Monday, February 24, 2014

A Day of Faith

This week has been a great one. Kind of sad and emotional, but in all honesty, more great than anything else.

We started it off with a FHE at our Bishops house this past Monday. It went great, we ate and talked, and our Bishop seemed like he had something to say, but he just wasn't saying it, so then it was time for us to go, and he said " Hermanas, just a minute, before you leave, I have something to say." At which point he started to get really emotional, and actually started to cry. We think it all stemmed from this huge conference that all the Stakes in Arequipa had last Sunday, and in my interview with President I told him all about the progress in our ward, and how we put a baptism goal with our ward council, and we are going to complete it, and I guess at the conference, President actually had him stand up and be recognized for all his efforts, and for our little ward, and our bishop, who has got so much on his plate, I think this was a pretty big deal for everyone. Anyways, so he got emotional, and then went on to pour our his heartfelt thanks to us, for all the work that we have done. That was all the payment I will ever need for spending my time in this ward, and it was so unexpected. Then his wife started crying, and his 7 year old (who reminds me sooo much of another little girl who started crying when I left home) just burst into tears, and when we left their home, I just looked at my companion and said "Dang. This is going to be harder than I thought."

So we have been kind of saying our goodbyes and stuff, but it hasn't been too emotional. But tonight is our last FHE with my pensionistas family and that's a goodbye that I am dreading. Especially to say goodbye to Andy. Shoot, he was my first friend on my mission, and we played so much together! I wonder what that's like for him, to get all attached to the missionaries, and then have them leave. He is only 5, but he really is my little buddy.

 I will let you all know how that went on MONDAY, because that will become my regular PDay again. But I dont' know what time, because thats the day of transfers, and it might take me awhile to get to my new area. If I stay in Arequipa, it will be at 10, but if not, it will be later in the day (which will give you some more time to wake up.)

Hey- Pray for Antonio and Jose, will you? Three days before their baptism, they just disappeared. We hope that he is just avoiding his ex wife, and he will show up today, but we have been hearing so many different things about where he is from so many different people that we really don't know what to believe. We went by once on Thursday, three times yesterday (morning, afternoon, and night) and we went once before internet, and then we are going again when we finish here. Its just a test, a  test to see how we react. And so far, we are doing pretty good about not losing hope or getting discourages or anything like that, we just keep praying for him to come back, or to get a spiritual impression to come back, and we keep going back to his house with the expectation that he will be there. He will be there! But pray for us and them, will you? Thanks. :)

So last Saturday Sayuri and Vanesa were baptized. Things went alright, Vanesa and all her family were there right on time, and so was Sayuri... but her dad wasn't. He is the only member of her family that was going to come,  but the hour started to pass and he still didn't show up. You could just tell that Sayuri{s little heart was breaking, and she was on the verge of tears. We waited and stalled as long as we could, and then we went outside to take pictures, and then we called her dad, and he kept saying he was on his way, but then 20 minutes would pass- Finally a member just jumped in his car and went to look for him, and he finally came!!

Then, those two cute little girls were baptized- Vanesa went down and up fine, but Sayuri was a struggle. She had told us before that she didn't like to put her head under the water, but we just kind of assumed that she would be fine with 1 second. We assumed wrong. A priest in our ward was baptizing her, and he would say the ordinance, and then just kind of put her halfway in the water, and she would immediately come up, just scared out of her mind. She tried it twice, and still wasn't submerged, and then she almost started to think that she couldn't do it, so we close the font doors, and Hermana Pug and I went up there and comforted and coached her through it. I don't think I have ever prayed more fervently in my life- on my hands and knees at the top of a baptismal font, getting soaked, coaching this little girl through her baptism. We finally got her to practice bending her knees and kind of sitting down in the water instead of just going straight back and up, and she finally was baptized. Then we went into the bathroom, and hugged her, and told her how brave she was, and how proud we were of her, and how much stronger she will be for conquering her fears, and why it is so important for us to be submerged completely. She seemed to understand, but still, we were so worried that when she looked back on her baptism, she would remember it as something terrible, but we have visited her so much this week, and she is so happy!

We gave her and Vaney the D&C DVD set, and when we came to visit Sayuri- she told us that she had already watched all of Disc 2! So she is doing great, and the Young Womens even had a little party for her last Sunday. She really does need a strong woman in her life, because she doesn't live with her mom, and I know that she can find that in the church. We just got a new YW president that I think will be that for her.

And-- I think that's about it for this week! It has been kind of tough to say goodbye, but I'm looking forward with faith and anticipation, and I am so grateful for the experiences that I have had here, and I know that the ward will help our new members. What a blessing, to be able to get to know such beautiful people like these.

I love you all, and hope that you have a great week. I will talk to you Monday! (*cough*Feel free to write me between now and then*cough*DadZachHannahRachelAbbyAllieChaseJaime)

Hermana Leavitt

Vanessa and her family

Sayuri and her dad
Sayuri and Vanessa

Hermana Pug, & myself with the Bishop's family

Birthday celebration with my zone

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