple wouldn't be getting baptized. We are all trying to focus more on doing the Lord's will and not our own.
This last Thursday, after the district meetings, we gathered to close things up, and as everyone came back in, to their surprise, they found a beautiful, delicious cake ready to be served. We talked about our goal for the temple, and the white night, and then we asked if they would like some cake as a "welcome to the zone gesture". Of course they all wanted it, so we called on Hermana Hansen to start us off. As she held out her plate, ready to receive her cake, I asked her again if she wanted cake. When she replied yes, I took my hand, planted it in the cake, scooped out a piece, and plopped it on her plate. For lack of better words, everyone flipped out! "Elder Brady! Que hace?!!!" Their reactions were pretty darn funny. For some reason, Hermana Hansen didn't want to eat the cake anymore. So Elder Romero neatly sliced up a piece with a knife, and served it nicely on another plate. She wanted that one. We asked some questions, and had a really good conversation about the way in which we present the gospel to our investigators. We even have certain tools that help us in this task (the knife) like the Spirit; scripture study, planning sessions, the members... We came to a lot of really cool conclussions as a zone. I think dramatizing ideas is key. Special shout out to my mom who gave me the idea!
Other than that, we had a pretty normal week. Love the mish, love you all. Peace out.