April 11, 2011
Well it’s been a very good and quick week. The best part of the week was the baptism that we had on Saturday. This baptism had the most support that I have seen in a long time. We had three girls baptized (I’ll send pictures later on). That kept us pretty occupied this week. They are pretty cool kids (ages 15, 14, 11). One is Guadalupe that I’ve been talking about every week. Her little sister that was baptized about a month earlier came and helped her out. It was so fun to see the excitement in each of their eyes. Part of the program we sang “Called to Serve” (in Spanish). It wasn’t quite the same as singing with 500 missionaries in front of Prophets and the rest of the world, but it still brought the same message of who I am as a missionary. When we did the actual baptisms, all who were being baptized were really excited and wanted to watch each other. There were smiles from ear to ear on all of them and those that were helping. Also, two of the girls that were being baptized don’t have very much support from their parents, but they do from other relatives. This however could be a big stepping stone because their parents (one of whom is studying with the JW) came and watched the baptism. There’s a lot of work to do.
Another cool experience that we had this week is I did divisions with another elder that has been in my zone for all my changes and in my district for all but one. We get along super well and are fairly new so we got a lot of fire with “growing” direction. The coolest part was the first thing when we left in the morning. My companion was looking through the area book and found an old investigator that he didn’t recognize. We went out there and knocked on his door. After we asked a neighbor if he still lived there (the neighbor didn’t want to listen to The Message). We went back and knocked again and he came out right. We talked a little bit about who he is and what he has been up to. He’s a heavy alcoholic. He went to alcoholics anonymous and was clean for six months or six years (I don’t remember which). But he fell again and wants to change. He even admits that it’s an addiction. In all of that he said that all his life he’s been looking for the church that’s true if there is a true church. We taught the first lesson and promised him that the things that he does in the church such as baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost would help him fight his addiction. We extended and he accepted the baptismal invitation. He said that he had to because in this church was his salvation. Even though I probably won’t get to go back and see him, its still an experience that I’ll always remember.
Also that day something pretty funny happened. There is a custom among the women here. It’s the shaking hands idea but instead it’s a kiss on the cheek (you know what I mean you’ve seen it in the movies). we went to an appointment that was getting ready for her baptism that should be on the 16. My companion (it was still the day we did divisions) had taught her there for about three weeks or so and knew here pretty well. She shook my hand and then went to give him a kiss on the cheek! He was super scared (even though he is a black belt in tae kwan do) He couldn’t pull the words out of his mouth for a little while then he started to explain why and he couldn’t pull the words out fast enough. Kinda made the situation awkward but I couldn’t help laugh inside.
The last cool/sad part of the week was Sunday. The food appointment was set to go to the people that I had baptized first. We went there and she said that we would go the relatives who live just down the road. We went there and when I asked how school was going they said not so good. Here, they pay to go to school every day. The kids haven’t been going every day because there isn’t enough money to go every day. We finished eating (by the way, they asked for two blessings and revelation even comes in Spanish broadcast), and went back to the house the conversation went something like this
Elder Mackay : Hermana how have things been?
Hermana Ana : more or less, ok.
Elder Mackay : Well... I heard that your kids are having a tough time going to school because sometimes there isn’t enough money. Is this true?
Hermana : (looks at the floor) yes
Elder Mackay: Why didn’t you tell me? We’re here to help you. The church is here to help you.
Hermana : I know...
Elder Mackay: You guys are people that I have baptized. Therefore you guys are very important to me. (Starts tearing up)
Hermana : You likewise. (Starts tearing up and crying). Explains what’s been going on and that they want to do what’s right, just feel so trapped by the economic side.
Elder Mackay: If I could I’d give you a hug right now. Hermana is it ok if we talk to the Bishop about this to start figuring out this problem?
Hermana : Yes
Elder Mackay : We’ll come by later this week to check and see how you guys are doing and we’ll talk with the bishop
I felt like such a shmuck for not visiting them earlier on. I figured out something though. We can’t leave anybody behind on this earthly trip. We’ll be checking with the bishop. Afterwards, we went home and made a list of all the problems/todo lists items that we can’t forget about. Well gotta run. Hope you all have a great week. Don’t forget why your here and what your sent here to do. Love you all, and as often as you write me I will right you