Well, this week was pretty much incredible. As you all know, Oscar accepted his date to be baptized on the 24th, he passed his baptismal interview and everything was wonderful! However, like always, when something amazing is about to happen, we face the hardest trials. There was crazy drama in his family this week. Drama! Seriously, Oscar was totally chill and still feeling really good about getting baptized, yet his sister, Dora and mom, Vicki were doubting that he was actually ready to be baptized. Everyone was mad at everyone... Dora told Vicki that her outfit was ugly... ON her BIRTHDAY... Vicki told Oscar that she didn´t want to go to his baptism... Drama I tell you. We had countless family counsels with them last week. Yet, Hermana Guajardo and I had no doubt in our minds that Oscar would be baptized with Vicki and Dora there. In the end, that´s exactly what happened. They were all on time to the baptism and it was so perfect. Really, I have never seen them three so happy, especially Oscar. We talked with them on Sunday night and Dora told us that she was still annoyed with Oscar in the baptism... right up until the actual baptism of Oscar, all her hard feelings left. She was finally happy for Oscar and felt good about it all. She said it was a testimony builder for her. It was an interesting spin of events... to see a change in not only Oscar, but in his sister and mom as he made the decision to be baptized.
This whole experience made me think a lot about enduring to the end. Even though this family had tons of problems and drama last week, they stuck with what they knew was right. Vicki supported Oscar in being baptized and even Dora showed her support even though she was still a little angry with him. They may have had to walk blindly, not understanding how it was all going to work out, but in the end it did work out. The baptism was beautiful and they all felt the spirit and are so much happier now, as a family. Sometimes we have crazy drama in our life and we just don´t know how it will all work out, but as we hold strong to the gospel of Jesus Christ and continue in what we know is right, we can have the great faith that it will all work out. Even more, we can have the HOPE that we will have great joy in the end of it all... we can return to live with our Father in Heaven and enjoy the blessings of eternal life.
Such a wonderful week. We are also teaching a new girl named Yolanda. AH she is such a star! She is 21 and living alone, but has 8, yes EIGHT, brothers and sisters in a nearby city. When we first visited her, she seemed a little sad, didn´t smile a lot. But seriously just in this last week, she is SO much happier! You can see it! She smiles and laughs more! Yolanda gave a beautiful prayer yesterday when she thanked Heavenly Father for the opportunity to meet us because she doesn´t feel so alone anymore and she feels a lot happier. It´s incredible. AH! She is going to be baptized on the 7th of June. She came over to our house for lunch yesterday and ended up staying with our Pensionista for 6 hours! The Elders came after us to teach another investigator, then the visting teachers came, then an FHE... haha she is such a star! So happy and proud of her. So grateful that Heavenly Father sent us to find Yolanda who is truly prepared to hear this gospel.
Love you all so much! Praying for you lots and hope you´re all reading your Books of Mormon on the daily! Think of the blessings people!!
1. I was deported to Ecuador. Okay, not really deported, but yes I had to leave the country with 6 other illegal missionaries to renew our tourist visas. ha. ha. Thinking it would be a fun adventure... maybe i would get to buy a keychain or something from Ecuador... well, my expectations were scattered and destroyed. Long story short... We flew to Lima, slept, flew to Tumbes, Peru, drove across the border to Ecuador for 15 minutes, sat in immigrations for 4 hours, a pregnant lady yelled at us, my ear was still plugged from the plane and was in excrutiating pain, turned around, drove to Peru immigrations, bribed the lady with icecream to let us back in, drove to Tumbes, flew to Lima, slept, flew to Cusco. Yay! Such an adventure. The pictures explain how excited I was to be there. Okay, maybe I´m being a little dramatic. It was actually pretty fun to be with the Hermanas and enjoy the hot humid weather in Ecuador! I also asked for a blessing from the Elders because my ear was hurting SO bad. I literally haven´t been in that much pain for a long time. Within an hour after the blessing, my ear wasn´t hurting at all. It was crazy. The power of faith and the priesthood continues to amaze me!
