|Juan and Maritza|
A question for Jackson, Did he know a hermana Arcos during his mission? Her sister lives in our ward and the hermana will be getting married somewhere near BYU soon.
A happy birthday to Braden in 6 days and a warning for those others who haven´t quite remembered. His is tricky because its on the next calendar page haha. I hope that everything is going well for you.
The biggest news this week is that we found out that Maritza doesn’t need her birth certificate until at most two weeks after the wedding. SO she got married to Juan on Saturday. Wahoo! That was almost all week that we spent in the municipality getting her papers all ready and legalized and health checks and all kinds of other fun stuff. I will really know how to marry people when I get home, if you catch my drift. The mission put on the wedding in the stake building just north of my area and so Elder Arce and I went up about two hours before it all started to help with prep and so that I could be there for the choir...again. This time I had about 4 days preparation with only one practice. Thankfully all were returning choir members and I wasn´t director. Three elders and 4 hermanas in the group. We sang Families Can Be Forever in Spanish and then verse one again in English, and the hermanas were all latina so they had a fun time learning to pronounce Earth. Elder Arce has a video of it, and so I will get that from him maybe this week. We are thinking of just swapping memory cards during a computer time so we can exchange fotos and videos of the choir performance. The wedding was great, and the stake president spoke before the officials did their spiel. He spoke about the importance of having a selfless attitude in marriage and looking for the good in each other to the point of not being able to find the faults. It was really powerful.
Yesterday was their baptism. But the first test was if they would come to church again on Sunday. They did, but the doors of the church close during Sacrament, and they made it like two minutes before. I had been reading this week in Jesus the Christ about the parable of the ten virgins, how at the day of judgment even the church will be divided as to whom will be saved and who won´t be. When the doors close for sacrament and literally three minutes later there’s two or three families waiting outside in the cold (read 60 degrees...yeah I’m accustomed)) I had this overwhelming feeling of sadness, like that’s how it will be, we are partaking of the sacrament and the others just didn’t quite make it. I felt really pained about that because they’re members too, right? Anyway, little perspective check there.
I baptized the dad, Elder Arce baptized Maritza, and Elder Garcia got permission to come baptize the daughters. It was a great example of ward participation when the relief society put together a musical number and the leaders of every group were there to support this new family. Afterward the family each bore their testimony and more than anything the testimony of Brenda hit me. She didn’t believe in God before ad so this was huge. She got up and said how she was nervous during the afternoon before the baptism but when she left with her family she felt just this pure feeling of love come over her, and then again after she left the water. BAM! Hit by the spirit like a ton of...blankets haha. They are such a golden family, and I can see them continuing active in the church for the rest of their lives. That night they invited the brother and sister in law of Maritza to the next Sunday to see them confirmed. Already doing missionary work!
I don’t use my earplugs because I’ve just gotten used to the sound of the cityscape outside, it’s actually pretty normal and when I get home it will be strange to have any silence. I use the drops occasionally, (drops to make the water taste like lemonade) but the big news is that I bought an electric kettle this week so I can have manzanilla (chamomile) and anís (anise) and leche de gloria (glory milk) because its pretty cold out. For the refills for my pen, black would be best, but if it’s the other pen I can take either, I just need one or two black for official papers. In the area we have more or less two areas, the hill and everything else. Everything else is about 10 times the size of the hill, so they are pretty receptive, but really we do most of our work through the members references. The people on the hill are super impoverished and so they have lots of time usually and so that’s always good to be able to get in with them and show them how the gospel can help them lift themselves up in more ways than material.
All of the Lima missions go to the temple more or less every 3 months so that’s always good. Mission Lima East I think has sierra and city. Congrats to Christian and one more similarity between us apart from birthdays. That’s just sooooo cool. One more Tri-Citian in Lima.
Thanks to dad and Braden for their letters as well and I received the dearelder from Melissa from before Mother’s Day on the last P-Day, so that’s a good gauge of time for ya.
I love hearing from you and I feast on every letter. In this area we can´t print letters but sometimes I want to print parts for review, so I guess in another area maybe that will be possible.
I love you all, take care of each other and keep in contact with one another, the family is the most important thing in the work here and it should be the goal of our lives to strengthen those eternal bonds.