Letter 25: “A baptism that I will never be able to forget”

Sonsonate, El Salvador
June 25, 2011

Jose was Baptized (on a chair)
Yay! Jose was Baptized!!!!!!!! And it was a baptism that I will NEVER be able to forget! And let me tell you why:

So the baptism started as the beginning of a bad joke. We had a font, two priesthood holders and... a chair. Let me explain :)

Hermano Max
We thought it would be a good idea to have Hermano Max baptize Jose because he has been visiting him with us and is his friend. When we asked Max to do it he was honored and it made him so happy!

But there were two things we didn’t think about... one, he has never baptized anyone before and even though he said he knew the prayer and how to do it... He didn’t and two, he [was an older man].

One or the other is manageable, but both of these facts together make for an unforgettable experience.

The support & The chair
The elders in our area came to support us and it’s a good thing they did because no priesthood holders from the ward came! (The bishop had a meeting...and I don’t know where everyone else was).

Elder Beaton explained to max how to perform the baptism, but then we realized that Jose couldn’t really bend his knees to be dunked and he is really delicate.

So we decided the best way to do this is to have him sit in a chair in the water so he just needed to be laid back and Max could support him coming back up.

However, then his legs would float up out of the water... the solution to this was to have one of the Elders be in the water too, to hold down the legs.

The plan was Perfect…. right?

The experience
We got everything situated and when the time came all three men entered the water. However, when Hermano Max started the prayer he bowed his head and started saying 'Nuestro Amantisimo Padre Celestial...' ...?!? [Our most infatuatuos Heavenly Phather….] (????????)

We took a quick minute to tell Max how to say the prayer and when he said it they went to immerse Jose... but Max was worried about him drowning so he didn’t want to submerge the head!!!!!... so we resituated everyone so Elder Aguilar was in charge of baptizing and Max was in charge of keeping the legs under the water...

Well Max didn’t entirely understand his job because when the prayer was said again and E. Aguilar submerged Jose, Hermano Max LIFTED Jose's Legs in the air!!!!!

I felt horrible because E. Heil turned red and left the room, E. Beaton could not stop laughing and everyone else was just stunned... for about five seconds we had no idea what to do or say!...

In the end of the day Jose was baptized… correctly. It makes me think of D&C 22... It doesn’t matter if you are baptized 100 times, you just have to be baptized once with the proper authority in the correct way...

And in the end we achieved that much... there were hugs and congratulations all around.
I am so glad that Max had the opportunity to help with the baptism because it’s something that he will always treasure... and I will never forget!

We are teaching more and more Irvin and Zuleyma and they are progressing! They came to Church yesterday and all is good.

Please continue your prayers for them and me... they are working!

There are miracles everyday we just have to look for them!

I love you all!

Letter 24: "A mission of constant changes" (Part DOS)

Sonsonate, El Salvador
July 14, 2011

This is the second part of Letter 24: "A mission of constant changes"
If you haven yet, [and you want to] please read first Letter 24: "A mission of constant changes" (Part DOS)

Previously in Letter 24
"Hello family and friends! There is so much that happens everyday and so many different sensations that one can feel... and it changes constantly-- No two minutes are the same."

"I have a new companion, Hna Fuentes. She is awesome!"

"Boundaries of the mission Changed. we are now even smaller!... Our mission is called now El Salvador Santa Ana/Belice Mission."

"All the missionaries got moved around and now our zone went from having 16 missionaries to have about 23... We used to be really close, but now it feels like companionships are on their own...It feels like we are less unified in purpose."

"Biggest change of all: Presidente Lopez is finishing his mission this week! Next week we get a new President! Presidente Cordon."

"I think that's it as far as all of the changes. Except our investigators. Which are constantly changing..."

The old man (who didn’t understand)
We have a few new positives [Investigators]. Jose Garcia is an awesome old man. He has 79 years (OK This is proof of how bad my English is getting...pretty bad!)

He is lonely. We started visiting him and found out that he never had parents and his kids never talk to him.

“Only God is with me”
He always says, “Solo Dios conmigo” (Only God is with me). He wants so much to follow God. Before (and sometimes still) we thought that he didn’t really understand what we were talking about… because he just said “Yes” [to anything].

We asked him if he wanted to get baptized, he said yes, and then, we asked when he wanted to be baptized, and he just said, “it’s up to you. You’re the ones taking the time to help me. Whatever time you decide is good with me....”

...So [to make sure if he understood] we asked him what baptism meat and he told us exactly what it means and why we needed to be baptized... we were shocked... in a good way!

He is HOPEFULLY getting baptized this Sunday. I guess we'll see...

The family (who didn’t understand)
We also have a family that we are visiting; The Chuniko Family (awesome last name!). It consists of Irvin (kid- age15), Zuleyma (kid- age13), Judith(Mom) and Carlos (Cousin).

Mostly we are teaching Irvin and Zuleyma, Carlos is always there and wants to listen and participate, but he always says that Irvin and Zuleyma need to hear this and he thinks that he doesn’t.

They are awesome. They don’t go to church, but have a sincere desire to learn.

"Teaching people"
Yesterday in the Missionary Zone Conference (Multi-zona) we talked about teaching people, not just lessons. A lot of times we teach and it’s like we are just going through a list, checking off things that we need to teach.

Lesson 1… check, Book of Mormon… check, Lesson 2… check... etc. A lot of times we forget that we are trying to help people.

Well, yesterday we had a lesson with the Chunikos and the plan was just to teach lesson 2. But then we started talking to them about what they read in the Book of Mormon.

And they had all read it (YAY!) but they didn’t understand [what they read].

So we started talking about the point of reading scriptures and how it’s not just about reading, but it’s about applying it to our lives. And learning about what we need to do from the scriptures... So we took 20 minutes or so and analyzed Moroni 10:3-5. It was awesome!

So we left them two more verses and homework to analyze. Irvin told us when we came yesterday that he was going to go to church this next week... I really hope he does because chances are if he does, Zuleyma will too!!

We have more investigators I want to talk about but due to lack of time and how long this post is, I will save the rest for next week :)

"A mission of constant changes" (Part TRES?)

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

"My New Mission President"

July 14, 2011
San Salvador, El Salvador

El Salvador Santa Ana/Belize Mission's Mission President

T. Lorena and I. Poloski Cordón

Iván Poloski Cordón Orellana, 43, and Tirza Lorena Espinoza Barrios de Cordón, four children, El Salvador Santa Ana/Belize Mission; Canajuyu Ward, Guatemala City Palmita Stake. Brother Cordón currently serves as an Area Seventy in the Central America Area and is a former area family history adviser, stake president, high councilor, counselor in a bishopric, ward mission leader and missionary in the San Salvador El Salvador Mission.

Temple Recorder, Guatemala City Guatemala Temple. Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, to Ovidio Cordón and Ema María Orellana Casasola.

Sister Cordón serves as a Relief Society teacher and is a former area adviser for a special multi-stake youth conference, Young Women president, counselor in a Young Women presidency, Relief Society secretary, Relief Society president and seminary teacher.

Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, to Oscar Espinoza and Enma Isabel Barrios Maldonado.