Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Merlo- Week #34

Valentine's Day and Drama

Hello Family! Also friends…

First off, I feel the need to tell all of you that communication just got a little slower in Merlo. Unlike in Castillo, here in my area there isn’t a post office...so I have to wait until our Monday District meeting to send my mail when we are in a different area. Also, that means the letters I wrote last week just got sent yesterday, and the letters I write today won’t be sent until next Monday...kind of lame but oh well. By the way, I figured I should start telling everyone when I get their mail so they know that I got it. So this week I got Valentine’s cards from Grandma, also you can tell her that I did get that German card I am just bad at expressing my thanks...if she wants an excuse, tell her I am lost in the work and sometimes forget to write...haha, I also got letters from Amber Thomas(GO STORM!), pics from Natalie(sa-WEET), and a card from Dad with the picture I requested in it, but unfortunately dad there was water damage or something and ink got all over it...so if you could send another one... The false doctrine has slowed down. He now looks over hesitantly at me when he isn’t sure about a principle, and I give him an encouraging nod and he usually gets it right. The only thing I had to correct all week was when we taught about Christ’s baptism...just so everyone knows...Peter didn’t baptize Jesus...it was John...the BAPTIST...but it was only a minor error ahaha, the investigator actually corrected him before I could...but it is all good. Also that song by Gnarles Barkley song “Crazy” is on and Elder Arriola is singing along, but doesn’t know any other song but “crazy”...but that doesn’t stop him from singing every part of the song... Also I sent pictures to Kittye, Nat, Emily, and Alex a while ago and I was wondering if they ever got there...maybe not.

Let’s just say...best Valentine’s Day of my life...8 baptisms...So this week has been pretty sweet, as you can see from the pictures! You know it has been a good day when the white clothes you are wearing in a baptism picture are still wet from the baptism you had earlier in the other picture. The Figueroa family we taught everything and accepted everything, and got baptized Feb. 14th 2009! I thought they would all want Elder Arriola to baptize them because they have only known me two weeks, but the two youngest daughters chose me because they said I talk to them more. So I got to baptize them, and then on Sunday I confirmed them too, which was the most nerve-wracking thing I have ever had to do in my life, but it went really well! So Saturday, Castillo had the baptisms of Ciris’ family and so I called President and explained the situation, and he just kind of chuckled and said, “Take lots of pictures Elder, you deserve it.” So after the baptism in Merlo I called a taxi and it took Elder Arriola and me over to Castillo for the baptism. Ciris (the son) wasn’t there because he was really sick, so I didn’t get to see him, but I still had a great time seeing everyone in the ward. The bishop came up to me and thanked me for all I have done in the past six months, he said that the first Sunday I was gone they broke the record for Sacrament Meeting attendance, 110! And when I showed up six months ago, they were averaging around 60. That made me feel good too. So it was a pretty good Valentine’s Day.

So you would think that being a missionary you would be free from the middle school drama that always seems to envelop the youth program. Well, usually we are...until we have investigators who are youth age. Alright, so Jennifer Figueroa..., who I baptized and confirmed, went to a dance on the Friday before her baptism. Well let’s just say, all the girls in the ward are crushin on Rodrigo, and now Jennifer is too, but Paula, who just happens to be the Bishop’s daughter has unofficially claimed him as her territory...but Paula was found crying at the dance because Jennifer was dancing with Rodrigo, and sources now report that Jen and Rod kissed at the dance, throwing the whole young women hierarchy into chaos...and somehow the girls are trying to drag the elders into it, because we visit Rodrigo because they are recent converts...we quickly shut down any kind of attempts to use the teaching of the gospel as a way to advance the love lives of the mia-maids...but it was kind of funny trying to calm everyone down. By the way, my source is Camila, the youngest of the Figueroas, who I also baptized and confirmed, and little sister to Jennifer...and basically Camila answers any question I ask which is pretty funny if Jennifer is sitting in the room too. Anyway that was how the baptism went in a nutshell. Also I forgot to mention that in the Castillo baptism, the person giving the talk on the Holy Ghost didn’t show up so I was the lucky candidate to share my thoughts about the difference between the power of the Holy Ghost and the Gift of the Holy Ghost...and have now learned that my “talking off the top of my head” skills have fully developed in Spanish because the Bishop asked me for a copy of the talk I gave...and he was surprised when I told him I didn’t have notes, I was just talking...I considered it a victory.

Well time is up again, but just know that this week ROCKED, and the following week should be pretty good too. Hoping everything is going great for everyone else.

Love, Sean

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