My favorite ice cream place in Caballito
Look at these great quotes on the wall there!
I spent my last week in Caballito working hard with Hermana Weitl to prepare Emaunel for baptism. He had been on vacation, and we stopped by on Tuesday to see how they were doing. He had already told us before that he was Catholic and that he didn't want to be baptized. We didn't plan on pushing baptism, but rather on seeing how they were doing as a family and sharing a scripture. And yet, God had other plans, plans that never crossed my mind or that of my companion. As we talked to Emanuel he mentioned that he had been reading and praying with his wife during their vacation. He had gone to the stake conference that Sunday of his own initiative and had enjoyed it. Somewhere along the line my companion felt prompted to ask Emanuel if he still doubted that this was the only true church. He very quickly responded that he didn't have any doubts. We both felt a little stunned from such a response. He then quickly followed up with such a startling and miraculous comment by asking us when the next baptism service was. My eyes grew wide as I looked at my companion, waiting to see if she was as amazed and thrilled as I was. I think she was a little shocked, but after it registered we could hardly contain our enthusiasm. I felt filled with a warmth that I can't begin to describe.
I knew that Emanuel would be baptized. I never doubted or questioned such. And yet, I didn't know if I would be around to see it. I didn't know just how quickly the Lord would work. I knew that the transfer was coming to an end, and that I might very well leave Caballito and Hermana Weitl without having baptized with her. And here was the hand of the Lord, giving us nothing short of a miracle. We invited him to be baptized that Sunday, the very last day of the transfer. He accepted, but with a condition. While in their house we would have to refer to the baptism as an elephant, as his mother and brother didn't know about his decision and would try to stop him from being baptized.
One thing is for sure, Emanuel was my first, and will be my last, Elefante.
He was baptized on a beautiful, clear and cool morning, March 22nd, in the year 2015. Hermana Weitl and I sang for him. You know, I just can't seem to help but do everything I was uncomfortable doing before. I'm never going to forget about Emanuel and his beloved family.
On Monday, the night that we would learn of transfers, my companion and I had stopped by a McDonalds to use the restroom. Argentinians don't believe in public bathrooms, so we had to find a relatively American joint to have any luck. I'm afraid to report that the food is just as sketchy as can be found in the states, but I avoid it anyway;) Any who, as we're leaving the bathroom someone calls us on our phone. The call didn't have a name, so I didn't want to answer it. My companion took the call. Quickly she handed me the phone. It was the assistants. I listened in shock as they told me that I would be finishing someone's training. I have dreamed of training since entering the mission, and to have such a blessing completely blew me away. I accepted, absolutely thrilled! For some reason my comp and I thought that such an announcement meant that she would be leaving the area and I would be training there.
I asked her who she wanted to see before we left, and she said Emanuel, so we headed over, abandoning other plans. Once inside we told Hermana Machado the news. She started crying along with my companion. When Emanuel got home he asked the girls why they were crying. Once they stopped crying he asked what had happened. We told him that Hermana Weitl would be leaving Caballito. We told him we had some good news as well. His wife told him that I was going to be a mom. As she said such Emanuel looked at me with a shocked, confused look on his face. His eyes were as big as plates. I looked at him with eyes just as wide as I realized that he didn't understand that mom in the mission signifies someone that is training a brand new missionary. We quickly explained such, but it was too late. It took quite a while to stop laughing;)
My comp bore a wonderful testimony, took pictures with them, cried, and gave them her email, telling her how much she loved them as we left. As soon as we got out the door the tears started. I assured that I would take good care of Emanuel and that we would stop by a chino, or a store, to buy the stuff we needed to have french toast and enjoy the maple syrup I'd smuggled from the states;) We were in the middle of buying the stuff when we get a call from our district leader, who starts talking to my companion. I couldn't hear what was being said, but as a look of pity entered her eyes I knew that something had happened. She looked at me once off the phone and said, I'll help you pack.
I looked at her in shock as tears started running down my face as I thought of everyone I hadn't said goodbye to. That I might not ever see again. I realized that I hadn't really said goodbye to Emanuel or Macarena and Guillermina. It Hurt. My comp asked if I wanted to go back and say goodbye, take a picture, but I knew I'd only cry.
We got to the apartment and made our french toast, going up on the roof to eat it. As we were doing so the zone leader called to tell us what would be happening in the transfers. He said that Hermana Weitl would be staying and that I would be leaving. From what we heard he said I would be going to San Pedro with the Hermana Yancey. San Pedro is on the very outskirts of the mission and is about 3 hours away from anything. Very country. I was excited and scared. I barely slept.
Adios Hermana Weitl
That morning we headed to the offices to get our new companions and go to our new areas. Upon our arrival I was told that I was there. I didn't really quite understand what they meant, as I knew I was there. I was more concerned with finding my new comp and going to San Pedro. That's when I was told that my new area was San Fernando, or in other words, that I was already IN my area. Talk about a surprise! From there I met my new companion, Hermana Yancey. She has 6 weeks in the field and is from Santa Rosa California. She reminds me quite a bit of my friend Emily Cisco. She's hilarious, a hard worker, and super obedient! I know that I'm her trainer, but I feel that she's teaching me much more than I'm teaching her.
The new area is Wonderful. The members are terribly supportive, the bishop is incredibly nice, the assistants are in our ward, and Elder Lines and Hermana Lines as well. Talk about a shower of blessings! We had a lot of success this week, ending Sunday with 11 lessons in a day. The people here are very open and receptive, the members very loving, and the area more country than I've experienced previously. I love it all. As for my zone, I'm with Hermana Hawkins as my sister training leader and Elder Roberts, the brother of my MTC teacher, as one of my zone leaders! Talk about a small world. Hermana Yancey and I are currently working with a woman named Maria who has a baptismal date for the 12 of April. I'm ready to see miracles in this area.
This is also my first time as Senior Companion. It's wonderful, and a little frightening, as every one looks to me to start, to end, to make the first move and to understand. For once my Spanish is the more advanced, meaning that if I don't understand, we're in trouble! Thankfully, the Lord has blessed me with the language, and I feel pretty good about it. I've had a couple people ask me if I was Argentine. One said I sounded like I was from España. I'm assuming Hermana Pilliza rubbed off on me;) I've had to grow and be humble to fit this role. The thing I've learned the most is that as senior companion I have to always be looking for ways to serve my companion. She is AMAZING. She knows what she's doing, what her purpose is, and has such a drive to work! She inspires me daily. And keeps me laughing, as she's hilarious!
As most of you know, we have General Conference this upcoming weekend, and I am so excited! Please make every effort you can to go and listen to ALL of it. It will truly change your life. Also, take the chance to watch the new LDS video, "Because of Him".
Love you all!
(Since Mallory is now in the same area as the mission home, now would be a good time to send her a letter, or anything in a small firm envelope that has no monetary value. She will be able to get what ever is sent right away.)