Serving in the Mexico Mérida Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pascual's Baptism and a great week!

Hola Familia,

Hno Gerardo Herrera , Pascual, H Torales , Lia, & Hna Harper
Pascual's baptism was glorious. And a miracle. We had our interview the day before the baptism and the elders told us we’d have to cancel the baptism because of some problems.

President wasn't available for an interview. So we started walking back from the stake center wondering why God was making it all happen that way-- because Pascual’s wife was going into the hospital the next week and he was going to Samal to take care of her and wouldn't be able to be baptized for at least another month. I thought: “Well, we don’t have control over it so I’ll just trust Heavenly Father.  He knows what he's doing.” But THEN the Elders called us and said “Hermanas! Come quick! The President can interview him right now!” So we hustle it back to the stake center and then Pascual has an interview for like an hour while we wait in the offices.

And when he comes out, ne can not only get baptized, but President paid for him to go get his wife and sons to come to the baptism (that had been the plan, but Pascual hadn’t found work all week so he couldn’t afford the trip.) AND THEN President gave us special permission to travel to Samal (it’s a city a hour and a half away) to teach his family, who want to be baptized! It’s crazy! I can totally see Pascual being a super potente priesthood holder at the head of a happy eternal family. It makes me so happy.

The day of the baptism, nobody showed up on time, including Pascual. His wife couldn’t come because it turned out her operation was a week earlier than they expected, and he was pretty depressed and probably wouldn’t have come if we hadn't had called him. (“I don't have white pants,” he told us.) We also walked in the chapel to discover the entire building was flooded with a good 2-3 inches of water. Hno Alvarado had forgotten to turn off the font. But after everyone else showed up, it only took us an hour to clean the chapel, and once Pascual started working, he was fine and we had the service. It turned out that because the baptism was late all the people who showed up for the ward activity just came in for his baptism, so we had a full house. Hna Torales got to come because Pascual loves her!  And Hno Herrera who baptized him owns a bakery and brought empanadas filled with some kind of mashed green potato that Sister Harper didn’t like, but I thought were pretty good.

And he's so happy right now. I can’t believe how much he feels different. He just looks different. I wish I could explain it. His countenance is just cleaner, or more simple, or more alert or something.

At our English class, we had SEVEN students!  They ALL showed up a half-hour late, pretty much within 5 minutes of each other. :)
Our English Class
Anyway, it's been a great week. Next week I'll tell you about our investigator, Jesus. To answer Livi's questions:

1.  Do you read the Book of Mormon in order every day, or just bits and pieces?
That is a really good question. The rule here is that you have to read through the BoM for a half hour of your hour of personal study and we have a little marking system. There is a LOT of value in reading it straight through (I really missed doing that in the CCM) because you notice lots of examples or applicable things you never would have thought to look up. Then for the other half hour I go searching for things that will help my investigators. Studying for investigators is a very inspired process. Psh! studying is an inspired process. I’ve realized one of the biggest ways the Spirit instructs me is by priorities: “Studying this would be a better use of time than that.” “This is a better/more efficient way to do that” or “This is more important” and things like that. Or sometimes it’s just good ideas. Sis Harper and I came up with a great analogy about making cakes today.

2. Do you want a companion that speaks English like you?
Well, when you need to communicate really clearly and efficiently, like during planning, it’s a dream come true. Most of the time we try to talk in Spanish though (even though that really wears you out.) You guys, it’s so great. I can pretty much understand what people are saying to me. Sometimes I even forget Spanish is a problem.

3. What has been your favorite thing so far about Mexico?
Sister Harper and I have developed a very bad habit of buying pan from the panaderos that ride their bikes in the street (the bike has a huge cart in front of it that is full of 'pan' which is not bread as we think of  it, but all sorts of pastry danish-y conch-y things.) They have these obnoxious squeaky horns that they honk incessantly so you always know when they’re coming. The kind that I always get is called “budín.” It's like a really dense, bready-like custard that comes in bars. Sister Harper thinks it’s gross.

You guys, I eat so much. Ava, you would be proud of me. I ate a hamburger for a bedtime snack the other day.

4.  If you could go anywhere in Mexico where would it be?
Well, everyone says that the Cenotes (caves) are their favorite, so I want to see those. I also want to go to Cancún at night to see the phosphorescence in the crystal-clear water under the moon. If I come back though, I’m not crazy about doing the touristy things. I kind of just want to visit my people. 

Thanks, Livi. I’ll answer your questions next week Mom.

Much love,
Hermana Lia

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