Monday, October 25, 2010

'May we open with a prayer and a load of whites?'

I hope that the title gives you an odd image in your head and I hope that that image at least a little bit resembles the odd week we have had. I am sad that I won't have much to report on the missionary side of things, since it seems most of our week was spent doing laundry. I'm sure that those who have access to the news have heard about a pest epidemic, and it seems with our schedule and our visits, we invited lots of little roommates into our apartment. At least thats what we think because Hna. Rodio kept getting bitten during the night. So, to get rid of the invisible vampires, Elder Alldrege, the office missionary over housing decided we should probably fumigate. Fumigating a missionary apartment means washing EVERYTHING in hot water. That means everything. That means the flowered curtains over our window. That means the old coat an ancient sister left in the closet. That means everything. Do you know how long it takes to wash everything made of fabric in a 4 sister apartment? 2 and a half days. We had to come back between every appointment to change a load of laundry. We seriously considered bringing our laundry with us to our investigators' houses, hence the subject line. And on top of all that, to avoid having to do 2 and a half days of laundry when they come back in 2 weeks to spray again, we had to move. So we found a family in our branch who have a little studio apartment that we can stay in for a few weeks. No study area, no kitchen, but it is cute and bug free. It is just difficult living between two places, because we can still go back to our old apartment, we just can't keep our clothing there, and we can't sit down anywhere... We also live farther away from the VC now and my bike has a flat tire, so we walk every morning and get rides home at night. We have come up with a companionship motto - If we can make it through this we can make it through anything. It seems to be working so far!

A few short updates on the mission: Jesus finally got confirmed! He was baptized Oct. 2nd, but then had to go to Mexico suddenly because his mother got sick. He doesn't have a phone nor does he live in our area, so we were very worried, but with the help of another recent convert we were able to track him down. On Sunday we had one last minute scare. Israel was going to pick Jesus up but he got there late and when he did, Jesus was nowhere to be found again. He called us and we were worried but told him just to come to church. On the way to church, he ran into Jesus, walking! He was so determined to make it this week that when Israel didn't come on time he started walking. I don't even know how far of a walk he lives from the church, it is at least a 20 minute drive. His confirmation was so special, and the brother confirming him started crying at the end when he blessed him to know he was loved and accepted by our branch. Jesus doesn't really feel that from many people so it was really special. After Sacrament meeting he came up to us and gave each of us a little glass statue (like the kind he pulled out of his colorful bag) and told us we were his angels.

As I have been coming closer and closer to being permanently transferred ;) I have seen so many other tender mercies from the Lord to help me realize the impact a mission makes on people. I saw Juan Ortega at the VC the other day. He is still just as excited about his baptism. I remember when Hna. Guzman and I first found him, and when Hna. McBride and I struggled to get him to read the Book of Mormon and go to church. He now goes almost every week. Once Hna. McBride and I asked him to start the Book of Mormon from the beginning. When we came back about a week later he told us that he had read 14 chapters already. 14 is a lot for a week for most investigators, so we were super excited, then he opened it up to show us and pointed to 1 Nephi... chapter 1... VERSE 14... On Friday, however, when we saw him at the VC, he opened up to where he is now... the Book of Ether! He is almost done with the Book of Mormon. He just thanked us for finding him and bringing the gospel into his life.

Last night I got to see Emilio and Estrella again. They were at the VC watching the Joseph Smith movie with their new missionaries (they moved from the Sister's area, but stayed in Liahona 4th.) They go to church every week still and Emilio has finally decided that he wants to get baptized! We asked him every lesson from practically the time we found him if he felt ready to be baptized and he just said he wanted to learn more. He was probably the most faithful reader of the Book of Mormon I have every taught, however, so that time finally came! Now he is going to get married and baptized, he hopes before the end of the year (his girlfriend is married to someone in Mexico.) Estrella was so excited to see me, and said she was hoping we'd be at the VC. We weren't even serving there, just waiting for some investigators to come. She still wants to go on a mission and said that she doesn't think she can wait 12 more years! I don't think I could ever express the joy that comes when you see how someone's life has changed and how they appreciate you for your part in that. I know that missionary work is all about them, rather than about us, but I am still grateful the Lord lets us have those little moments. And I am so grateful to serve in such a small mission with a VC, so that I can still see all these people who mean so much to me.

And for the other people who mean so much to me - I hope that you all have a great week. I miss you all and love you all! Happy Halloween! I hope your week isn't as frightful as ours has been ;)

Desde Mesa con amor,
Hermana Ladd

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