Hey all! Well, its been a pretty eventful week. I'm not really sure where to start, especially because I know that once I write it all down it really will not actually seem that eventful.
I guess firstly, Sotero was baptized on Friday. And oh my goodness, it was the most stressful thing ever. Firstly, he wanted Hna Maughan to give one of the talks at his baptism. But, the Bishop told us he doesn't want us to talk, he wants members to have the opportunity to do it. So we called Sotero, and told him that and he said that was fine. BUT when we went over to their house on Thursday for dinner he told us he didn't know if he wanted to get baptized if Hna Maughan wasn't going to speak. Oh man, and he was being so stubborn and his MEMBER kids were not being any help either because they really wanted her to speak too. I was SO frustrated. I basically laid it down really blunt and told him that this was his salvation and it didn't freaking matter who talked in his baptism, the only thing that mattered was if he had a testimony and knew he needed to get baptized, which he does, and then doing it. So FINALLY we compromised that Hna Maughan and I would sing a song, and she wouldn't talk, and he would still get baptized. Okay- next stressful thing that happened with this baptism. Last Sunday Sotero told us he didn't have a ride to the baptism, and he lives like 30 minutes away from the church. Luckily when we brought up the problem in ward council, someone said they could pick Sotero and his son up. They even called us Friday at 5 oclock and told us that everything was still okay, and they were still planning on bringing Sotero for his baptism at 7. So Hna Maughan and I are getting the baptism all set up, and then it hits 6:30 when Sotero is supposed to be there and he's not there. We wait a little longer, and 6:45 rolls around and still nothing. So we call him, and what does he tell us? That nobody has come to pick him up!! We called the family that was supposed to pick them up about 100 times and they didn't answer. While this is going on the Bishop's wife shows up and tells us, oh, Bishop is picking them up. Apparently the family that was supposed to pick Sotero up ended up not being able to, and instead of letting us know, called the Bishop. So we call Bishop, and tells us he has been lost for like the last half hour, but rather than calling anyone to get help he just kept trying to find it himself. FINALLY at about 7:00 he finds their apartment, and we call Sotero to let him know Bishop is outside. and what does Sotero tell us? Its too late, that he can't get baptized because he is late. So after some very firm talking to, he was finally in the car and on the way to the church. He arrived and the baptism only started 30 minutes late. Smooth sailing from there, right? Wrong. The talks all go fine, Hna Maughan and I succesfully butcher a primary song, and then its time for the ordinance. Sotero's son Nolberto was baptizing him, and Nolberto has only been a member for a couple of months, so he was really nervous. So he had to do the pray about three times before getting it right, and then he goes to lower Sotero into the water and Sotero gets nervous or something and completely stiffens up and won't let him put him all the way under. So we have to try it again, a few more prayers and another try to put him under the water. AGAIN he got nervous and wouldn't relax enough to go all the way under. Once again we go through the prayer, and Nolberto trys to immerse him in the water, and Sotero still is being stiff, but everyone just started yelling, "All the way! Just push him all the way down! Just do it!!" So Nolberto just shoved Sotero into the water. And FINALLY Sotero was baptized. But does this end the stressful, dramatic story? No, no it does not. That night it continued to be a disaster with the movie we had planned to show while they got dressed, we couldn't get it to work until they were already back anyway, so that didn't happen. And then Sotero was late to church on Sunday and everyone was getting nervous that he wasn't going to show up for his confirmation, but he walked in JUST in time. So Sotero is now a baptized and confirmed member of the church, but after Sacrament meeting he was out of that building so fast he didn't even have time to congratulate him. We saw Nolberto and asked him where his dad was, and he said he was waiting in the car. So we go out to talk to him, and it turns out that Nolberto and Silvia, Sotero's daughter, decided they want to change to the singles ward, so they won't be coming back to our ward anymore. Unfortunately that means that Sotero doesn't have a ride to church. They said they had to go for something and we could talk about it later. So now we have an appointment on Thursday to go over to their house and try to figure out how Sotero is going to be able to be an active member of the church. Oh man. This family is so dramatic, like I can't even describe it. But, I do have something cool to add to this story. A few weeks ago we sent the missionaries down to Mexico to Sotero's wife and his other kids, and two Sundays ago his wife and one of his daughters were baptized!! And we sent the missionaries to the wife of another of our recent convert's and she was baptized yesterday! Phew. so thats the end of that story. for now.
