Monday, April 13, 2015

I am Number Four

Or at least, Laura is. Hey all, hope you're having a darn diddly fantastic week! This week I had the very special privilege to perform my first baptism, for our investigator Laura! Laura is a really awesome person, and she was so interested in the church when we met her, we knew we didn't have to wait long for her baptism. As we had more and more lessons, she had so many awesome questions for us to answer, which really showed us that the Lord had been preparing her long before we had met her. When we asked her who she wanted to baptize her, she told us to wait a while, and the next day told us that she wanted me to do it. I was like, what? As we normally do, we tried to encourage her to have a member do it to help her connection stay with the ward and not with the missionaries, but she insisted. I was like, okay! A funny thing about baptisms here is that the font takes so long to fill, we usually just leave it a little low, which makes it just that much harder to fully immerse and bring them back up. But, I'm proud to admit, I did not fall as I baptized Laura (though it may or may not have been really close.) It's so awesome to see these people change their lives to recieve the gospel, and I'm glad to have taken part in it in a way I wasn't expecting.

As for other news, we got a chance to meet the family the Sisters gave us this week! Humberto and Vonnie are two awesome people with the most well-tempered girl I've ever seen, named Mel. We talked about the Word of Wisdom with them because they'd already recieved a couple of lessons, and they immediately accepted. They are almost unbelievable, we're convinced that they must be lying or some witchcraft is involved or something, because we feel like we could try to stop them from progressing and they still would progress somehow. HOWEVER... we found out that they live JUST outside of our ward. Literally 100 yards. We usually don't really worry about boundaries, because our area is so big (it was 3 areas at one point) and we can never reach the limits, usually. There was a big temptation to play dumb and just baptize them into our ward, but we knew that the Lord seemed to have other plans for them, so we've planned to have a lesson with the Elders that work there to pass them on. We know it's the right thing to do, and we know it won't make much difference where they go to church, as long as they find the straight and narrow path, am I right?

Upon request, I'm gonna share a few more general details about the mission here. It's really windy right now. Like insanely windy. At times you have to duck down and squint as hard as you can to be able to see at all, with all the sand flying around. I forget that I'm really close to the Sahara at times. To give you a feel about the people here, we currently have around 70 people with the official title of investigator, of which we usually average about 10 in church, and each companionship is expected to have at least 2 Baptisms and 1 rescue of a Less-Active member each month. We walk a whole lot, especially because the people like to mark appointments and then not be home when we show up. Pretty much everyone here always has some "mandot" to do here, which pretty much means things like picking things up from the store or washing laundry or something like that. Some of the excuses are pretty funny. When we got to one house, Elder Figueiredo saw our investigator flee into the house, and when we got to the door a guy there said she left. And he wouldn't stop lying, too! We eventually got him to say that it had been himself in her clothes that Elder Figueiredo had seen. These people are so funny, man.

Whelp, that just takes up about all of the time I have! It's nice to hear from everyone and how their lives are going! Almost makes me feel a little normal, lol. Have a fan-diddly-tastic week!

Elder Penner

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