Fidelia is a character. She is 66, and has two children who are members of the church in Utah. One is a stake president, and the other was very inactive, but as we've been sharing with Fidelia, and Fidelia has been talking to her daughter about her lessons with the missionaries, she's become active again! She got a temple recomend to do baptisms just a couple weeks ago. This is super cool to me, that our missionary work here, is affecting someone in Utah.
Anyway, back to Fidelia. For 20 years, her son has been trying to help her get baptized, but Fidelia smoked until 5 years ago. And apparently, now was just her time. Hna. Cornelison has been visiting with her since she got here 7 months ago, and has said that the change in her since then really has been big. She used to be much more of a cranky old lady, and now she is much humbler, much nicer, and she complains less. It really was a struggle for her to get baptized. Because of her years of smoking, her lungs are not in prime condition. According to the doctors here, if she gets cold, her lungs could close up. Now I know this sounds ridiculous to us, because the coldest it gets here is 70 degrees.I have never heard of anyone dying from wind and cloudy weather in 70 degrees, but Fidelia has a real fear of leaving her house and exposing herself to the elements. It took her a long time to attend church enough to be baptized, but she did it. Also, her major fear of getting wet and dying ("Even one drop") was a challenge to overcome, seeing as baptism is a wet experience. But she did it! She really has a genuine desire to do what the Lord asks of us. I can say that I know she did experience true conversion, even though some ward members were sceptical. Sometimes she gets confused over things because she's old, and has been part of the Catholic community for most of her life. But with determination and humility, she has made the decision to act in her faith. A lot of people here have a testimony of the restored gospel, that what we teach is true, but they don't act on it. Faith and conversion is action. I was very proud of her on Saturday.
The Spirit at her baptism was very sweet. The happiness there was a gentle, glowy kind of happiness, if that even makes sense. It's interesting--the Spirit in the CCM was so different from the Spirit that I feel in the mission field. The CCM experience is this kind of concentrated, hit-you-hard, make you bawl thing. It is a time of filling up your spiritual tank as high as you can. In the field, you feel the Spirit in a more gentle, every-day way. It's kind of filtered through the noise and problems of every-day life, since other people's lives make up our life. But every once-in-a-while it really shines brightly.
Fidelia really is funny. The other day, she randomly told me I have pretty legs. Apart from learning her full name, my favorite Fidelia story is from before I was here, and Hna. Castillo was Hna. Cornelison's comp. She told Hna. Castillo that she should be careful in the streets that day, because a donkey may come up to her, and try to eat her green shirt. I get the giggles really badly every time I think of this, because not one time have I ever seen a donkey roaming the streets. Also, where did that thought come from???
We've met some awesome new investigators; some very intelligent, interested women, and their lessons were great.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am grateful for so many things. My testimony and knowledge of the gospel being a big one. The Atonement of Jesus Christ. My family and friends and their support. All the blessings and opportunities that come from living in America. The opportunity to grow and love others in this mission.