Well, It`s been a while since I`ve wept so much at the keyboard, but I`m getting used to the crying in public deal, you just have to let the tears fall down, not worry what it looks like, and your companion understands it all, even if the cashier for the internet cafe doesn`t. Thank you all for your birthday letters, I am printing them and will keep them along with the letters I`ve received in the mail. Like I mentioned in my response to Braden, there`s a lot of things here that I`m trying not to let numb me from being me, from seeing the situation of people or from the sensitive whispers of the spirit. I don`t want to let that kind of thing become routine or unspecial. I want it to be a wonder or a tragedy, or be what it is, but that it might all be something new, raw and real. Life isn`t to be live just passing through, you have to let yourself feel. For so long when I was at home, I was numb to what was going on around me, I tried to show empathy and sometimes it was real, but other times, it wasn`t, and that`s not how we should be. I guess what I`m trying to say is that I was really touched by what you all wrote, I cried like a baby, and now I won`t have a ton of time to respond, but that I love you all in a way that`s much much deeper than when I was at home, or at BYU.
As for the clock at home. Mom, I had to do a catwalk because we forgot the keys to our third story apartment. The building next to ours has a window close and so we asked our neighbors if we could put a plank from their window to ours to get in...and I made it, super easy: no giant clock to heft this time. (We switched off of Daylight Savings time and our super big clock has been wrong since Cameron left...no one else changed it :)
So there were emergency transfers this week, kind of like a merry go round in just our zone. Elder Mariscal and I were notified Saturday night at around 11that he would be moving to another area in our zone, and that I would be heading to the other half of the ward to form a trio. This was probably the hardest change. We worked so hard to open this area and at the end of everything, the area will be closed for 4 weeks until the next change or more. We have two families that we will baptize from ano nuevo 2 this month, and we will be doing everything possible to maintain the area. Just yesterday, we had 11 investigators come to church, of which there were 4 families. That constitutes a miracle in my book, and I know that the area is about to explode, the only problem is that we need one more missionary to make two companionships. The morning of the changes Elder Mariscal told me that he was pretty torn because he won`t be here for my birthday. He was being pretty sentimental, and then he hit me in the head with an egg...totally planned out. So that’s that photo. It’s a tradition here in Peru but he didn’t hit me with a bag of flour, so that part was good.
Excerpts from letter to president:
This week was incredible, the families we have for this month and beyond finally started to all progress and gain testimony of the Book of Mormon. We were able to teach almost every other day with the Cotrina-Paz Family and their 17 year old daughter finally came to church. She bore her testimony in the lesson yesterday afternoon and it was so incredibly strong. She had doubted about everything until she walked into the church and felt a tranquility enter her heart.
As for Elder Mariscal, he will be an incredible missionary in wherever he ends up. I can see him training next transfer or after that. He`s loving with investigators, knows how to work smart, hard and enthusiastically. He puts his whole heart on the line in every lesson, and shows people that this Gospel is REAL, it matters deeply to him that every person, no member or member, receives the same opportunity to hear the Restored Truth.
Anyhow, that’s all I have time for this week. I love you all, I`m so grateful for your support, for the birthday wishes, and for the love that you express. I pray for you specifically and hope that you are all happy, living in the way that our Heavenly Father wants us to live.