Well this week has been pretty great! Hermana Sanjines and I had a really awesome day yesterday because………
1) It was her birthday! The members were really cute and we ate cake for lunch and for dinner too. Whew. But it was worth it. Tres Leches is always worth it.
2) Our sector, San Silvestre 1, had its first baptism since its opening! FINALLY! We did it!
It was seriously such a tender mercy baptism. Heavenly Father knew that we were struggling and he was like, ”Ok, let’s give them a little pick-me-up.” Roxana was baptized yesterday at 9 AM, just before sacrament meeting started at 10:30 AM. We had to cram all of the missionary lessons and discussions into one week by literally visiting her every day. We had her baptismal interview planned for Thursday afternoon in order to leave us a little bit of grace time, but when Thursday came, Roxane just got bombarded with work and she couldn’t even leave the house until Saturday night. And that’s not the best idea to do—have an interview just the night before the baptism, because if it turns out that the investigator needs a little bit more time, you have to call everything off and tell the members. We were a bit worried but everything turned out fine, and the Elders really helped us out by cleaning the ward for us and filling up the font. Our new ward mission leader bought little cupcake Twinkie things and some juice so that in the morning on Sunday, we had little refreshments. It was great! Roxana loved it and when it came time for her to bear her testimony at the end of the service, she couldn’t help but shed a few tears. Her 10 year-old daughter (Carla, who reminds me of Isabelle) was just beaming. After the interview on Saturday night, when we got back home Carla was there waiting anxiously. Roxana looked at her and said, ”Hija, I’m getting baptized tomorrow.” Carla couldn’t help but just jump up and give her mom the hugest hug in the whole world, and then dance around. Then she ran outside and ran to a house a few doors down to tell the Primary President (and her young kids) that her mom was going to get baptized. She was so excited, it was so cute! Hermana Sanjines and I are really happy for them both. It was such a sweet moment.
Funny story though — just after the interview, Hermana Sanjines and I had the idea to stop in a little street side bakery and let Roxana choose something to go as a little Congratulations gift. She walked right to the pieces of cake, her eyes glued to a specific piece with beige frosting. ”What flavor is this cake?” She asked. ”Coffee.” ”Ok, please give me one.” Hermana Sanjines and I, ”No no no Hermana we don’t drink/eat coffee, remember??” ”Oh yeah…. I forgot, haha! Ok, then what flavor is THAT cake?” ”Coffee and chocolate.” ”Ok give me one of those.” Hermana Sanjines and I, ”Hermana, NO!!” It was really funny. She kept forgetting. Oh boy… But don’t worry, she’s really solid. We know that she was serious about getting baptized. She’s got a good testimony. She doesn’t drink coffee at all, and her daughter won’t let her anyway. She’s just got to get used to it.
We’re actually planning to go to the temple this week or next week with Roxana to do baptisms. The mission came out with this data that recent converts who enter the temple within 6 months of their baptism have a retention rate of 80 percent. If they go in the temple within 6 weeks of their baptism, the retention goes up to 98 percent. Now that’s the Spirit of Elijah talking. This week, we also got to spend a little bit of time with our very dear Carmen.
She’s a new-ish member, and we’ve been visiting her since forever. We are definitely going to visit her and make food with her when you guys come down. She made me promise! Anyway, she has been going through a really hard time right now. But one of her passions is cooking, so we went over to her house and helped her prepare cuy!! The dish is called Piccante de Cuy, and it’s a traditional dish from the Sierra. It was really cool. Hermana Sanjines has never even seen a cuy in real life, let alone seen one dead and cooked and eaten, so that was a new experience. But when all was said and done, she said that it was hands-down the best dish that she has eaten YET here in Perú. And she’s been out for 8 months. Score Perú! It was actually amazingly delicious. I’m thinking that we’re going to have to ask Carmen to prepare it when you come down, it’s just too delicious to pass up and it’s one of those experiences you’re not going to have anywhere else. Eating cuy or weird stuff like that totally doesn’t even phase me anymore. It’s funny to think how I would have felt like 2 years ago.
Anyway, so that has been our week. It’s actually been really great. I’m glad to be here. It’s crazy how everything changed practically overnight this cambio.
Well, that’s about it…. I know my letter isn’t crazy long this week. But things are going well. I’m happy because we’re getting to visit a lot of new members, since we’ve changed the boundaries. In fact, I need to run right now because we’ve gotta teach this less-active family about the forgiveness. It’s going to be a really beautiful lesson. And then we’ve got to meet up with the Elders to do another family night with them at the house of some more less-active members. Not sure what we’re going to do for that… the Elders are in charge of it this time. Every Monday we do a Family Night with them and visit members because it helps them get more excited about missionary work when they see us working together, united. Anyway…. so yeah! We’ve got to go but I sure love all of you guys and I love always getting to hear from you! Thanks for working stuff out for me about school and sending me pictures and actually reading all of this stuff that I write…. You’re all the best!