The baptisms of Dilan and Benjamín went great! (In the photo above: Elder Burgos and I with Benjamín, his brothers, his sister, and her boyfriend and little boy. In the photo below: Elder Burgos and I with Dilan, his aunt, and friends.) Their baptisms were miracles really, as Benjamin had been investigating the church for several years, never recieving permission from his sister to get baptized, until now. And Dilan at first wanted to cancel the baptism since his mom wouldn´t be able to make it, as she doesn´t live with him. However, in the end, he also made the brave decision to be baptized, and the branch in Chañaral is now growing because of the youth converts!!
Speaking of recent converts, Catalina is still doing well, and staying strong in the church, and we´ve started teaching her step-dad, Hugo, who isn´t a member of the church. When we were passing by to prepare Catalina for baptism, Hugo always greeted us with only a few words, and then went into the other room. He seemed cold and unreceptive to us, but we decided one day, when we passed by after Catalina´s baptism to continue teaching her, that we would try teaching Hugo as well. And it turns out he is super receptive!!! He simply is someone that keeps to himself, but we never asked him if he was interested. He doesn´t have a firm faith in God or in Jesus Christ, but really enjoyed our message, and agreed with the principles of the doctrines of Christ, and that by having faith and praying to God to truly know for himself, he can recieve his own answer. He even accepted the idea that baptism is a necessary step, and that he´d like to prepare to be baptized if he feels that what we´ve taught him is true!!!
We also recently had the opportunity to have a home evening with an inactive family. Because of a problem of one family member, the rest as well stopped going to church. However, as we talked with them, it was obvious that they have strong desires to re-animate the family and begin attending again. I decided to share with them the story of Peter, and the perspective you shared with me a few weeks ago: that we often focus on Peter´s lack of faith, and the fact that he began to sink, but we forget that he didn´t drown! He got back up, and he continued forward with Christ, and they walked back to the boat together. Thanks for that insight, Mom! It really animated that family, and helped them realize that we all start to sink at some point in our lives. But it´s important to focus on what we decide to do afterwards... to stand up, and continue forward with Christ. :) I hope you all have another great week, and I´ll talk to you later!
Love, PJ (Elder Checketts) ;)
P.S... about conference... I CAN´T BELIEVE APRIL IS ALREADY COMING UP!!!! I feel like I was just watching the October conference in Calama!!! We also have a zone conference tomorrow with Presidente Ferreira, and those are always great!