Teaching Maria in and of itself was a learning experience. She doesn´t know how to read, so her comprehension is low. We had to learn to teach very simply, like we were teaching a child. When we invited her to baptism she said, ´I´m already baptized´. We had a hard time teaching about proper priesthood authority.
We finally had her committed to baptism the upcoming Sunday, when we visited her Thursday. When we arrived, she said once again, Í don´t want to get baptized anymore.´ We invited her to pray and start a fast Friday (She was going to visit the temple grounds Saturday with her husband. Yes!) and end while she was at the temple Saturday. We invited her to fast and ask God if she should be baptized.
Saturday, all the members were gone at the temple, so we went to clean the church with another member who stayed here too. (Lack of $$, he´s 20 and is our ward mission leader ). We cleaned and got the baptismal font all ready. But there wasn´t any water to fill the font. (the city runs out of water every day from 7 am until 4 pm.) Tiago said he could return in the evening to turn on the water.
6pm we get a call from Tiago saying the water still hadn´t come back! We got over there at 7pm. We found a hose extension cord to pull water from another source, but the hose had holes!! While Tiago bandaged up the hose with plastic bags, we resorted to buckets. This was going well until the water source for the buckets ran out!! And slowly the water from the trickling hose ran out as well. (9:15 pm) The font water was about mid thigh. Nooo!!!!
We had to go to bed, but Tiago woke up at 4:50 am to start filling up the font again. We got to church at 8:30am and the font was waist high. Yes!! Church started and our 1st counselor announced that there probably wouldn´t be enough water for the baptism and Maria´s husband agreed. But when Maria looked at that water she announced that there was enough water and she was getting baptized! :)
At 12:30 our baptismal program started. Carlos and Maria in the jumpsuits climbed (literally) into the font. They had to squat together and then she leaned back, but she was completely submerged. :) I´ve never seen a family look so happy together.
After the program was all over and she was walking in the parking lot, she turned and gave me a back-breaking hug. I asked, ´Como você sente?´ She responded, ´Me sinto livre.´ (or I feel free.) :) :) :) :) Happiest moment ever.