September 29, 2014
Oh my goodness so many things to tell you all!!
OK, we had a "surprise" zone meeting with the Mission President (I say surprise because we all were told about it just the night before). In this meeting I learned and remembered some really important things, but above all, was this video. I saw it in the MTC and it changed me and how I think about what I am doing and what I really am sacrificing and brought an incredible love of the Savior. I dare you to not cry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd30i48a3do
-Happy fall! I'm pretty sure that fall here is mas o menos the same temperature that it is in Colorado in the summer. Except I heard that it was really not that hot this summer, so I'm pretty sure it's still hotter here.
-Since it's fall and I'm silly and stubborn, I wore a cardigan anyway yesterday to church. Turns out it was a good thing because the chapel was freezing. Also, the temperature IS going down, because when we were walking around working that afternoon I thought "Yeah, I'm hot with this sweater, but I've been way hotter in the past few months." My guess is that it was like 80, 85 degrees Fahrenheit, but that's just my guess.
-I saw a nun for the first time! Weird, because I am living in super-Catholic Mexico. Also a surprise because she was wearing white, not black. The Sound of Music lied to me.
-I heart clouds. That is all.
-My companion and I were talking about something, and for some reason – I forget why – the conversation turned to Monster's Inc. and she said that the little green monster was "Mike What's-up-ski." She is so cute and I love her dearly.
-There are some times I go to family’s houses, and because they talk about things like cars and different states in Mexico and other things that I don't know about and don't have an opinion/the vocabulary for, I don't talk very much. We went to one of these houses on Sunday to eat. While pouring water for one of the elders, I asked him if he wanted to finish/empty the pitcher of water, except not in those words. What I really said was, "¿Quiere matarlo?" Which means, "Do you want to kill it?" The son laughed and said "Sister, you are learning some really important Spanish." (You can also translate it to mean, "Do you want to kill him?")
OK; this baptism is really important to me, because we have fought to bring it to pass. (I'm losing my normal English so I have to resort to Book of Mormon phrases. Laugh if you will), and I mean FOUGHT – sometimes even against other missionaries – to get this to happen. We've prayed, pleaded, sweated, worried, taught and so much more to bring this cutie to the waters of baptism.
Isaac is really wonderful, in a very annoying little brother way. He is 11-years-old and is a straight-up rockstar. He has taken himself to church, he has asked his parents and grandparents to buy him church clothes to wear, he has memorized scriptures for talks in primary, he is working on his "Faith in God" and he is helping us to teach other people in our neighborhood. He is an incredible example to me of how the gospel changes people and has taught me many things in the past few months.
Now some highlights of getting this baptism to "come to pass."
-One of the obstacles we had to overcome was getting his non-member dad to give permission for him to be baptized. We helped him to learn a sentence to express clearly what he wanted. "Dad, I want to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized this Sunday." The Spanish word for follow is seguir, so the sentence is "Yo quiero seguir Jesucristo y ser bautisado este Domingo." What he said while practicing was, "Yo quiero perseguir Jesucristo y ser bautisado este Domingo." Perseguir means pursue. So close! We laughed really hard.
-We make all sorts of sacrifices for our investigators. Like when the church's baptismal font doesn't drain all the way so it's full of nasty things like dead tarantulas and cockroaches and crickets.
Oh, and there was also a live tarantula that kept trying to climb into my bucket as I scooped the water out. But eventually the night guard came and helped and took care of the spider. Don't try to tell me this isn't a labor of love.
-After his baptismal interview, Elder Bloxham, our district leader, told us that in the closing prayer Isaac was praying about who could baptize him (another challenge was getting a hold of his uncle, who was in Hermosillo the day before and didn't get back until Sunday afternoon) and he said "Please bless my uncle Panches that he can baptize me, if not him, then Arthur (one of the members of the family that has fellowshipped and helped more than I can say and I am more grateful than I can express), if not Arthur, then Elder Bloxahm, if not him, Elder Miranda, if not him, Sister Anderson, and if not her, Sister Mendez." Guess who needs to teach about priesthood authority again ... but don't worry, his uncle came so we didn't try anything apostate.
-During the baptism I felt so…much…joy. It wasn't perfect – nothing here is. My expectations are defied at every turn. But the spirit that was there was incredible. I nearly started shaking from the strength of it. I know that Isaac has a long and difficult road ahead of him, but now he qualifies to have the Holy Ghost with him to help and strengthen him at all times. And I know that this young man is going to do incredible things in his life.
In 3 Nephi 28, the Resurrected Savior is talking to a three of his apostles who desire above all else to help in the work of God. He says to them, "ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand. And for this cause ye shall have fullness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fullness of joy." The fullness of joy is found in bringing others to the gospel. Sometimes – well, all the time – I wish that missionary work was easier, that it was the opposite of what it is; that it was full of joy and happiness with only a few bits of things that are really hard and seem unbearable. But it's not, and it can't be. But oh how sweet those joyous moments are.
I love you all,