(Lia still should write on Mondays, she just has had conferences, doctor appointments, schedule changes lately! She should be back on schedule next week! She is certainly still on the track to awesomeness:-)
The first DearElders trickled through this week! I got two letters from May, from Livi and Luci. Thank you for writing to me, hermanitas (little sisters). I enjoyed it immensely! And just so you know, Livi, you can write as much as you want in a DearElder because I can read it any day of the week-- and because it’s a physical copy I can stop reading and pick up where I left off. Will you send me ballet pictures?!
Sister Pitcher is still battling with her sickness, but pushes on quite admirably. We’ve been going to lots of doctors appointments and sometimes have to go back early to the house. Before, I had always wondered: If I had more time to study, would I get sick of studying?” Nope. I don’t.
Bad news. Last week, our house flooded during a storm and... damaged my violin. A string broke, the hair of the bow was damaged, the bridge is warped a little, and for some reason the sound post got dislodged. The actual body of the instrument and the bow are fine so it will be very reparable. But I’m thinking I should wait until I get home to do the repairs. Fixing the sound post would require taking apart the instrument and I just don’t trust anybody. So, I think I am going to place my violin in my case and entomb it for 9 months, and then when I get home there will be something like the resurrection—“every joint will be restored to it’s proper frame.”
I feel this hole in my heart without being able to play. And I’m bummed because we were going to have a ward pioneer activity (in Mexico) and I got permission from Presidente to play fiddle music. Y ya no. (not going to happen) I was also going to play at Carlos’s baptism this weekend.
You guys would fall IN LOVE with Carlos. He’s 15 and a gangster (in Merida). We found him our first night looking for an antiguo investigador (past investigator) and we taught him on a stump under a streetlight and he was all gung-ho for being baptized. But he started to have some rough patches (he wants to be a rapper and the church standards were in conflict with some of his stylistic tastes and role models). He told us he didn’t want to be baptized if he had to give it up and we were actually worried that we were going to lose him, but YES, miracles happen. Never underestimate the power of member fellowshipping.
On one of our nights to go visit him, we ran into the Ward Mission Leader from Barrio Tanlum. Our member that was supposed to accompany us that night bailed, so we were like “Do you want to come to a cita (an appointment) with us?” and Hermano Elier said, “Why not?” And thus began the BEST (cutest) friendship ever between Hermano Elier (he’s 25 I think) and Carlos-- Carlos became his little brother and even though they’re not even in the same ward, Elier goes and picks him up for church every Sunday. He has totally changed Carlos' life by giving him a respectable friend to look up to.
And, the OTHER huge miracle was the Merida-Cancun EFY (a youth conference called Especially for Youth). We got Carlos snuck in at the last minute, and it was the best thing that could have happened. He was so excited because Hermano Elier told him about the talent show on the last night and so he started writing a rap to perform, and it was this grand project he was working on and every day. When we would come for his cita he would fill us in on how it was going.
Well, pretty much everyone at EFY fell in love with Carlos. We’ve heard lots of reports from people who went and experienced Carlos for themselves. He was an EFY celebrity. The night of the talent show, when he got up to perform, the whole camp ERUPTED and jumped on their feet and he started rapping and they all just went nuts. He was a super-star. Everyone said he was the best. And apart from that, he made a ton of friends (actually we catch him in between meetings at church facebooking girls he met at EFY. “Carlos, is that a girl?” “No.”)
And more meaningful than anything else, the day he got home we went to visit him and just seeing him, his rostro (countenance) was completely different. In the lesson, I asked him if he bore his testimony and he started crying (that is not Carlos) and said that when he got up to bear his testimony, he felt something inside him change and he became a different person. Spiritual manifestations of the truth are real. We asked if he wanted to be baptized and he sniffed and said “Creo que si.” (I think so)
And guys. the rap he wrote was about his life and the missionaries and the Book of Mormon-- and he showed it to us afterwards. And I took a picture of it. And my camera DIED!! It’s the best rap ever and you’ll all have to wait for next week.
His baptism is this Saturday.
Love you all,