|Tony's baptism! His friend David baptized him; David was baptized exactly a year ago, |
and tomorrow he's leaving on his mission to Mexico West — how beautiful is that?
Q&A because dad asked and I am going to be obedient and respond:
1) Elder Bednar experience: this will be a story that will have to be told once we are together as a family again so that we can sit down and talk for quite some time, but for now just know that it was one of those experiences that reiterated the eternal and glorious truth that God knows and loves us in a very real way. I am continually in awe of those apostles and prophets that work as Gods hands, because even with their great responsibilities and burdens and all those other things that a general authority would have to do, I have always heard stories and have now seen how they fulfill their callings in a very personal and kind way — kind of how I imagine Christ would. (thanks for sending me your love across the border, dad; he showed me the picture of you at work and I might have started crying, kind of maybe sort of).
2) my 79 year old companion: so I don't have a favorite companion, really, because I have loved and learned from every single one of them, but I think I missed Hna Soriano the most when we had changes and she went back to working in the offices. This is probably because she is so, so good and kind and faithful and funny. She filled our little house with light and faith and knowledge, and I think I want to be like her when I am 79 years old. She went to college three times. THREE TIMES. First for accounting, then for psycology, and then for computers. Yep, I think she has three master degrees? She got married when she was forty years old, had one child, and then her husband passed away from heart problems eleven years later. She has been alone for most of her life, but has filled her years with so many of the best things. I swear everyone knows her in Mexico, and everyone missed her a lot when she left our area. She's just that type of person that leaves people better and a little fuller.
3) current comp: this week I found out that she dated the most famous trumpet player in Panama. That just about sums up how cool she is. She is the first missionary in her family because her parents are both converts. Her mom is part of a native tribe in Panama and speaks some crazy tribal language that I can't remember the name of. She speaks both English and Spanish, and so we get to speak English quite a lot (yay). She teaches in a very real way, which I love and am learning a lot from. She is always happy, loves contacting people en la calle (which I don't like doing, so we balance each other out well), and has a knack for killing cockroaches and cleaning bathrooms. I love her.
4) being in the same area my whole mission: I have loved being here for so long, even though I didn't feel that grateful or happy about it in the beginning of my fourth transfer here...but within these last months here in Mulsay, I have been able to know and love the members here in such a deeper and wider way, and I was able to be at the baptisms of all the people we had been teaching for awhile, which made me happy. Also, if I hadn't stayed here in this transfer I wouldn't have been able to meet and teach the Familia Gamboa, a family that has changed the whole mission for me and my understanding of the importance and greatness of families. They are so, so special to me — there is something really different about teaching an entire, complete family. Something more joyous and sacred. So, I am happy to be here and have learned to trust in the wisdom of God's timing, because it is always better than our own and our own idea of plans and the future.
5) biggest barrier with investigators: everyone is Catholic here, which is more of a name than a thing they actually do. This makes it hard to teach them in a way that they can become converted and really change, because it is very much a "traditions of their fathers" type of situation. Sometimes I wish that God had sent me to a place where not a lot of people believed in God so that I could help them build their faith from ground zero. Because here, everyone has faith. Everyone likes listening to the words of God. But not a lot of people like changing.
Okay, there are still many more questions that will be answered but for now know that I miss you and love you and am slightly upset that we now have a truck and I am not there to finally fulfill my lifelong dream (seriously, did no one understand that this is a LIFELONG DREAM OF MINE). Keep it safe until I get home....
|Angel, with his baptism certificate. He is the cutest and has an attitude, but we love him.|
|Rene with his DNA school project. He was pretty proud of it.|
|Lupita and her bread. She is so, so good.|
|Esmeralda & Marilyn, who got baptized el cinco de Mayo.|
|a pretty wooden chair|
|a new dessert experience en la calle|
|nightly car adventures with our mission leader and his family|
|rainy skies plus calle|
|celebrating her one week mark with a yellow wall and hamburgers and shakes.|