This week's update:
I started my fitness program this week. It's called "21 Months to Sexy." It is an adaptation of the fitness plan "6 Months to Sexy" that all of the missionaries with 6 months left use. I give myself two weeks.
We got a new ZL. His name is Elder Beach and he is from Springville/Cedar City. He know Christian and some of his old friends. He's nice and he's a pretty cool guy. We still have Elder Sotelo, so that's a blessing. He's such a great leader and teacher. Heck of a guy.
Other news...I printed out a picture for Romona of her baptism. It was the one with her family, me, and Elder Murphy. When I gave it to her, she started freaking out and saying "Que hermosa! Que linda!" amongst other things. Seriously, she was freaking out haha.
We found some incredible asado walking back to the pench one night. Beef so good, bring a tear to your eye...sweet cherry pie. It was so dang good.
Still making preparations to move in to our new pension! The people here do such sloppy work with construction haha. So toy. But hey, I'm grateful to have a place to live. We bought our new fridge and oven/stove today, so we can finally live there. It was so funny, just these two gringos in Musimundo! buying a fridge and an oven.
We are trying to start a new phrase here in Clorinda. we always say "Que leche!" or "Haciendo la leche!" It basically means "cool" or "doing work." Que leche. Or "Eso es la leche!"
Elder Sotelo is always singing "Rockin' around the Christmas tree," but he only knows the "rockin' around" part haha. He heard it during the performance of the assistants and secretaries at the Christmas activity. I started singing the complete line, but apparently he didn't really understand it because now he sings "Rockin' around...the Krispy Kremes" hahaha. Sooo funny.
Saturday was the baptism of Ezequiel, Milagros annnnddd.....ABUELA LOPEZ! LINPIA LOPEZ! They wanted to have her baptized with her grandkids, which we didn't know. Their aunt was kinda poppin' off about it and saying how she was mad at us haha. Just a misunderstanding, and their aunt really does love us. We have a baptismal date with her for the 22nd of this month. Anyway, we had to call President and ask for permission because she hasn't come to church with us at all. She is there for every lesson and listens every single time. The problem is is that she is old and can't walk very far. She also has cancer and some other sicknesses. She had listened to missionaries before when her son was baptized, but her family said she didn't really like them. But years later, when two gringos who can't speak Castellano arrive, she has a total change of heart and wants to be baptized. Her family told her after we started meeting with them that she just loved us and wanted to be baptized. I seriously love this family. So anyway, we nervously call president, which is always scary because you need to have a plan and know every little detail and little piece of information. If you stutter or say "uhhh" when he asks you a question, he will tear you apart haha. So Elder Sotelo called, gave him the info, and he said yes, she can be baptized! The only condition was that she needed to be baptized by the branch president or her son who lives in Paraguay and is a bishop there. They don't have a lot of contact with the son, so President Rojas did it. It was sooo awesome. We sent a taxi to her house and totally took care of her. They all came the next day for the confirmation. It was seriously so amazing! The baptismal service went super well. We had a lot of people there and had great talks from the members. Elder Murphy baptized Milagros and Elder Beach baptized Ezequiel. I didn't get in the water, but the important thing is that they took this important step and have a desire to follow God's plan.
Then later on in the evening, we talked with la Familia Perez for a bit. They are that inactive family I have told y'all about. We sat outside with Hermano and Hermana Perez for a bit and just talked. Then when Hermana Perez left to go get some soda and treats, Hermano Perez, who is always joking and is kind of weird, starts casually asking us what we can and can't drink. Like coffee and tea and stuff. He obviously knows because he's a member, so we're just like what the heck. Then he says, "Well what about cigarillos?" We tell him no, and then he goes, "She smokes, Romona smokes them! That's why we don't answer the phone before church!" Hahaha soooo sly, Hermano Perez. So casual. So he starts telling us to ask her about it and we say no because we don't want to offend her. When she got back. she sits down and he goes, "Yeah so the elders asked me if you smoke because you smell like cigarettes." She looked sooo shocked and we were just like "Liar! We didn't say anything!" So it just turned into a big game of who could throw the other person under the bus haha. She was cool about it, though. She said she smokes occasionally but wants to stop. So, we told her we can help her and also that through faith in God and working to quit, she will be blessed. We are making plans and goals for her to quit and we are going to get President Rojas to come bless her and talk with her because he used to smoke a lot before he was converted. Also, Hermano Perez dubbed me the king again beacuse he thinks my Castellano is better than Elder Murphy's haha. He is always saying that I'm the king, I speak faster, learn faster, and I'm "mas capo." We all just laugh about it, but it's kind of awkward at the same time. I'm not saying that any of that is true, just relating the story. ;)
After that, we met with Ezequiel, Milagros, their aunt Paola, Abuela, and the rest of their family. They aaaalways keep saying how sad they'll be when we leave and how they don't want other missionaries. We just tell them we don't want to talk about it right now and that we can talk about it later when the time comes. It was heart breaking! I got a little teary eyed when we were finishing our little lesson with them. It really is true - you leave a little piece of your heart with the people here. They're an incredible family and they are super prepared for the Gospel. I'm so glad I have had the opportunity to teach them and help them grow and progress. I think about Abuela and about how in a couple years, she'll be able to go to paradise. How happy she will be! These are the kind of things that make me so excited to serve the rest of my mission. Being able to bring this message of love and truth to these people is an incredible blessing. As we teach them and help them, we are being taught and helped in return. My testimony has grown so much stronger. The best way to learn is through teaching and the best way to develop love for someone is to serve them. Those sayings are absolutely true and I am able to see that every single day.
Share the Gospel! Don't be afraid to talk to a friend or a neighbor. Think about the people you may know who could use the Gospel in their lives right now. Help out the missionaries. Give them references and contacts. It makes their work easier and can bless so many lives. Thanks for all your support and all of your love. I'm loving serving and working every single day. Obviously we have off days and yes we get discouraged. But doing this work has made me happier than I ever have been and through that, I know that this church is true and that this message is of the highest importance! SHARE IT, SON. ¡Vamos hacer la leche!
Love forever and ever,
#Argentina2k14 #CochinitosMojados #LaLeche #Sweaty #PomeloCrew
#PedroPomeloComeBack2k14 #TheStruggle #EarthWormCrew #TrabajandoAFull #NewPench #StackinCiens #GringoLife
Photos from last week:
#TheGuyzz with Tito Rodas, the member of the branch presidency who likes pop punk and stuff! He was listening to Blink when we got there and loves Newfound, Taking Back, etc. He is waaaay cool. Elder Naumann got transferred. :/ But he's been in Clorinda forever and a half, so good for him. He is the brown one, obviously.
Had to get a good hilarious face in there. These are before the baptism!
Me with Ezequiel, Milagros, Abuela, Paola (Tia), Graciela (the mom of Ezequiel and Milagros and Sebastian) and Sebastian after their baptism!