Last Pday we were able to go over to the Diestra's house for American style pancakes, complete with peanut butter, nutella, and American syrup. Their mom thought it was a little strange, but it was super sweet for them to go out of their way to do that for us. It was a lot of fun to try to teach them how to make them too (even if it was just a mix from a bag ;)),
This week our numbers have been pretty crummy, but we've had a ton going on. We've had lots of training meetings, a bunch of choir practices for a conference we had this weekend, and lots of other fun things. For example, Thursday the other Hermanas from our zone got to move into our house. So right now we have six Hermanas, 2 bedrooms, one study area, and one bathroom. The only really scary part is the whole one bathroom thing. Our companionship has been going to our pensionista's house to shower in the mornings, which is kind of a pain. But they had to move out for an emergency, and hypothetically will only be with us for 2 weeks.
Spanish is coming along, kind of. I understand a lot more. Like, exponentially more. Especially with the ward members. They're starting to trust us a lot more, and are super patient with our Spanish. I just need to be more confident. I'm probably using about 40 to 50 % Spanish right now when I need to be at about, well, 100%. We use a lot of Spanglish in our house. Oh! I don't know if you'll all find this as entertaining as Hermana Shelton and I did, but we taught Hermana Mamani how to sing Wild Thing. It's pretty stinking funny.
This weekend we were able to have an awesome mission conference with the Lima Norte and Lima Oeste missions. It was pretty nerve wracking because I was asked to play the piano, and our zone sang Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd as a special musical number. Elder Callister from the Quorum of the 70 came and spoke to us, and he and his wife were fantastic. It was super nice, because they don't speak Spanish. So we got to hear everything in English and then hear it translated. His wife spoke about the importance of being happy and smiling through our trials. As per usual, I think all things that can be applied to the mission can be applied to every day life as well. We all have hard days, and that's to be expected. But we all have to press on and work work work. The work is much easier if we try to be happy. If we try hard enough we will be happy. It's especially important because we are examples to those around us. It's downright silly to preach that we know the Plan of Happiness if we go around with a frown on our face. My favorite line from her talk: If we wear a smile, eventually that smile will sink down into our hearts. Elder Callister's talk was awesome as well. He talked about a lot of different things, but my favorite was when he described the importance of Lesson 1, the Restoration. He reminded us that it is impossible to teach this lesson without noting the crucial event of the Apostasy. Without the Apostasy, a Restoration wouldn't be needed, Joseph Smith would not have prayed to know which church is true, God the Father and Jesus Christ would not have appeared to him, the Book of Mormon would not have been found or translated. The Apostasy was absolutely necessary for these great prophecies to come forth. He used some really great analogies that I wish I had time to type out for all of you... if you're horribly curious let me know.
That same night we had our first baptism with Lucia! It was so wonderful. Hermana Shelton and I are still getting accustomed to the fact that nothing ever goes according to plan here, and most of the time nothing really is planned. So stressful. But the service ended up going really well. Her parents drove up from Trujillo to be with her, and they were beaming. They aren't members, but they are receiving the lessons now. Our companionship sang Mas Cerca Dios de Ti (which made several members of the ward cry... in a good way). Lucia was baptized by Anthony Diestra, and she was dunked 3 times because of her gorgeous long hair, and her knee. But now she's super clean and ready to receive her first calling sometime this week. She's excited to start going on splits with us. :)
The next investigator I'm terribly excited to get baptized is Guillermo. He has sparked such an interest all of the sudden, and is so ready to join the church. He absolutely loves to study the Book of Mormon with all of the footnotes, and I'm starting to think that he understands more from the scriptures than I do. He's really good at finding the applications from his reading assignments. His faith is phenomenal. He's come to trust us so much, and asked us all to sign his Book of Mormon because he never wants to forget us. It was pretty precious. He committed to being baptized on the 21st of September, which is his passed mom's birthday. So it should be a pretty special day! We're all really happy to see him progressing.
¿Què mas, què mas?
Oh! I wanted to know if I could give you all a homework assigment. In all of our training meetings we have been focusing so much on the Restoration. I'm curious to know in what ways has the Restoration changed your life? What doctrines or principles can you draw from this event? What can you do or apply because of this knowledge and experience? I'd love to hear from everyone. Maybe you can help me out during your family home evening this week. :)
Love you all!