Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9, 2012

Whew! We´re already a third of the way into January. My how time flies! Yesterday was probably the most crazy Sunday of my life! Let me tell you what happened.

So we had a wedding on Saturday!!! Yay! My first Chilean wedding (I love weddings). I was running around helping with the food and everyone kept telling me to sit down. Hermana Lopez and I bought matching dresses for the occasion, they were a miracle shopping find because they are completely modest! Cute!

The girl who got married got baptized on Sunday! It was a busy weekend for her, but a really happy one! She made two of the best decisions of her life! The baptism was scheduled for directly after church since her new husband had to leave for work at 2pm (church ends at 1pm). As the missionaries, we are in charge of filling the baptismal font.

A simple task, right? Turn on the water....wait.....turn off the water.

Not with the font in this chapel. It has something against us. For one baptism the water was too low. Two others the water overflowed. We were prepared to watch the water. It usually takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to fill the font. We started filling it during church. Meanwhile there were more people at church than usual, which was great. But there were a lot of new people to talk to and meet and there are always the amazing members to greet. So we were running around like crazy talking to people and making sure to meet new people. We had a 10 year old boy with us who is new, it was his first Sunday, so we needed to show him where to go and make sure he felt comfortable. In the meantime we are still trying to make sure that everything is ready for the baptism...that the Bishop and Ward Mission Leader will be ready to have the baptism right after church and who is going to give the prayers, etc. when the Elders Quorom President runs up to tell us that the font is overflowing into their classroom and into the hall!!!!!!!!!

It had been ONE HOUR.

This font really doesn´t like us.

The elders quorum moved classrooms while we, and some of the members cleaned up the water. We had to get some water out of the font though since it was filled to the brim. There is a button to drain the font and one to stop the we thought.

We drained some water and pushed the ´´stop draining button´´. Whew! Crisis averted. But 15 minutes later one of the teenage boys in the ward comes to tell us the water is still draining!!!! First too much water, now too little! Ay yay yay!

We ran to the font to turn the water on and told the Ward Mission Leader that we needed to start the baptism NOW! Church was ending though and there was a lot of commotion as the whole ward is coming out of their classes and greeting one another. Meanwhile we still had lots of new people and ward members trying to talk with us! Busy busy busy! We are finally able to start the baptism, usually there are talks before a baptism, but we moved those to after the baptism and moved quickly to the font. Miraculously the water was perfect! A little cold, but not too much nor too little and the baptism went smooth! Finally we could breathe.

We waited for the girl who was baptized to change so that we could finish the baptism with the planned talks, a hymn and a prayer. But her husband had to leave for work and they didn´t know we were waiting. So they left! We saw them walk out the door and ran after them. They returned for a closing prayer and went on their way:) Looking back it was slightly hilarious how many things went askew in our perfectly planned baptism. But the most important thing is the one that went smoothly, that baptism itself! For the next baptism we´ve decided to sit and stare at the water as we fill the font. That way we can be sure to have no more embarrassing spillage during church!

We also went to Siete Tazas again! I wrote about this place 3 months ago. But there are different people in our zone now so we went again. And it was, of course very fun! This time I took a mask (those white ones surgeons and construction workers wear) for the drive to avoid that ´´my lungs are caked wth dirt´´ feeling. It worked, and the elders laughed at me:)

It was great to get to know some of the elders in my zone better and to be out in nature!!! Chile is really beautiful! The sky, the mountains, the plants! Everything!

Highlights of the trip:

  1. seeing a real life tarantula! it was crawling on the ground. Ack!
  2. Getting kind of lost, we pretty much just hiked around in nature because we didn´t really know where we were going...eventually we found the siete tazas and had fun talking and taking pictures along the way.
  3. A man was selling popsicles at the entrance of the park, i ate my first pear popsicle! Can you say Delicious? Yum!
  4. Since we have both english speakers and spanish speakers in our zone the whole time we were all speaking a mixture of spanish and english. Some of the spanish speakers also speak english and so I would get confused about if I should speak spanish or english and ended up speaking both in the same sentence most of the time. If we were talking in english it would always change to spanish at some point.

Also some fun news, I am teaching piano! We have English and Piano class every Thursday night. I have two students. A 12 year old and a 15 year old boy. Very fun...especially since I never took piano lessons like the ones I am now teaching (starting from the very basics), I´ve never taught piano lessons period, and I´ve never taught piano lessons in spanish. Music is kind of different here, they use solfege (for those of you who know what that is). So I am learning along the way. It is quite an adventure!

Teaching Family Home Evening
As far as everything else, all is going well! Hermana Lopez and I are really enjoying our time together as companions and have been helping each other improve. Both of us have seen the progress the other is making. We are learning so much! It is amazing how we learn from everything. I feel like I learn more when I teach people than they do.

One thing I am learning, that I already kind of knew, but that is reinforced everyday, is the importance of keeping the commandments. Honestly and truly, if you want to be happy (happy as God defines it, not as the world defines it - which means that you will have trials and hard times, but that you will be free from the weight of sin and sorrow, because you have an unquenchable hope and faith - which in turn helps you to have a higher quality of life) you have to keep the commandments. It´s the only way. It´s called the Law of Obedience. When we obey the commandments, God can bless us. When we don´t keep the commandments we reject the path that Jesus showed and choose the rougher road. There is a church children´s song that says ´´Keep the commandments. In this there is safety and peace!´´ I can tell you with certainty that that is true!

I hope you are all starting the new year off well and that things are going well in your lives! I love you, and thank you for your love and prayers! I feel so blessed to have such supportive family and friends.

As Hermana Lopez says when she says bye to people on the phone ´´Ciao! Un beso!´´ (Translation: Bye, a kiss) (Remember that here people greet and say bye with a kiss).
Hermana Bowns

Malacara (could be read as: bad face)

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