We came across a pretty big obstacle this past week that took us for a pretty big spin. Throughout this transfer I have written much about a 15 year old girl we have been teaching named Kiara. She is as golden an investigator if I have ever seen one. We love having her in Church and after having her miss her initial baptismal date, we had planned on baptizing her this coming Saturday, the 2nd of July.
Last Friday we went by to teach her a few last minute things when she came out with the most terrible look on her face. We sat down and she told us that her parents had decided in the end to not let her be baptized, that their initial “permission” was just a ruse to keep her content. Right then and there we knew we couldn’t avoid confrontation any longer and so in the nicest way possible we tried to get a conversation going with the parents.
Long story short, the father shut us down hard and fast. Without even offering an explanation he stormed out of the room, yelling at his daughter for “forcing him to listen to the Mormons”. The mother was a little more reasonable, but as we tried to explain the situation it was clear she would not budge. They are Catholic and for them, having their daughter change churches just will not fly. We spent about an hour and half doing our best to reach them, but no dice.
Kiara was pretty heartbroken. She began to confess to us how much her family had mistreated her over the years and how desperately she wishes her parents would change. Her father is a very serious alcoholic and on more than one occasion he was raised a fist against Kiara and her mother. Up until now her family has never enjoyed any real sense of the word love. The tears she shed before us that day were too numerous to count, and I don’t know how long we sat there just listening to her cry.
As we left that day, I could not stop thinking about all we had seen and heard. The difference in the home when the gospel is not present is incredibly heartbreaking. Seeing the way family treat each other when they do not understand the teachings of the Lord is honestly the hardest thing for me as a missionary to look at. My testimony that the gospel blesses and protects the family had never been more real in my entire life than it was as I sat across the table watching a 15 year old girl cry for lack of love in her home.
I know now the Lord has looked out for me in ways I cannot even begin to imagine even since the moment I came into this world. He has given me a wonderful family, and thankfully enough I have never had to live with what Kiara has lived with. No matter the challenges we now have before us, we are not giving up on this family. They mean a lot to us now, and I have the faith that Kiara will for sure be baptized, in the Lords due time.