We went last night and got the chapel all ready. And getting it " all ready" included cleaning the font and the baptismal room and the whiteboards and the hallways. I love Peru, but it seems like every time we go into the Capilla, there is a mess. I think that principle of "make a mess, clean it up" needs to be reinforced. Anyways, we cleaned it all up, wrote all fancy on the whiteboards, and then blew up all these Purple and blue balloons and stuck them everywhere.
Today, we went by and visited A at around 8, just to make sure that he would be there at 9, and he was waiting on top of his roof, waiting for us! He is the best. We´ve been seeing him a ton around town this week, and every time we see him we say hi, and he¨ll say " hermanas....... que mas?" which is like saying "sisters..... what else?" He is such an awesome guy. We found out the other day that he has 5 kids, and is separated from his wife, and had an accident a few years ago that gave him a speech impediment and a limp. He needs this Gospel so bad, and honestly, our ward needs him too!
Then, we went and got E, who lives with Hna Liz. We had plans to get her at 8:20 and get there at 8:30, but this is Peru, and she had to help get the kids ready, so we ended up getting taking a taxi and getting there at 8:45, and to our surprise- the church wasn't open, like the bishop said it would be. So, we did a little more waiting, and then at 8:55 the bishop came and opened it. So we went inside and helped get her all ready (you'll notice in the pictures that she has her jeans on underneath her baptism dress.... we just said "whatever floats your boat!" and went with it).
And then, just like we KNEW he would- A was there at 9, on the dot. So he got all ready and dressed. And then (ahh, this part drives me NUTS) we had to wait about half an hour for the other members to show up. And we told them all 8:30! That needs to be fixed in our ward, but I don't know how. Anyways, then we left and took pictures, and then, saddest thing ever, Hna Liz had work, so she had to go, and couldn't see Elena, who is like a daughter to her, get baptized. If only we would have started at 9. Oh well, there's no use crying over late members.
And then- they were baptized. It was so special. I cant even describe it. Then afterwards, they got to share their testimonies- and A looked at us and said "Thank you so much for everything. I feel... free. I feel free." And E is super shy, so she didn't want to talk about it in front of everyone, but as we walked home with her, she just kept saying how happy she was.
Now is the tough part, where we make the transition from us to the ward, where we get to put trust in the leaders here to visit these people, and to have friends other than us. It can be rough, or smooth as butter, and you wanna know what it all depends on? WARD COUNCIL. Its all true what they say, consejo de barrio is key in retaining new members.
Later today is a Relief Society volleyball tourney at the stake! And guess who gets to go because its P Day and also because we'll be playing with investigators? THIS GIRL. I'm pretty excited about the whole thing- I ll let you know how it goes next week.
Alright, I think I'll end this letter now, and since this has been a day filled with the spirit- I think I'll end by saying that I know that this is true. Its all true. What I'm doing here, the way these people are changing their lives, and the peace that comes through the atonement of Jesus Christ is all real. Its all real and beautiful, and we have it, because we have a loving Father in Heaven who loves us, and who has a goal for us to return to Him. And were not supposed to go back alone, we need to do our part to bring back our family and our friends. As many children of God as we can. I know that if you look for ways to help our Heavenly Father with this divine work that He has, He will bless your life in more ways than you thought possible.
I love you all so much!!!
Have a great week!