That's right, we're baptizing again! I don't know how long it's been exactly since there has been a baptism in Tehua, but when started to fill up the font, two cockroaches, a ton of centipedes, and a bunch of other fun critters crawled up out of the drain. And then, thanks to our bishop not really supporting us, we had to clean those buggers up by hand. Which we did. But the baptism went wonderfully and Leydi seems happy with it all, which is the most important thing.

Baptism has been a big focus this month in our zone. Like, my second week here, the zone leaders asked me to make some goals for my district. One of the goals that I made was to invite somebody to baptism every day. As I was explaining this to Elder Day (a chill, former snow boarder from Utah - we did divisions on Tuesday (which would have gone great had I not gotten so lost)) over the phone, I heard, "Holy crap, are you serious?" I panicked and thought I had set a goal that was too high and immediately tried to justify my decision. But after I calmed down a bit, Elder Day explained that the reason for his surprise was that he and his comp, in a revelation filled planning session the night before, had thought up the same goal for the zone. So it became doubly important. And now we are inviting everybody we meet to baptism. We haven't seen the upswing in dates yet, but I think that will come this week. Either way, it's been fun to overcome nerves and start just telling people the moment you enter a house, "Hey, we're your missionaries and we are here to prepare you for baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ!" It actually works out a lot better than you think.

Another thing that has contributed to the baptismal invitation craze was a multi-zone conference we had on Thursday. Elder Alonso from the seventy came. He is the second counselor in the Area Presidency of Mexico and he, before being a general authority, lived in Oaxaca for eight years. He was really cool and really funny and taught us a lot about inviting people to get baptized and asking for references as well as the light of Christ. He talked about how when we are disobedient, the Spirit leaves us. So what motivates us to repent and get the Spirit back? It is certainly not the Spirit because that has left us. It is certainly not ourselves because we are natural men and inclined to sin. It is the light of Christ, or, in other words, the emergency light the turns on in a building after the rest of the lights have shut off due to loss of power. We always, therefore, have an impulse to do good. It doesn't matter who we are, what we know, or what we have done, the light of Christ will always motivate us to do good. That is why we can't just give up after committing a sin, small or large. We will always have something influencing us for the good. Thank Goodness Christ does so much or I would be really lost.
Another fun story from the week. The same day that we returned from the Conference in Juchitan, we were going to an appointment when we saw somebody we recognized on the side of the road. It turns out that it was Raquel, a girl who had been baptized like a year ago but who had never got confirmed. We went over to say hi to her like good, friendly missionaries do. That's when she hid her face.

I first thought it was a joke, like, "Oh, here come the missionaries, let me hide my face and play 'if I can't see them, they can't see me.'" Then, when she refused to uncover her face after good -natured cajoling, I thought she was legitimately embarrassed to be seen with missionaries in public and this was her defense mechanism. It was then when I realized that the truth was that she was crying and she did not want us to see her.

So we talked with her. We listed. We sang her Christmas hymns to cheer her up, right there on the street corner. She stopped crying. She started laughing. She said she would pray. We helped her home. She promised to go to Church. It was one of those times when I just felt like a missionary. When you change your plans and sacrifice your own agenda just to help somebody who is obviously in need, you feel like a missionary. And it is a great feeling. Then I said hi to a Jehovah's witness who had the misfortune to knock our door. He now has a Book of Mormon. I love life.

Elder Johnson