Well this week started really lousy, got really great, and then today, got kinda lousy. Because today are transfers. And our whole zone is changing. I'm particularly bummed because Hermana Baker has had a transfer. And I don't know what I am going to do without her. We've been together for 7 months, living together no less, and now she's off to Abancay as an Hermana Leader! I can't believe how quickly she is being called to positions of leadership! It's seriously so fast. People usually aren't Hermana Leaders until their 8th or 9th transfers. And she's already there. I'm so proud of her. She is going to be great. But I'm really sad for me. She's been my best friend here through everything. I feel like I'm leaving home again. Like leaving family again. And I know she's bummed about leaving so I don't want to say anything, but seriously my heart is breaking. I'm going to miss her so much. And I hope and pray that we can serve in the same area again. Soon.
Also Hermana McMahon is leaving. Other piece of my heart. Gone. And everyone else that was in my original zone when I got here is gone. Elder Pearce, my zone leader, Elder Bodily, we shared a ward, and now I'm the oldest here in Puno Central. Like by 2 transfers. So that's weird. I'm kinda jealous. Like I'm going on my 5th transfer here in Puno. By the time I'm done training Hermana Rodriguez, I'll have almost 9 months in the mission. And I don't get how that is possible. I'm convinced that it's not and that this is all just a weird coma. I just feel like I'm starting the mission all over. Transfers stink. But you know it's a good thing. I know I'm not done here yet and the month of January is going to be jammed packed of baptisms and weddings! Yeah now we're to the good part. The miracles of Christmas!
So this week we were like hey you know what we're just going to be awesome. Well it didn't start off like that. Awesome I mean. Hermana Rodriguez came down with a bug and was walking dead for a couple days. So we didn't have a whole lot of work that we were doing because she just wasn't doing so hot. But we always left in the afternoon to try to have something and boy did we have something.
We'll start off with Fredi. Fredi is a 6 ft 4 19 year old Peruvian (duh) who is just awesome. Like in our first cita with him, we challenged him to be baptized and he responded with "Oh Hermanas. I would LOVE to be baptized" and we were all whoop and hallelujah. But then things got kind of weird. Like he still wanted to learn, but he was really closed off about it. Like we freaked him our or something. So things got reeeeaaaallly slow with him. He told us he still wanted to be baptized but that he wanted to wait until January (he told us this in October) and that he wanted to get baptized in Lima. And it's like well yeah we can try to convince him to get baptized sooner and to get baptized here, but he was like a mule and so we're like yeah we'll keep teaching him and hope for the best. But yeah nothing really changed. We kept teaching him but he was like nope. Lima. Bummer right? But This week something changed. He's a young single guy so obviously we can't go alone to teach him and our usual plan A, Gaby, had classes and couldn't come with us. So like 2 hours before the appointment, we called in a moment of desperation our Bishop's Wife, Hermana Maritza! She is awesome! I remember like my fist transfer here I compared someone to sister Bolton, well I retract that and now I'm saying that Hermana Maritza is literally the soul sister of Hermana Bolton. They are the same! Hermana Maritza is just really short. But yeah she's like hey lets go. So we went and she just told him straight up "Fredi, I know that you are an awesome kid, and I know that your going to get baptized. So just do it. Don't worry about anyone else. Just do it. because you know. And I've never seen you in the chapel, so this week we'll see ya in church. Listo?" And he was like uhhh what? But guess what, HE CAME!!! AND STAYED ALL 3 HOURS! That never happens! He always goes to Juli in the weekends and never goes to church.But he came. And I almost cried. He's going to Lima the fines de Enero for vacations, but we're going to try to get him baptized before se va!
Miracle number 2.
Remember Maribi and Giomar from last week and Giomars questions that kind of killed me inside. Well this week holy cow our lesson was awesome. We brought this time our Bishop and his daughter (the bishops family rocks) and in the beginning we confirmed with them that they were going to come to church this week. Well Maribi was still a go, but Giomar told us that he wouldn't be able to because he was going to travel (People here always travel. Always.) And we were like Dang. We don't want that. But what can we do? So we just kind of left it. And then the Bishop just talked to them and gave them the fellow-shipping of a lifetime and they talked for like 45 minutes with us just watching and usually that would bug me but in that lesson, I was so grateful. Because Giomar, who is a less active, told us before he didn't want to come to the church because he was worried that people would judge him and wonder how he wasn't married and already had a kid and he just didn't want to go for that. But the bishop just opened his arms and his heart to this family and the whole spirit in the house changed. It felt like a big happy family reunion. And at the end of the lesson, Giomar asked us again at what time our meetings started. We told him 9 to 12. He said "Yeah. I'm going to do all I can to come. You can plan on me too with Maribi". It took all my strength to not scream and jump for joy in that moment. Because before he was always like "yeah the next week hermanas. I promise" and that fell 2 weeks. But yesterday I had the pleasure of watching him, all suited and tied up, walk into the chapel hand in hand with Maribi and their little son Evan in tote, also in suit and tie. It's the first family that I have brought to the church services. And it was seriously the best feeling in the world to see them there, take the sacrament, and sing the hymns. We gave them both Books of Mormon with our testimonies written in them. During the sacrament, they both read in their Book of Mormon our testimonies. I wrote in Giomar's and Hermana Rodriguez in Maribi's. I was sitting behind them so I couldn't see Maribi very well, but Giomar was diagonal to me so I could see his face as he read. And I swear I saw a tear. He laughed at a couple parts, I don't know why, maybe I'm funny, or my grammar is still really bad, but you could just see a brightness about him. And I just watched as they read. and they showed each other their own and it was just such a precious moment for me to witness this family learn and feel the spirit together. I loved every minute of it. I can't wait for them to come this following week.
It's just so amazing to see the impact that really the members have in this work with the investigators. I think that's the thing I learned most this week. That wow it really does make a difference. These two things that happened this week I am convinced would have never had happened had it not been for the members, in particular the Bishop's family, that helped us. Before I shrugged my shoulders at the members. Like no pasa nada. But where was my faith? Where was my faith in the work that God has for them? I am not doing to this obra de salvacion alone. Nor should I. I just have to get off my high horse and accept the help that is so ready to go with me. That's what I learned. That the members aren't the problem. It's my pride that's the problem. Humility is an interesting thing isn't it. Cuts you down right when you need it, but blesses you more that you can imagine. I studied that this morning; that if I am not humble, no pasa nada. And God really humbled me this week. And I had more success this one week then I have had in months.