Well its been an eventful week! Stephanie got baptized, and we got transfer calls! Two of the biggest events in a missionaries life- baptism and transfers, back to back. SO STRESSFUL.
Okay- so first, the transfer. In missionary lingo, I am being whitewashed into an area. That means that the missionaries that are currently there are both being taken out and I and my new comp are starting fresh there, with neither of us knowing the area. My new companion is a visa waiting greenie. She's been out of the MTC for a week, and is waiting to go to Argentina. Her name is Hermana Carlson. But I guess I'm not REALLY whitewashing, cos the area is still in my same ward, so I already know the members, which will be a huge help. So I'm going to Melrose Park, which is the north half of our ward. Elders are being whitewashed into my current area, Cicero- because they are making it a bike area. Its pretty crazy all in all. So I have to move myself into the Elders current apartment before transfers tomorrow, and Elder Allen, who is currently there, but being moved to Cicero has to move all his stuff into ours. And then I go pick up the baby missionary. Ay, I am pretty overwhelmed.
Okay. The Baptism! Due to lots of stressful and ridiculous scheduling conflicts we moved the baptism up to Friday. So this whole last week has completely been about getting ready for the baptism. Stephanie was super super nervous for the interview so we spent the days before trying to get her comfortable with the questions. She knows the answers, she just got so so nervous and worried she had to say exactly the right thing. Which of course she doesn't, just has to tell us what she knows and believes. Thursday she had her interview, and we went over there with the District Leader for it, and she was too nervous to go by herself with the DL, so I got to go into the interview with her. She was so scared, and kept looking at me for like approval of her answers and for translation- even though she knows English perfectly. But of course she passed. Then Friday we had a baptism! But no, of course it didn't go off without a hitch, they never do. Firstly, the hot water heater gave out. So in order to have warm water in the font Hermana Veliz and I boiled pots and pots and pots of water in the kitchen and then had to haul them all the way to the other side of the church to pour them in the font. The baptism was supposed to start at 6pm and 5:50 rolled around and the only people that had shown up were President and Sister Doll. Okay, not too unusual. Then its 6 pm and no one is there. . . 6:10, an hermana and her family show up. Still no Stephanie. 6:15, the Bishop shows up, still no Stephanie. 6:20, Stephanie's grandparents. . .and finally at 6:30 Stephanie and her family arrive! Hooray! But her stepdad who was doing the baptizing forgot his white temple pants, so we had to find him a jumper last minute, and that was hard to find one to fit. Then we tried to take pictures, and my camera died- so I have no pictures. :( Sister Doll said she'd email me the ones she took though.
Then we start the baptism! YAY! Except our crazy ward mission leader is all in white even though he's not baptizing, which even President admitted was weird. And then he gave this long weird unplanned talk and everyone was annoyed.
And when Stephanie and her step dad were both in the font about to perform the baptism, one of the kids chucked a big old beach ball in the font. It was so funny and ridiculous. BUT- The good news is- Stephanie is now baptized and confirmed!!! and she told us afterward that she felt so good and happy and warm. It was such a difference to see that happy, grinning girl come out of the water instead of the nervous, shy one going in.
Then of course, we had a fiesta.
Also, do you all know what Saturday was?! IT WAS CINCO DE MAYO!
All of our appointments cancelled, because I'm pretty sure nearly every Mexican in Chicago started drinking at 10 am. So we went to a tunnel in our area with tons of religious graffiti and took pictures, and then we went to 26th street- or Little Village, and wandered around, talking to people and celebrating. It was pretty fun.
Well, I hope everything is going well for you all! I'll tell you all about the transfer and the new comp and area next week.
37-53 The Jesus Tunnel
65-80 Little Village and Cinco de Mayo celebration
92- Abelina, Hermana Veliz, and I