This was one of the best weeks I've had in the mission. It was fun and spiritual and successful.
Monday night we had a Family Home Evening with Jazmyra (got baptized last week) and her family. They bought a giant pizza and she made my companion and me mugs that have a picture of us with her on them and said thank you for the blessing we gave her. We finished the night with a lesson that went really well about eternal marriage.
We had a big success with an inactive member this week. I've been visiting her house since I got here. Her mom is active and normally we just teach her because Alejandra (26 year old daughter) didn't want to listen. With time, she kind of warmed up to the missionaries and would listen to us but she hadn't been to church in 8 years and wouldn't go. We had a great lesson with her about the sacrament/atonement during the week and she said she'd go to sacrament meeting. Then on Sunday she actually did!
Salome is still doing well. She seems to be getting happier and she always lets us in for a lesson when we pass by. Her baptismal date is the 22nd of March and I hope she makes it.
I got to baptize 2 people this week, Aerton and Gerardo.
Aerton is 10 and the hermanas' investigator. I've known him for a long time though because we went with the hermanas to teach him several times since my first cambio here in Alamos. He's a smart kid and understands the gospel well. I helped the hermanas call in the water truck to fill the font since they'd never done it before. The water truck guy didn't make sure the hose was securely inside the font I guess because when we went inside to watch it fill, it was spewing water into the room instead of the font. The water comes out at about the same speed it comes out of a fire hose so even though we think it was only out about 20 seconds, it filled the whole room with about an inch of water and was pouring out into the hallway. It took us about an hour to push all the water down the hall and into the bathroom drains. I didn't think to take pictures until we were getting close to done.
Gerardo was baptized when he was 8, but no one created a membership record for him. So he needed to be baptized again and we did it yesterday. Working with Gerardo has been the most meaningful experience of my mission. I met him my first day in Alamos when he was almost completely inactive. Since that time I've visited him about twice a week and he has completely changed. He's active, he's worthy, he understands as well as anyone else the importance of the gospel, he's excited to serve a mission, he is a good influence on his friends and talks about the church with them. Working with him has made me reflect on many experiences I've had in my life and how they've affected me. I understand better now how important the gospel was in my life, and I'm even more grateful for everything God has done for me.
I was really worried about going to some place cool to serve my mission before I got my call. What I've come to realize is that the people where I serve are far more important than the climate or language or food. The experiences I've had here are incredible and just what I needed. I've been able to connect quickly and easily with people in a culture where I'm sorely out of place. I've been sent just where I need to be to help people and to have the experiences I need to become a better person and understand the gospel better. I am so grateful to be here in Cochabamba and for having met the people I've met. President Anderson talked a lot about loving the people when he came to set me apart. I don't think any part of being a missionary has come as easily and naturally for me as loving the people.
Arthur called me yesterday very excited that he's going to be doing a baptism this coming Saturday. It's for someone who I only taught a couple of times while I was in Villa Graciela.
We had another awesome lesson with Miguel and Carmen. We asked Carmen how praying to know about the church went. She told us that when she'd prayed she'd felt good and peaceful and then that night she'd had a dream where her sister-in-law (a member who just left for her mission) was full of light and talking to her about the church. She told us that she does believe that was answer from God. She says she's going to get baptized, we are just waiting for her husband to get back from Spain this coming month. After that we talked about eternal families and she is excited for when she and her husband and son can all be sealed together.
Anyway, I hope you are all going to the temple. It is important. Have an awesome week.
P.S. Enos 1:3-4