Mitini in the Rain – Wednesday morning it was raining heavily in Mitini. We wondered if people would show up because they walk so far on mountain trails to get there; we needed to help the investigators prepare for their baptismal interviews. When we arrived, the ZEE (Zero English Experience) class had already started and most of the investigators were there. It was a blessing to work with them and see their strength and faith. One young sister has only been married for one month, to a recent convert young brother from Matua. We were concerned that she might be joining the Church just because of her husband, but after visiting with her I could feel her strength and conviction and know that this was her own decision.
Humbling Moment – I visited the ZEE class for a few minutes. This is a class made up of mostly grandma and grandpa age people (some even older than we are!) They work hard and are so willing to try new things (including speaking strange-sounding English words before a group). It was raining which made the small room they met in quite cool and not too light. We could hear the rain pounding on the tin roof, but that didn't stop the class. At the end of the session each student was asked to come up and bear a simple testimony in English with their native teacher helping. (Somewhat like when we teach a small child how to pray.) One little grandma was quite shy (especially with me there) but she went up and bore her testimony. As I was watching and listening to her I looked down at her cold, bare feet. She had walked all the way in the rain without any shoes. What a humbling experience for us. We hope we can remember these experiences, what is really important in life.
Grateful for Spirit Promptings – Saturday we drove back to the hills for the baptism service for Mitini and Kyambeke. As we were on the road past Precious Blood I thought I recognized one of the men walking on the side of the road (tribal leader) who was supposed to be baptized that day. Elder Blake said he didn't think it was him because he was walking to the wrong way. / I had a strong feeling we needed to go back. Elder Blake humored me and turned around to see if we could find the man. We passed him again and I still felt it was Brother Tom. Elder Blake still wasn't sure but drove until we found a place wide enough to turn around and went back for a third pass. As we got closer we rolled down the window and he came over to the car. He told us he hadn't been able to be interviewed by the AP's (Assistants to the President) the day before because he had been called to report and testify at the police station and he was there all day. He was upset to have missed his interview because he wanted so badly to be baptized. We called and got permission from President Taylor for Elder Blake to interview him and took him with us to Kyambeke to the baptism. Later, when he bore his testimony after being baptized, he said he had been praying that he could find Blakes in the little village where he was headed, so hopefully he also could be baptized. What if we hadn't stopped? We are trying to listen to the Spirit with more sensitivity. The baptism was wonderful. There were two sisters and four brothers baptized.
Working ourselves out of a job! - We took the keyboard to the baptism so I could play prelude and music while people were dressing. When I came into the chapel after helping with baptism clothing, I heard soft music being played and found one of our keyboard students who had set up my keyboard and had begun playing prelude music. When we first arrived on our mission, the branches asked Elder Blake to do the baptizing; now they had three new convert priests do the baptisms. We are working ourselves out of a job! It's wonderful to see the members growing and taking over. (It's kind of like raising children to care for themselves so they don't need us.) There is still plenty to do and teach, but we love to see their progress and growth in confidence.
Thanks – Thanks for remembering me for Mother's Day. We loved hearing from you. Elder Blake surprised me with some beautiful flowers. I'm a blessed wife and mother. Thanks for all letters. It makes us be able to work harder when we can stay connected to those we love.
We love you. Stay safe and well.