Sunday, August 4, 2013

July 29, 2013- FIRST BAPTISM!!

Yesterday was the best day of my life. We had 5 investigators at church.  Count them.  FIVE.  Plus several less actives.  PLUSSSSSS.  A BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was absolutely beautiful.   Her name is Alejandra.  She is the grandmother of the golden family we have been teaching.  It has been a little bit tricky because she doesn´t actually live here.  She lives in La Florida, but she is moving here  this coming month to live with her daughter Jenifer who my companion and her companion found first.  Jenifer then shared the gospel with her daughter, Caroline, who will be baptized this coming Sunday.  Then with her mother, who was baptized yesterday.  Also, with her sister, Massiel -17, who is currently trying to quit smoking but should also be able to be baptized this coming Sunday.  Jenifer is not married.  She lives with her "pareja" (I don´t know how to say that.  It´s like a boyfriend that´s a husband without a ring.)  and her daughter Caroline who is 9.  They have plans to get married but want to do it right, with a big party and whatnot, so they´re trying to save up money to make it beautiful.  Well... we´re kinda like... who needs beauty?!  Just get married already!  Haha but the honest truth is that I totally understand because I would want the same... BUT, here´s the awesome part.  She told us about a week ago that she definitely wants to have her next child within the bonds of matrimony. Saturday we went to teach her and it just so happens that... drum roll please... SHE´S PREGNANT!  WOOT WOOT!  We´re going to have a wedding soon!  We have also been teaching her husband little by little.  He pretends to be stubborn, but we know he´ll get baptized too.  Anyway, Alejandra.  Yeah it was a little difficult because she doesn´t live here, but we taught her about 5 lessons in one day this past Wednesday when she was here for a few hours, and she was ready.  Now, I know that sounds crazy.  I know it sounds like we just wanted to have a baptism so we quick taught her everything and dunked her.  But it´s not like that at all.  She was SO PREPARED. I´ve never seen anyone, member or not, more converted to the gospel than her. We did a pre-baptismal pre-interview Wednesday night and it was unbelievable.  The Spirit was SO STRONG.  Like tangible strong.  She knows and understands better than me I think.  The Lord has been preparing her and her family  their whole lives. The other day Jenifer said, "I knew I was missing something in my life, but I never knew what it was until I found it, or rather, until it found me."  They are truly wonderful people.  And I fully expect Alejandra to be stake relief society president next week. Haha. No but really.
Hermana Mora and I have been working on being more... interesting.  We would love any object lesson ideas that you have.  Please feel free to send us ideas from seminary, EFY, etc. including  EFY games for Family Home Evenings and whatever else you may have. We would really appreciate it.
Speaking of he Hma. Mora, she continues to be wonderful.  Today is change day and we are, as we expected, staying together here in Renca.  Yesterday, we had a surprise visit from President and Sister Essig in sacrament meeting. I told Sister Essig how excited I was to stay with Hna Mora for another change and she said, "Yeah... but I can´t promise that you´ll be together after this one."  This also affirmed what we thought.  Our assumptions are that she will finish training me here and then be transferred (hopefully to the islands) and leave me here to direct the sector.  BUT we never know!!  Anyway, her English is progressing at an unbelievable rate.  She also wants to learn how to play the piano and sing. As you can imagine, this is rather difficult when, well, we don´t have a piano.
It´s the craziest thing.  People always tell me that the first two months of the mission are so hard and the worst time of your life and just miserable in general. I just... don´t feel it. I think it´s because I was sent home already.  I already had my miserable two months.  Now it´s my turn to have the best year and a half of my life.  Really though. I mean, every time someone slams a door in my face or condemns me to hell or tells me that I´m ruining the lives of everyone I talk to, I just think, "Welpt! At least I´m not at home!"  Wow. That does not sound how I mean it.  But you know what I mean.  Next week will be two months here in Chile.  Can you believe how fast time flies? I feel like I just got here yesterday.  How can that be?  I think it´s because I allow myself to enjoy every second of every day. It doesn´t matter how rough things get, I just put a smile on my face and decide to be happy. It´s a decision. 
I hope you got the pictures from my companion last week. Her memory card works so we´ve begun putting her card in my camera (my camera is better but her card works).  I´ll send some pictures of the baptism.  We share the branch with elders.  Alejandra wanted Elder Hart to baptize her. He´s the elder in the picture from Kayesville, Utah.  His companion, Elder Osborne, is also from Utah.  Pretty much every gringo missionary is from Utah. People are always shocked that I´m from a different state.
Welpt!  See ya later!
Sister Thomas

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