September 2, 2013
Well, it's already september, which is the beginning of my favorite season at home! But here, it's beginning to get hot. About every other day, it gets pretty warm, but then the other half of the time, it's still pretty cold.
This week we had three baptisms! Ok, i can't really take much credit for that, they already had received a lot of lessons before I came, but i did have the opportunity to teach Deysi in the weeks before her baptism. She's the adorable little angel in a white baptismal dress. I love teaching children! they are so intelligent and pick up on the messages so quickly. They just have so much energy to learn, and they have so much room in their hearts to believe. The three who were baptized were Deysi, her uncle Tino, and her grandma, Petrona. When they were confirmed with the gift of the Holy Ghost, i personally felt that same burning in my heart that i know they felt. I really think i would have a hard time if i wasn't able to see convert baptisms as often as i do, which is one pf many reasons i am grateful for my mission call to lima, peru.
I also had the opportunity to go to a big stake talent show this week. One of our investigators showed up, Hno Jaime (whose baptism is next saturday). And while we were waiting to start, he went up and started singing in front of the whole crowd ha ha! i wish you could see the change in him since the first day we found him. every time he prays, he thanks god for the missionaries who found him when he was stuck in a depression, and the other day, he even told us that he had thought about suicide right before we started talking to him. and now, he laughs all the time and sings improv karaoke at church activities! he also prays for my and hna johnson's families every night he told us, so never forget that there's one more person in the world who keeps you all in his prayers :)
Another cool experience at the talent show was with a kid named Luis Enrique. I walked in the building and saw this kid just standing, waiting for someone. He smiled and waved and shook my hand, but i really didn't think much about that because everyone does that to missionaries ha. But then, i thought, "Wow, he looks so familiar..." and i just could not think of why i would know this guy in Peru. It started to bug me, and i just kept staring at him ha ha. Then it hit me: I had contacted him in the street the first time i went tracting in the MTC! He did NOT want to talk to us. He wouldn't even look at us, and when he answered our questions, they were mumbled one word responses. but i just kept bugging him ha (which really isn't in my character, so i was kind of surprised. Hna blackwell, my mtc comp, also looked at me a little puzzled). Finally it came out that he had three Book of Mormons at home and that he had received the missionary lessons before, but didn't want to give up smoking to be baptized. We left him an invite to church and then moved on. we didn't even fill out a reference card for him because he was so uninterested. So i was pretty confused as to what he was doing at this church talent show. From what i could gather, two of the elders in my district work in his area, and i'm not sure how, but they started teaching him! If i understood correctly, he has a baptismal date coming up soon!! It was a testament to me that you really can't put it past anyone to have the ability to change. I'm glad this lesson came so early in my mission!
well, i just have one more thing to share. As we get closer to finishing my first transfer here, there are a couple missionaries who have only a week left in their missions. They are all so so sad to go home. To be honest, the first couple weeks here, i looked at them and thought, "man, it would be pretty nice to be that close to going home." But, as i've grown to love the people here, and prayed for the ability to fall in love completely with this mission, i can now understand their sadness. Yes, most of the time, it's really REALLY hard to be a missionary. But being able to focus all my heart and efforts on the gospel, and meeting such loving and genuinely, plain good people every single day, who are so giving and open to our message, it would be kind of heart-breaking to have to leave it. of course i miss home, but i really do love it here.
Take care everyone! if you want, you can send letters to me ha! dearelder or regular, they take about the same time i think. and emails are also nice to get! les amo mas que el mundo.
There was a quote from one of the last general conferences that says that missions shouldn't be the best time OF your life, but the best time FOR your life. the purpose of the mission is to prepare you to be a missionary for life, even when you have to worry about things like school and jobs and cars and kids and houses. my job here is so much easier than yours because i can devote every minute of every day (almost) to being a missionary, but you guys have to figure out how to do it while doing other important stuff. but i do have to say that my job is even better when the members give me people to talk to, and even EVEN better when they come with us to appointments. find people in the ward (less actives, part member families, or non members) and just don't be afraid to start talking to them. eventually you'll find a way to bring up the gospel, i promise. a lot of the stuff i've learned so far has been through regrets, like, "dang i should have talked to that family in the park" or "oh man, i shouldn't have been scared to talk about the first vision because i didn't want to scare them off." if someone is prepared and one of the elect that God has chosen to hear the gospel, you really CAN'T scare them off, but rather, you can give them the message they need most in their lives. anyways, ha ha that was a kind of a rant ha sorry, but it was just something that came to mind. become friends with the missionaries in the ward or area! they will LOVE you!
and also, i love you! :)
Deysi on the right with Uncle Tino, and her grandma Petrona
Luckily, my comp understands my sense of humor.