This week was New Years, and a veritable war broke out in Lima, but not really. We went up to the 5th floor of our building and watched some fireworks and I took a pretty good video of 15 minutes straight of gigantic aerials. The smoke lingered for probably a couple of days and fireworks are a year round thing kind of and so the dogs didn’t really freak out too much. We also burned a muñeco which is kind of like a scarecrow/effigy. It’s a tradition here in Peru and represents burning the past and getting ready for the New Year. We named him Elder Shrek and he had a drawn on plaque and everything. After New Year’s was all over, we finally got to work and were able to get the people we are teaching to focus, until then, it was more like, appointments failing and people being generally flaky and not coming to church and not reading because the neighbors were up too late partying.
Now however, Beatriz is getting baptized this weekend and the next weekend we are starting to complete a family, baptizing one of the kids (Kevin 9 years old) of a couple we married and baptized a month or two ago. Beatriz is exciting, still a little bit wishy washy, but she was able to get through her baptismal interview and we are helping to put her doubts to rest. Especially she doubts why the prophet needs two councilors and that the Catholic Church which her father is in won´t help her get to heaven. That’s a hard doctrine, but it’s that they will help her get to heaven, the terrestrial kingdom, and that isn't where the majority of people really want to end up. She wants to have an eternal family, and the only way to do that is to be in the celestial kingdom, and before that obviously be baptized and go to the temple. I love talking about eternal families and the plan of salvation. It´s absolutely the root of everything here, and the most misunderstood that there is here on earth.
If everyone just understood that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that He sent us here to be tested, that we came here to a have a family and progress spiritually for a period of about 80 years in which we will experience joy that we didn´t know before because we didn’t have bodies. That the death we know isn’t the end and that we are destined to become families for the eternities, there wouldn´t be quite as much sadness in the world. Also, there would be lot more respect for the law of chastity, that’s not something to be played with, seriously. Here, it’s a huge problem, and the people sometimes don´t understand, but almost all of the time they say they know it’s a sin or that they shouldn’t, benefits of that the Catholic Church at least teaches that. If they don’t enforce it, that’s another issue.
This week will be a good week, but at the same time a little up and down, cambios are a coming and I don´t know where I will be after next Monday. I think I am staying another change, but we really never know. Guessing doesn’t help, and so I will try to get my head down and work hard this week to make sure things go well with the baptism and that the area looks good into the future.
I love you all, I hope everyone had a safe and fun new years and that they can put time into dedicating this year to being just a little more diligent, a little more loving, a little more patient and a lot more happy.