My birthday was really really good. After the baptism on Friday we went over with the Spanish elders from our ward, the English elders that cover our area, and Sotero and Nolberto to a members house and they had a joint birthday/baptism party. We had pizza and I got sung to in Spanish. :) On Saturday the English elders gave me a present which is a giant anatomy book for kids that they filled with sticky notes with ridiculous comments on them. its a pretty sweet present, I just wish it wasn't SO giant so I could send it home and keep it. Then on my birthday I woke up to our apartment decorated by Hermana Maughan. She hung balloons from the ceiling in our living room and in 22 of them she put little notes with reasons why she loves me. She also hid that happy birthday confetti you sent me EVERYWHERE. I found it in my boots, in my scriptures, in all of my other books, in my wallet, in my camera case, in my planner, in my juice, in my pockets, in my altoids case, in my retainer case, on my toothpaste, EVERYWHERE. I also opened my presents from you. :) THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING! I was not disappointed. Then before district meeting we went over the Bishop's house and his wife gave us breakfast. At district meeting we put candles in those giant reese's you sent me and they sung happy birthday to me and I opened a present from Hna Maughan. Now I don't know if you know this, but I HATE eyeballs. Like they sick me out pretty bad. They are the one thing that get me kind of queasy. Somehow Hermana Maughan found this out, so after spending 10 minutes unwrapping her well taped present, I found 4 plastic eyeballs. YUCK. :) but it was fun. And then as a district we went to Panera Bread for lunch. Yesterday Cruz and her boyfriend Mario took us to sushi for my birthday and used Mario's poker money to pay. :) So all in all it was a super awesome birthday.
Other interesting stuff that happened this week. . . Well, Hermana Maughan has been waking up with with eyelids crazy crazy swollen, like if you've seen the movie Hitch, she looked like him after he had his shellfish allergic reaction. We finally went to the doctor and it turns out she has eczema on her EYELIDS! and it was turning into a staph infection. Luckily they got her on some antibiotics and steroid cream, and her eyes are looking much much better.
Things are going really really well with Luis, who is still planning on being baptized on the 24th. Like he is the coolest investigator ever. We taught him about the restoration on Sunday, and we asked him how he felt about what we were teaching him, and he said, "I don't really know how to describe it. Its just like this big feeling. Its really big, but its good." He told us how he wants to go on a mission, and he is hoping he can be a good example to his little brothers and his mom. Oh man, he is so so awesome.
I'm sorry to hear Dad is sick. Especially with bronchitis! Yuck that is a huge bummer. I just hope he doesn't go through 2 bottles of nyquil, a bottle of mucinex, and half a bottle of tylenol cold and flu like I did. :) I hope you get feeling better soon Dad!!!
I hope everything is going well for you! I'm glad to hear that Christmas preparations are getting all wrapped up! I am hoping to get my Christmas package out to the family today, but I'm not sure. I hope you like it, I had fun putting it together. :) I'm not going to individually wrap presents though, so you'll have to wait til Christmas to actually open it. If its gets there by Christmas that is. . .
Well, I think thats about all I got for now. I hope you all have a good week!
Les quiero muchisimo,
1. Sotero Sarmiento, fue bautizado el 9 de Diciembre, 2011
2-4. what I woke up to on Dec. 12
5-6. district meeting birthday party. Giant Reese's peanut butter cups were my cake
7. Elder Jones with the eyeballs Hna Maughan gave me. Disgusting