So this was one of the most productive & unproductive weeks of my mission! First of all, Monica was baptized and confirmed, and the strength of here testimony is really impressive. She shared her conversion story and it was super awesome! She goes to church by herself (she is 15 by the way) almost every single week, and said one Sunday she was there in church and was looking at all the families and thought to herself, wow, I want this for my family too. Her parents have been separated for over 11 years, and she hasn’t seen her dad in that time. She said that she began to pray harder than she ever has in her life that her dad would come to visit her. Then, one day, about a week later, her dad actually showed up at their house for the first time in 11 years. It was then that her mom finally broke down and decided that Monica could be baptized. She even came to the baptism, and now we are working with her and with her 11 year old sister that has also been coming to church. Her sister is named Sarai and has a baptism date for the 19th of this month, and we should have another one that day of the 9 year old daughter of a less active family we are working with. I usually don’t like baptizing children because it is so hard for them to be active, but if we are working with the parents and have their support, i think its ok. The 9 year old is named Celeste.
This week was characterized by a lot of traveling. Like a lot. We got on a bus early Wednesday morning to take the 5 hour trip to Arequipa. The long distance busses here are SUPER nice. We spent an extra 5 soles to be able to ride on the first floor where all of the chairs are pretty much lazy boy recliners. They show movies and what not, and it is super comfortable. We got to Arequipa, headed over to Chili`s (the mission pays for our lunches when we have meetings with President) and enjoyed some delicious hamburgers and walked around the mall for a little bit. I bought a much needed new backpack, my comp bought a terrabyte hard-drive, and then we went to the Plaza de Armas to enjoy the Christmas stuff they have set up there. We had our meeting with President Zobrist for the rest of that day and the next (they put us up in a hotel for the night) and then we headed back the next day to get back to Moquegua. Friday we had to spend most of the day doing administrative stuff (my comp is the mission scribe so he has to do type up the ACTA from the meeting with president) and then we had to set up Monica`s baptism that night. Saturday we went to Ilo to go on splits with the district leaders and then meet with the stake presidency in Ilo. We got back late that night then woke up early Sunday to go and get our investigators to take them to church. Then the whole afternoon was missionary correlation meeting with our ward mission leader, ward council, meeting with the stake presidency in Moquegua, then the Christmas devotional. Funny thing about that, there was one ward that announced that it started at 5 pm (Peru time) and so there were people waiting in the stake center for THREE HOURS until it actually started at 8 haha. But the devotional was fantastic and I really felt the good ole Christmas spirit. I am grateful to have an awesome family who has awesome traditions, and am super grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who saw fit to send us His Son so that we could return to His presence again. If you haven’t seen the new videos the church has put out for Xmas this year, check them out, they are awesome!
Well, have a fantastic week, talk to you soon (really, the skype call is coming up)