Monday, July 21, 2014

If Johnny Depp were a missionary....

Cipriano is that old man in your favorite television series that doesnt have a main part but is always there to say some random thing to make you smile.  I should also mention that he has a fake eye.  It took me awhile to figure out what was different when I first met him, but once I noticed it, it was obvious.  While one eye is bouncing around all over the place, making eye contact and expressions, the other one just sits there.  It´s spooky, but hilarious at the same time.  When I finally figured out that it was fake my brain instantly went into Pirates of the Caribbean mode.  Wondering if he ever popped it out to give it a good cleaning or if it was a key token to enter into a secret Tijuana drug dealing club.  But no, he´s just an adorable old man that no matter how many times you remind him, "It´s Hna. Lance." he´ll keep calling you, "mi hija."

We found Cipriano visiting a sister in the ward.  We had hopes of finding and teaching her nonmember daughter but discovered her equally non member husband instead.  It has been an interesting journey teaching Cipriano.  Not only have we been teaching him the gospel, but how to read and write again too.  That is quite fun.  With glasses filled with strawberry flavored Fanta (no matter how many times we tried to tell them that we only wanted plain water they insisted on soda.  I´m quite certain that my liver has permanent soda damage now)  we used the lesson pamphlets and had him search for and circle certain words or letters.  He also has a little notebook in which we leave him words or phrases to practice writing..... which happen to always be related to the gospel.  Names of commandments, parts of prayer, his baptismal date.  I promise it´s not mental manipulation... :)

The greatest challenge for Cipriano was the Word of Wisdom.  He has been smoking for over 40 years, which is why he has lost all of his front teeth and it´s quite difficult to understand him.  But in the 5 weeks in which we worked with him he managed to quit it.  Coffee too.  That was a of miracle due to prayer, fasting, and priesthood blessings.  I´ll admit that my faith wavered a little bit in this aspect because Cipriano, as similar to a little boy filled with sugar as he is,  is quite old and forgets himself sometimes.  You ask him what he needs to do to follow a certain commandment and he´ll respond the same way for each one, "Hacer buenas cosas y obedecer a Dios."   Which caused me to worry that when someone offered him a cigarette or cup of coffee he would accept out of habit.  And that happened at first.  But as the weeks went by the cigarette and coffee smell disappeared.

Cipriano was jumping and running around his baptismal day.  The bishop (who gave him the blessing to help him stop smoking) baptized him and now in one year, when the temple here in Tijuana is completed, he and his wife can enter and be sealed for time and eternity!

Cipriano's Baptism!

1 comment:

  1. You are working miracles, absolute miracles. Lucky woman to be the right hand of God.