Well this very well may be my last email home.... because next Monday I'll be in the mission home (I'll be heading down on Sunday night...one day early to register for classes at BYU...WHAT REAL WORLD?!) and then flying home on Thursday.
I can't believe how fast time has passed. It's been hitting me little by little.... earlier today when we were cleaning the house I shouted, "THIS IS THE LAST TIME I WILL BE CLEANING A MEXICAN APARTMENT ON A PDAY SO I'D BETTER ENJOY IT."
There have been a lot of outbursts like that lately....(all in Spanish of course...I'm just translating it for your benefit..haha).
"THIS IS THE LAST TIME I WILL BE GOING TO BUY TORTILLAS FOR YOU HERMANA I. SO I'D BETTER ENJOY IT."
"THIS IS THE LAST TIME YOU WILL BE PROSELYTING ON A SUNDAY WITH US HERMANO J. SO YOU'D BETTER ENJOY IT!" etc etc etc.
CHAFAAAAA. Ni modos. Not sure how I feel yet. Maybe I'll tell you next week.... if I end up writing that is...
Well I have really learned a lot these last few weeks in Teopisca with Hermana Arellano. Every missionary talks about their "trial period" on their mission... maybe a time when they weren't seeing baptisms or other things... but I honestly never felt that on my mission. Yes.... I've had trials. But I was able to see them all with an eternal perspective. I thought that maybe I would just pass my whole mission happily without this lame "trial period" that everyone talks about!
Well I think God decided to wait until the very end to give me mine... so He could see if I would really stick it out and endure to the end of my mission. Not gonna lie. It's been hard.
Coming to Teopisca I expected to be like BOOM EXPLOSION BAPTIZE AND REACTIVATE EVERYONE. When I came I felt like I knew how to work the system, how to be guided by the Spirit, how to work my butt off... and mas que nada how to baptize. I had baptized every month of my mission until that point. Maybe Hermana Hansen was a little orgulloso okay?
I honestly thought I knew exactly what to do to be a successful missionary. Until the weeks passed.... and the baptisms didn't come. So we worked harder, we practiced more, prayed more fervently, and fasted more. And there still weren't any baptisms. So we tried new tactics, tried to rely even more on God and the Holy Spirit... and the baptisms that we were sure would happen just kept falling through.
So I thought, "OK...time to be humble. Obviously God is trying to teach me something out of this. I know He will reward us for our efforts. He must just be saving the best for last!"
The best for lasting being.... Hermana M. Poco un poco... all of our investigators have been delaying their baptisms... but Hermana M. has stayed faithful. She has had a real desire and has really repented and made changes in her life.
FINALLY came the day of her baptism. Saturday. Everything was ready. She passed the baptism interview with flying colors, had been showing faith by reading the Book of Mormon even though she has little education, she had repented.... and her baptismal service was waiting for her an hour away in San Cristobal.
We went to pick her up, and she wasn't there. The door was locked. So we called her, and she screened us. About 3 times. Then she completely blocked us and it went straight to voicemail. Frantically, we start walking towards the graveyard, where apparently she works on a ranch.... trying to find her. On the way, we find some members, who tell us that she's not working at the ranch.
Since it was still early, we went to the apartment for a bit, to do the training for my companion. We watched an episode from the District 2, which cheered us up a bit. Then we sucked it up and went to work. We ended up having a successful day, and started a fast for Hermana M. Later that night, we went to visit her. We found her bundled up in bed (because it was FREEZING). When we walked in, she wouldn't even look at us.
Actually.. she didn't make eye contact with us the whole visit. So we started normally, we sang a hymn with her and said the opening prayer.... and then we asked what happened with her baptism. She lowered her head even more, and was silent. After a few minutes... she silently started crying. So we sang more hymns and tried to ask her what was wrong. But she just sat there, not looking at us, silently crying for a good 30 minutes.
After a while and a lot of questions, we finally coaxed it out of her that she had talked with her extended family the day before and they had told her 3 things.
1. We were crazy
2. She was already baptized and didn't need another one
3. They would never talk to her again if she was baptized in our church.
We are sure they said more things, but that's all she would tell us. So she was confused, and avoided us to avoid being baptized. We asked her if she still had a desire to be baptized and she told us she did. So we shared some things with her and our testimonies. But when we invited her to be baptized the next week she said she would have to think about it. She said she would come to church, but she didn't come. I think this has been the hardest for me because we love her so much and know it's God's will that she be baptized.She has such a desire to "turn a new page." But, people have their agency. And Satan is a hard worker.
We have put our faith in the Lord. I know that if we rely completely on the Spirit, there is still hope that she can be baptized this week. It's my last week... time to see the miracles here in Teopisca.....
Jacob 5:And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come.
As we say in swimming.... LAST ONE FAST ONE.