Another awesome week here in El Milagro with Elder Romero! This week Elder Romero and I had a very interesting opportunity to do divisions with some returned misisonaries from our ward here. That means I go proselyte with one member while my companion goes off with another member as to be able to visit more people in a smaller span of time. It was really interesting to learn from the members as well. I went knocking doors with a returned missionary named Jose Rodriguez. He served his mission in Resistencia Argentina. What I really loved about my time contacting with him is that at every house we visited he always asked "What is the greatest blessing you have recieved from your Heavenly Father?" It was so interesting to first of all see how everyone began talking about their families and second of all everyone started to realize how blessed we are. Here in this life we often run into a lot of obstacles and challenges which more often than not allow us to become discouraged and sad. What I really saw from this experience though is that when we focus on all of the blessings we have recieved in this life, especially our families, it is pretty difficult to stay sad. Everything we have is a blessing in this life and when we can focus on how privileged we are now and how much more our Heavenly Father has prepared for us when we obey him, it is hard not to be optomistic and excited to follow our Savior Jesus Christ. Everything is always in the perspective.
This past week we also had a couple of visits with the Casanova family. Well last week I believe I mentioned how excited Janeth is to finally be able to be baptised... it was so awesome... until wednesday when her father in the lesson we had with the family basically backtracked on everything he had said, telling his daughter that she is not ready to be baptised. It was heartbreaking to see how Rosemary and Janeth's expressions changed in an instant as their father began to explain that getting baptised means we need to be perfect and that his daughters are from perfect. He also went to talk about the fact that to attend church would take too much time away from his daughter's studies. He was looking for excuses and ways to discourage his daughters. He was probably thinking that if he discouraged his daughters enough that they would not want to be baptised and therefore he would no longer be the badguy. Well the situation reminded me a lot of a short movie that BYU published about 30 years ago called Johnny Lingo. On an island in the pacific lives a young women named Mohana who everyone makes fun of. Mohana is super shy because her father and everyone tells her that she is ugly and is not going to be a good wife because she is so shy and never does anything. Well along comes super sharp trader Johnny lingo who visits Mohana's father to bargain for her daughters hand in marriage (in number of cows). Well they begin the bargaining process and the father with much hope asks for 3 cows in exchange for his daughter's hand in marriage. The whole town proceeds to laugh and make fun of Mohana saying that no one will ever pay 3 cows for her. Then comes in Johnny offering not 3 cows... but 8 cows.... wooooooooo 8 cows. The whole town is completely shocked. Why would anyone pay 8 cows for someone like Mohana. Well Johnny Lingo and Mohana go off on their honeymoon and months later they return and Mohana is a completely different person. With the confidence and self esteem Johnny gave her by paying 8 cows she was able to blossom and begin being who she really is. Her father even returns to Johnny asking for 10 cows because he felt cheated. Well how does this story relate to Janeth and Rosemary one might ask? Well it is all about self esteem. Leonardo wanted to ruin the spiritual Self Esteem of his daughters so that maybe their desires to be baptised might go away, much like Mohana's father talked bad about Mohana maybe in an attempt to motivate her. Janeth and Rosemary were discouraged and down on themselves like Mohana until along came Johnny Lingo, AKA their sister Jennifer who went to go bargain with their Dad. Jennifer explained to their dad how prepared Janeth and Rosemary really are and by the end of the conversation Janeth and possible Rosemary recieved permission to get baptised this week. The difference was that as Jennifer, as Johnny did with Mohana, talked to the father about the high value and preparedness of their daughters, the daughters also gained the self esteem necessary to show to their dad that they really are ready to be baptised this saturday. So thanks to a confidence boost and the help of their older sister, and a very obscure Johnny Lingo reference, Janeth and Rosemary Casanova once again are super excited to be baptised this coming Saturday. Wooooooooooh. Missionary work is just awesome.
Well this has been another awesome week here in El Milagro with Elder Romero and if all goes well, and if the Johnny Lingo movie is any way to predict the future, we will be able to see the baptisms of Janeth and Rosemary Casanova this week.
Elder Jack Vassau