As the weeks go quickly and my heart and mind try to transition to a new year that will not entirely be lived under the Yucatan sun (setting goals at the end of a mission and at the beginning of a year, turns out, is actually quite hard...), I feel full of gratitude for the small moments of eternal happiness that God has allowed me to glimpse and feel here with His children. They are small, glorious seconds which have made up a complete and whole type of joy that is not just felt, but also lived. We had our baptismal interview with Rebeca this past week (this has officially been the hardest baptism in the history of my mission, AND SHE IS NINE but oh my goodness so stubborn it is ridiculous). We walked to the Stake Center with her and little Jonatan who drinks out of my filter without asking and who always manages to steal the mission cell phone out of our bag. Then we had races up and down the calles. They ended up winning every time. That night we ate hot cakes (or pancakes?) with two hermanas from the ward who eat them with sweetened and condensed milk instead of syrup. The next morning we helped Rebeca's mom plan her talk for her baptism that day. We planned it while sitting outside on broken chairs surrounded by the smoke that was coming from two large pots of baked beans that were cooked with literally ten kilos of salt. I have forgotten that some things like that were not normal before. That night we had the baptism; Jonatan wore a purple tie that was so not tied right and we sang "How Great Thou Art" and everyone thought that we should try out for the MoTab (I will probably have really low self esteem when I come home and no one is amazed at my slight ability to sing). We had a leadership meeting at a fancy hotel and ate papaya and other fruit that was cut fancy. People would call that "fresa" here, which means strawberry but also overly fancy/rich.
We walked in the really hot sun (isn't it supposed to be winter?) for over three hours every day this week, contacting people that were so Yucatecan it was hilarious, running to the last minute baptism of Don Peach that the elders taught, waiting for the bishop that showed up on the back of a bicycle because the bus took too long. Hermana Wilson and I have both realized that there has never been a bad day on the mission — there are days that are longer or harder or more trying than others, but I don't think there has ever been a bad one. Just days full of learning and changing and rejoicing.
"Rejoice, o my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my Salvation" (2 Nefi 4:30)
Wishing you a week of rejoicing -- love you and miss you, always.