If there's anything I learned this week it's that there is an opposition in all things. This past week we had 6 baptisms lined up but could only finish with 4. Don't get me wrong, I'm super excited and glad that we baptized those 4 but there was just a lot of opposition we had to go through. But it was worth every minute of it.
First off we had a grandmother and her granddaughter set up for Saturday. They both had their interviews set for Thursday. Thursday comes around and the grandmother passed her interview but the granddaughter doesn't because she wasn't in accordance with a key commandment. So we go from 6 to 5. Still we're very excited because the grandmother is Arturo´s mom. Well, we pass by Friday to check and see if everything is ok for Saturday when she tells us that she wont be able to be baptized Saturday because her husband is coming into town and he opposed to anything having to do with religion. So we talk her into getting baptized that very evening at 9. So we rush to get everything cleaned and fill the baptismal faunt. We hurry and call the Bishop and a few members so they can be there to support her. Well 9 comes around and nothing. We call her and she says that she can't do it because her husband arrived early. But she said that he was going to leave around 2 and we could do it at 4 PM Saturday. Well, Saturday rolls around and she calls us at 3:30 completely drunk. She had drank alcohol with her husband. She even asked if she could show up drunk to her baptism. I was more than a little upset. First we lose basically our entire day Friday and not only our time but the Bishops time and the members time. That's what made me more angry. I wouldn't have been so hurt if she only wasted our time but she wasted the bishop´s and ward members time. So that bumped us down to 4.
The 4 we baptized had their last minute struggles also. Brayan was just fine and wanted to be baptized until a few of his mom´s friends, not of our faith, showed up and started putting thoughts into his head and his mom´s head. We arrived and Brayan´s mom said "I didn't know he was going to be baptized." Brayan, ever since we started teaching him he told his mom he wanted to be baptized and she knew it. Then the two ladies started saying that Brayan wasn't ready and wasn't sure or wasn't aware of what he was doing. So I asked them who decides if he's ready or not. They then told me that he should have to pass a test and I told them that he already had. I told them that Brayan was perfectly fine and perfectly aware of what he was doing. They then said "well, let Brayan decide." Brayan was baptized Sunday.
The final opposition was with the Robles family. Alfredo Robles was baptized last week and his family was baptized this week. They called me at 2 and asked if we could postpone the baptism until 6 so that Iris' dad could show up. I initially told them yes but then I sent them a message to see if they could do it at 5 because we would have all the members of the ward waiting for them. It wasn't too much opposition with them, just lack of communication. Needless to say they were all baptized and Alfredo received the Arronic Priesthood also. It was a glorious day. I really to love that family. They are such a great family and I had the privilege to baptize them all.
After much tribulation, come the blessings. That scripture has helped me a lot here in Mexico. Although we may be in the pit of tribulation, we must remember what the Lord said unto Joseph Smith; "Peace be unto thy soul. Thy adversity and afflictions shall be but for a small moment...and if the very gates of hell open to drag you down to the depths of hell, remember that all these things shall be for thy experience." I know this to be true because I've lived it. Not to the level of Joseph Smith but I have know adversity and afflictions and through it I have gained experience. I know God lives and loves each one of us. I know Christ payed the price for us and we can find comfort in him because "[He] has descended below all." Christ lives. This is His church. I am forever grateful for my time and experiences here in Mexico. I wouldn't trade it for anything. My time has come, I am no longer needed here in Mexico and the Lord has more assignments for me back home. I have fought the good fight and have kept the faith. I am not done fighting but will continue to fight until the day that our Lord our Savior comes in all his glory. May we all be prepared for that great day, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Parker Freeman Dial