Time is absolutely flying by now.. I basically only have time to think when im in the shower, so it seems like i shower then next thing i know im showering again. But this last week was absolutely amazing. Sooo many things happened with our investigators and not a single one of them was bad! Fernando got married on saturday, and it´s so awesome to see how happy their family already is. They had a little party that night at their house, it was cute. And Fernando should get baptized this next sunday, but he might have to travel for work, so we´ll see. but he´s set in stone now. It was kind of tough to get maria to the font. She had heard some gossip stuff about the church and we finally found out a few days before her baptism and explained it all to her so she felt a lot better. She´s the type that hasn´t really gotten out of her house ever, and when i baptized her she didnt plug her nose and when she came up i thought i had killed her! she was coughing like crazy and flailing.. it was kind of embarrassing and i didnt know what to do! but it went fine. Anderson is chugging along, and jefferson is too. On saturday we met the most golden investigator of all time! Her name is Soledad she´s like 45ish; her parents are very faithful members of the church, but her mom died about three years ago, and she misses her a lot. Soledad started to wonder which church was really true (she told us all this in our lesson with her on saturday, the first lesson mind you) and so she prayed really earnestly to find out. A little while later she had a dream one night, and im dead serious, this is how she explained it. I saw a pillar of light, directly above my head... just kidding. ok seriously now. In her dream her mom was talking to her and told her she needed to prepare herself, but soledad didn´t know for what. Then in her dream she saw a long hallway with a door at the front, then down the hall she saw another door. when she opened it there were two young men carrying books of mormon. Yeah. She said she knows the church is true, and she´s been preparing herself for two years waiting for the missionaries to come to her. We challenged her to get baptized on the 15th and she said no, because she wants her whole family to get baptized at the same time and her husband didn´t want to listen to us that day. But she said she knows she will get baptized. Her 15 year old son and 28ish year old daughter also accepted baptism, but they still don´t have dates. So that will be super fun to work with them over the next few weeks!
Mom you´re planning a trip to Europe!? Ah, jealous. But that sounds so fun! I saw in the newspapers today that they killed Osama bin laden! Wow, that´s so crazy that it took this long! And its been all over the news that pope jean paul is a saint now or something...? and Elder orcohuaranga couldn´t help but watch this special on tv while we were eating dinner yesterday at the pension. If he wasn´t such an unreal missionary i would swear he´s still catholic at heart.
Ok now a little about my week/peru in general. The most popular drink here is called Cebada, which is Ecco. At first it was nasty, but now i actually kind of like it.. as long as it´s cold. and yesterday i drank some hideous half fermented corn juice, and it´s been wreaking havoc inside me all day. Who would have thought my closest encounters with the word of wisdom would be on my mission...
In Maria´s house, there are basically two rooms. One where most of them sleep, and one where one of them sleeps/the kitchen/livingroom/family room that´s like as big as my bedroom. And there´s no lights in there. So, when it got dark outside every night while we were teaching maria, we ended up teaching in the dark! Haha it was great trying to read scriptures, then after a while we figured it out and used our scriptures at first and just talked after it got dark. And a few days ago Maria´s dad, Juan brought out this sweet oil burning lamp. I feel like im in the 19th century sometimes here!
We´re teaching a Jehova´s witness in training, and shes really tough. she wants evidence in the bible of EVERYTHING, which is frustrating and happens a lot here. but while we were teaching her her baby was screaming the entire time, and at the end of the lesson when we were getting her to pray she didnt want to because of the baby but we convinced her. Right as she started to pray i said a little prayer in my heart and asked for the baby to stop crying. The baby made one little peep during the prayer, then went back to screaming right afterwards! It was a really cool experience with prayer, when i could immediately and clearly see my prayer answered.
Just a little tidbit- working with Fernando and Carina and having them get married is probably the most satisfying thing ive done in my life! i still havent had time to think about it or let it sink in, but ahhh, the blessings are going to start pouring in for them!
A few days ago we were teaching Jefferson, and there was somebody watching tv in the other room. And elder orcohuaranga does not permit others to be in the house without personally inviting them to listen to the lesson. like i said, he´s unreal. so, he invites this girl to come listen, and she comes from behind this curtain that divides the house in two, and was kind of behind me. I stick out my hand to shake hands with her, and before i could sink into a little hole and cry she had kissed me on the cheek. Ah i about died. I tried to play it off as cool and i think i succeeded, but when it was my turn to teach i was fumbling over all my words and it was terrible! So that kiss plus a little old lady who kissed my hand brings my mission kisses up to two so far. i hope the tally ends there.
Ok i can´t believe i haven´t talked about this yet because it´s like the story of my life. I think every mother teaches their children to yell hello whenever they see a gringo. if the mothers dont teach it it´s instinct, because every, and i mean every child screams HELLO at me. or gringo! When they´re in groups i think they play a version of the slugbug game with gringos. The first one to yell gringo obviously wins, then all the others, to avoid the shame that accompanies losing, are forced to yell hello until the gringo answers. If the gringo doesn´t answer they all lose, so naturally they´re very persistant. haha i made that game up but it´s seriously how it is!
Today i bought a little speaker and a usb and another elder is going to load it up with music for me so i can listen to music. i miss music so bad! when ive done exchanges and the other elders have music i about die, so now im super pumped to have my own!
Every day I feel my testimony grow in some new way. Whenever im feeling down or questioning something I pray and i feel like almost immediately, or sometime that day, im blessed with exactly what i need. I know the Lord is directing us each day as we try our hardest. The church is the best thing that´s ever happened to me, and im so grateful for the amazing example you have set for me, family. I wouldn´t be here if i wasn´t taught these simple truths as a child, and im so grateful for who i am because of it. The church is the only true church, and the only one that Christ personally guides through a prophet. I´m so blessed to be able to take part in this work!
The baptism of Maria:
Elder Orcohuaranga and I and part of Tucume: