Friday, June 5, 2015

René Lopez Balderrama

I have officially returned home from my mission.  My 18 months came and went (something that I hope you've gathered from my last post from the field) and now I'm back to limitless hours of internet and chile-less freezer dinners.
As I was reviewing my blog and all of the posts in it, I noticed that one of them was missing!  A very special post that I wrote January 26th of this year (2015) about the baptism of my dear friend René.  He was my first baptism in the Azteca ward and I can only suppose that the choppy internet service caused that this post never arrived in my mothers email-box.  So after digging through my old mission emails, I discovered the original post of his baptism and have posted it here for your reading enjoyment.

Meet Rene.  He's a dreamer.

When I arrived at Azteca he was one of the two sure investigators that we had to work with.  My first lesson with him I showed up with the intent to move up his baptizmal date from Febrero to 24 de Enero, and he accepted.  Why?  Because he had a testimony in the Book of Mormon.

My companion told me that just a few weeks before he wasn't asi.  Happy to listen to their messages, but not ready to make that kind of commitment.  Hearing this, my companion challenged him to ask God through prayer.  And so he did.  That was when he had his first dream.  In his dream, he was walking in a large field and as he walked, he began to see a tree in the distance.  Aproaching the tree, he found that it had fruit.  A simple dream, no?  The next day, reading in the Book of Mormon, he came across Leih's vision of the Tree of Life.  Imeadiatly he made the connection and knew that the book had to be true.  He accepted the idea of baptizm quite joyfully after that.

His only stumbling block was coffe.  He was doing his best to quit drinking bit by bit, going down from drinking cup after cup all day long to just 4 a day.  It was quite an achievement, but we knew he could do better.  We reminded him the importance of keeping the Word of Wisdom, the blessings he would recieve, and invited him to pray for strength to drop this addiction.

Two days latter, stiting in his book-filled living-room, we asked him como le fue con el cafe.  His response? "Nada. Nada nada nada nada nada."

Seeing the shocked looks on our faces he began to share his story.  After our latest lesson he whent to bed like any other night.  But this night he dreamed.  He dreamed that he felt something odd in his mouth. So feeling around a bit, discovered a small string that whent down the back of his throat.  He began to pull on it.  Pulling, pulling, pulling, the string never seemed to end untill he had formed a pile of string mountain high.  Finally, seeming to reach the end, he pulled out of his mouth the last of the string, but to his great astonishment found at attached to the end of the string, as small devil.  He woke up with a sweat, breathing heavely, not sure what to do other than to pray.

Since then he hasn't had the slightest desire to drink coffe.  Sure, his body is going through side effects, trying to clean the substance from his system, but he is determined to stay strong.  And he has been.

The baptizm of Rene was last Saturday.  Unfortunatly, at the same time there was some construction work going on in the streets.  I've learned that when there is construction work in Ensenada, that means that in houses everywhere there is no water, or the water is dirty.  Por lo menos, we had enough water to fill the baptismal font.... downside: the water was dirtier than the River Jordan.  The eyes of everyone who saw it bugged out and their eyebrows whent sky high, but that didn't fase Rene.  As calm and happy as one could be, he stood in mud colored water, ready to make his first covenat with God.

1 comment:

  1. This is an incredible, beautiful, faith inspiring story. Rene is special. Watch for his name in Church news in the following decades.