A while back we were assigned to put a goal for baptisms here for our Zone. As a Zone we pushed for 12, which was much higher than what were had recently been able to achieve. Of the whole mission, we were the Zone to put the lowest goal, and we were also the worst Zone in terms of numbers. We are also in quite possibly the hardest Zone of the mission since for the last year or so the whole Zone has not passed more than 9 baptisms in a month. After a month of work, and small contributions later we were working towards a big final week as a Zone with 9 baptisms in one week! One after the other each one seemed to fall as we were able to hang on to just a few. After all had passed, Friday we had ended short with 10 baptisms. But, with the whole Zone fasting, two miracles popped out of nowhere. One that said he was never going to get baptized who all of a sudden decided he should probably get baptized. Another who had returned after a two month trip and wanted to get baptized the next day. It may be convenient to say that these two miracle baptisms were from two different sets of sister missionaries--which confirms a statement given by one General Authority in the MTC that sister missionaries are the best missionaries in the field. But, he also said that sister missionaries are either the best, or the worst, so make sure to be concious of which one you are. Point is, with a baptism at 8:30 Sunday night (yesterday) and a quick confirmation approved by the Stake President, the month was over. 12.
What does 12 mean? Really no one knows. Especially since transfers are tomorrow, but, the point is, 12. We were the only Zone to meet their goal, which is sad, but shows our effort. Boy, am I tired. Being here in Mina without being able to sleep in my hammock is wearing me down. As for the transfers, Elder Rangel and I are still together for what will be our 3rd transfer straight together (with us already having 3 months together). We are doing alright and just looking for all the oppotunities we can find to help. Still much to be done and much more to learn.
Through this all I was able to notice two particular things that I have shared with you that I see to be important. First, the importance of the fast. How does a fast work? Well, I'm sorry to say that no one will ever be able to explain it to you, but that you learn by putting it into practice. With that, you fast by abstaining from food and drink for 24 hours and then pay a fast offering (of what you would have paid on the food you would have eaten, or more) to help those who may not have money to buy food. It is quite a sacrifice to not drink any water here in Southern Mexico. Secondly, persistence in dilligence.
Sacrifice and dedication. If you think about it, it is the same in any other thing as well. Sports, music, life. Thankfully, our efforts were able to give fruits in this month of labor. The Zone is going well, now we just have to be able to keep it up. And that may just be the hardest part. Anyone can do a miracle once. But few can repeat them.
All of us have done great things, but if all you can do is talk about what you have done in the past, honestly, where are you going in life? And so I encourage each of you to have one convert by the time I come home. It doesn't matter how many you might have helped in the past, but rather that you each have 9 months to make a difference in someone's life. There are miracles that occur each day, open your eyes to see them.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ can work a miracle for anyone. Just let it work in you.
Hint: If you are going to get one baptism, you've got to work with more than just a few people.