This last week was an adventure. Really. It was very packed with experiences - and at times seemed really long. But mostly in a good way - if that's possible.
It all started when we met a referral from another investigator from another ward. We really didn't know what to expect, but even if we had I think we would have been surprised. Saif is from Afghanistan. He's been here for a little over a year - and his French is really rough. But between his French and English, we were able to learn that he's totally into Jesus. Like, really, really into that guy. AND that he's read the Book of Mormon twice! In Pashto - for the first time when he was 8. Kind of cray, cray, eh? And, he's totally into the church, but.....We can't baptize him because the Taliban will kill his family if we did. Which is actually kind of a problem. So, we're allowed to teach him, but nothing more, for the moment. #investigatorproblems
I can now pray in 4 languages! And as I've learned to talk to God in Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole, our relationship has been enriched (I'm only kind of joking.)
One funny thing about my mission is that I can count the number of times I've been door-to-door tracting on my fingers and toes. It's good, because we usually have more productive things to do. But, last week we had about 20 minutes between appointments, and decided to try to visit a potential. She wasn't home, but her cousin was, and after chatting for a few minutes and setting up another time to meet we decided to knock on some of the other doors in the building. Within 10 minutes we found a less-active member AND a young man who said he had been praying and reading his scriptures when we knocked on his door. We had our first real lesson with him on Saturday. He's cool.
As I mentioned in my last letter, we feel very fortunate to have a good pool of people to teach. But just because we have people to teach doesn't mean things are always easy. And after reflecting and realizing that most of our investigators weren't budging, we decided to fast. Friday morning we went to sing with the old people and missed a call from an ami. An ami who had been a referral from a member and...well. It's rather complicated. But do any of you remember me telling you about that woman who a member had invited to recover in her home after a crazy operation? If not, that's ok. The details make the story a little more painful, but I don't have time to do justice to them right now. Anywayyyyy, we called her back. And she told us she didn't want to take lessons from us anymore. She was simultaneously sweet and vicious. I haven't cried much on my mission (maybe 10 times. One being during our Christmas call, and most of the others after receiving Glorianna's painfully poignant mix of gruesomely nostalgic tunes last week.....Thank you, Noni. It was a good thing. I just miss you. A lot.). Anyway, I cried when Vilma dropped us. It wasn't awesome. And we were hungry. But we just picked ourselves up and continued to go to our appointments. Someone cancelled. Someone else cancelled. And we were pretty mopey. And then we went to the home of one of our favorite amis...and she wasn't there either. And we had had an appointment. And it was just rough. We were walking back to our car when she ran out of the house to get us (she had been putting her baby niece to sleep). So it was better.
Then that night, we had a lesson with one of the families we're teaching. The husband was having a lot of difficulty understanding the role of prophets, and we were struggling to explain in a way he could understand. And it was just ...rough. And then his wife was like "You girls were sent to us from God - and I want to be baptized. I wasn't sure for a looong time. And when the boy missionaries were here I was pretty sure your church was satanic. But it's not. Je veux etre chez-vous. I want to be baptized. As soon as I can be. And, Jerome, I'm setting an example for you. I know I was already baptized, but I want to be baptized by proper authority. And everything you girls have said has come from God. And I want all of the kids to be baptized. And Jerome, I'm setting an example. I hope you're paying attention. Sisters, please come back tomorrow while he's at work so we can pray for him. He needs to be baptized, too." And we were like " Uuuuuuuuut", but actually we were really happy and it was very challenging to temper our reactions. 'cause it was just kind of amazing. And then we went back and prayed for Jerome and had a lesson with all of the kids. When we asked them if they wanted to be baptized the super smart 15 year old boy was like, "Yeah. I really want to be baptized because it's like starting all over again. It's symbolic of the resurrection" and we were like: "Uuuuuuut"
And it was super great.
And this is really incoherent, but I'm just struggling to write this morning. There's a lot I want to say, and not enough time.
Je vous aime - beaucoup. It's just too much. The love and fulfillment I feel when entire families agree to be baptized is only matched by the despair which rests in my heart when I think about being so far away from you. And when I listen to Noni's music and just wanna have a Fun Day.
All Hail the Pig King -