I have good news to share with you this week, and some bad news. I will start with the bad news and end with the good.
The bad news is that Uriel and his daughters did not get baptized this week. Gru’s past life as a villain has led him to need an interview with President Smith, which I was kind of expecting after hearing the thing he did in his past life. I’m guessing he had a pretty shady past.
As of Monday, it was uncertain whether Uriel would be able to get baptized. And then he had an emergency transfer to the hospital due to an ulcer erupting. After giving him a blessing on Tuesday, the doctor told him that it now appears as if he had never showed signs of an ulcer. If that doesn’t show you how much faith Uriel has, I don’t know what else could. For that reason, there is no doubt in my mind that President Smith will give him his blessing to be baptized.
On top of the drama of having Uriel in the hospital this last week, Rosa Maria (Otto’s wife and parents of the daughter with down syndrome) also gave us a scare when they informed us that her husband went on another drinking spree, and ended up in the hospital with both his feet broken from walking in front of a car while drunk. Rosa Maria was at a breaking point, ready to give up all faith on her husband changing. I suggested to her that maybe this trial that will finally wake up her husband, and inspire him to stop drinking. We also discussed her desire to quit her job so she is able to go to church on Sunday and get baptized. We convinced her to stay for now, and to prepare herself to get baptized as well. Sometimes if we endure our trials well, there is usually something good that comes out of it.
Uriel (a.k.a Gru) didn’t pass his interview with our District Leader. This led him to really consider what other areas of his life from which he feels he needs to be completely cleansed of all guilt and remorse at the moment of his baptism. Consequently he decided not to show up at the interview with the Mission President. He felt he the needed to make amends with everyone he has hurt, in order to feel at peace with himself. Although it was difficult to see another week go by without Uriel getting ready for his baptism, when he already is one of the best members in the branch. Just his desire to make amends as part of the repentance process just demonstrates that once Uriel becomes a member of the Church, he will be converted for life.
In regards to the family who has a daughter with Down’s Syndrome… despite all the trials they have gone through these past few weeks (wife losing her job, husband fracturing his legs, talk of divorcement), in the end, it has led them to humble themselves enough to submit to the will of God; Like the poor among the Zoramites whose afflictions humbled them enough to accept the words of Alma.
We just talked to some a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses a few days ago. Since they are so reluctant in permitting you to share your beliefs with them, we just decided to ask them a bunch of questions about their beliefs, hoping that it would get them to open their eyes a little more. Such questions as “how could God be Jehovah if in the Old Testament says that Jehovah created the earth and the New Testament says Jesus Christ created the earth?” Do they not know why the Jews killed Jesus? It is because he claimed to be the Great I Am, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. What makes them any different from the Jews, if you also don’t recognize Christ as Jehovah? When I ask “how have you guys come to know that your church is true?” Their response was, “because we have the most correct interpretation of the Bible.” They then said, “we appreciate all your questions but we really have to get going.” Then I said, “thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, but before we head our separate ways, I just want to share with you that I know that I am in the true church… and it’s not because I have faith in my logic and reason and because of my superior interpretation of scripture, but because God has personally told me, through the Holy Spirit that it is true. Now what answer sounds more convincing to you?