We had dinner at the Bishop's house after church Sunday along with the missionary sisters and the first counselor and his wife. Their entire house would fit into our Farmington front room and is a third-floor walk-up. Sister Iglesias is a wonderful cook! We started off with a delectable homemade chicken soup which was followed by beef rolls stuffed with ham and cream cheese, fried chicken, chayote (a squash-like vegetable) in cream sauce, refried beans, guacamole, hot corn tortillas, fresh fruit, and a very yummy dessert made from gelatin squares, pineapple, and fresh cream. Oh, and "agua," which here means very light punch.
The Bishop is trying to hold together a small ward that is incredibly transient and staffing is impossible. He has been without a counselor for three months and the YW/YM presidents moved away at Christmas. He has only been in the church for three years but is solid and faithful and committed.
Their story is similar to thousands of others here in Mexico. They were living together when the missionaries found her husband. He had worked for a church member for years and so knew a little about LDS ethics and beliefs. She was a staunch Catholic and just kept saying no, no, no. The missionaries brought her husband along and he was on track to be baptized, but he needed to get married first. She said that she would get married, but no changing of religion for her! She is a very socially generous person and so sat in on the lessons, but refused to give an opinion or answer any questions. She did admit that occasionally she would ask a question, because she was curious about what was being taught.
Three days before her husband was to be baptized, the Elders and the Zone Leaders came to do the final interview. She said that with all those missionaries in the room, the spirit became so strong that she knew something very important was happening. Finally, her husband came out and the missionary that was doing the interviewing asked her if he could speak to her for a few minutes. She went in and he asked her a couple of questions about what her husband was doing and explained what would be happening and why it was important. He then said, what are you feeling? She said, "I feel like there is someone sitting here beside me in this room and it feels good." He told her that what she was feeling was the spirit. They talked for a little longer and she said, "I suddenly knew that everything they had taught my husband was true. I knew I needed to be baptized." They walked out into the room and her husband noticed that something was different in her countenance and asked if she was okay. She told him she was fine and not to worry. The missionary then told Brother Iglesias that he and his wife would be baptized on the same day. He burst into tears. She burst into tears. The missionaries burst into tears. And they were both baptized three days later. She said, "Everything good in my life has come through this honorable, just man: a happy marriage, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and a home constantly filled with hungry missionaries who always bring the spirit.
|Barrio Central--A long, skinny Phase 1 building|
The sweet people in that Barrio Central (Central Ward) are so grateful to have a piano to sing to. I am not very good any more--and without a piano to practice on, not really getting any better--but even with mistakes, it is better than nothing. They love to sing and nearly blew the roof off our first Sunday there with their enthusiasm. That definitely makes it more fun!