2. Oscar is GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell how TOTALLY STOKED I AM???!!!! Oh my gosh. My companion was with Hermana Tamaríz while I was gone. We have been visiting Oscar everyday this week, really trying to figure out what he needed, his doubts, or fears about baptism. We fasted for him and then with him this week. I prayed harder than I´ve ever prayed for an investigator and for us to be able to know how to help him... then I left the country and literally left it up to the Lord. I had a feeling something great was going to happen while I was gone. Well, Hermana Guajardo and Tamaríz welcomed me with the incredible news that Oscar finally accepted the date to be baptized! They had a great lesson with him and after reading a few things we gave him to read, he told them that he did believe in God and that he wanted to be baptized. It wasn´t so much that he needed to recieve a big answer, but it was more about believing what he already believed. It was incredibly humbling to hear that incredible news. I know that Heavenly Father was listening to my prayers, Oscar´s prayers, and the many other prayers that were going out to him. I know that He made this happen. My faith was tested and strengthened in this whole process with Oscar. I understand more fully that we need to focus more on the Lord´s will. There´s an EFY song that I love that says something like, when I give up my own will and choose his, he gives me so much more. That couldn´t be more true. Sometimes we don´t know or understand His will, but just the act of giving up our own opens our eyes and hearts to more wonderful things! Oscar looks SO happy now that he has really made the decision to be baptized. We are planning an awesome baptism for him! We´re gonig to eat Flan! Woohoo! So grateful f or the plan of our Heavenly Father and the miracles he works in our lives. I guess sometimes all we need to do is leave the country and things work out! ;)
1. Do you and your companion talk about normal things ever? Like boys, family, ect?
The only boys we talk about are Americo, Oscar, Alberto, and ocasionally Lucas, our pensionista`s dog. ;) Haha but yes, we talk all day! We talk a lot about family, lives before and after the mission, life dreams... ya know... we have A LOT of time together. I heard once that one transfer together is equivalent to 50 years of marriage!
2. How tired are you at the end of the day?
Tired... more emotionally than physically. Let`s just say, that feeling of laying my head on my pillow at the end of the day has never felt so good!
3. Does weather/little things get you down ever? It seems like you could get your arms cut off and would still be happy. :) love it.
Haha, I love the weather here! I love when it rains, it makes things exciting! I don`t like when it`s hot... I think about those poor missionaries in Arizona. AH! It`s cold, but mostly sunny here! The weather doesn`t affect me much. I don`t think I would enjoy having my arms cut off.
4. Would you like to travel more?
"I`ll go where you want me to go dear Lord". In the mission, I love where I am and love where I am going. I would love to see more of Peru, but know that where I am is where i am supposed to be! As far as traveling on Pdays or something, yes I would love to see more of the fun tourist sights!
5. How is your perspective on life going to be different when you come home?
I will have to answer that in a whole different email. SO MANY THINGS!
Thanks for the questions! If you all get together 5 or less questions a week for me to answer, that would make it easier for me to know what you want to hear :)
I absolutely LOVED talking to you all yesterday! Seriously I was so happy last night. I am overwhelmed by the blessings I am seeing in your lives. I know the Lord is blessing you in so many ways! I couldn`t be happier to see just how happy you all are.
I kind of already told you about updates on our priority investigators this week, so I`ll give you updates on Oscar next week. I am learnign to have more faith in the Lord as I learn what His will and timing is for Oscar. I know that he will work miracles in his life according to his faith and our faith.
I love you all SOOO much! More than you can imagine! Thank YOU for being the greatest family in the world and for supporting me!
What a week... what a DAY! Wow. Once again, I don´t have a ton of time. Sorry! Today was really crazy. We went to Sacsayhuaman early in the morning with the other sister missionaries... super fun, and super tired, but mostly super fun! After we came back, changed, and headed of to write our families, we ran into Brian (pensionista´s son) in a bit of a panic. He told us that Marisol, a woman who got married and then baptized last Friday from the other ward... her daughter just died in a car accident. Her daughter was 7 years old and her dad planned on baptizing her next year. Ah my heart dropped! So today, Yomira has been running around helping her and the family. Marisol and William (the parents) are in shambles right now. We went to the stake president to find someone to give them a blessing and he got right on it! Within 10 minutes, we met two men from the stake in white shirts and ties at the hospital ready to give them blessings of comfort. We have been helping take care of her other baby (2 years) today. It is a very humbling thing to experience. I can´t even imagine how the parents are feeling. I talked to the Dad for a minute, explaining that the brothers were going to give him a priesthood blessing that would help him have more peace and calmness right now. He told me that he feels peace and he knows that his daughter is safe... He just hurts. I am grateful that they are in the church and have the support of members and most importantly the knowledge that they will see their little Daniella again. They are an amazing family! I know they will be guided and protected by the Lord.
I am excited to talk to you all this Sunday! Love you all and excited to talk to you! Happy Mother´s Day Mom! Love you lots and talk to you soon :)