Monday, March 3, 2014

Halfway Baby!

Hello there family :) 
         It’s been a craaaazy week here! I hate how fast time is flying. What am I gonna do when I have to leave this area?! I just want to stay here 9 more months pleeeease? 
         This week “C” got baptized!!! I’ve never been more excited for a baptism. I can’t even describe how awesome it was. He was SO excited. He said, "I don’t cry, but today I might have shed a tear or two." Awwww :) He has come SO far. I remember when I was scared of him. I remember the lessons I dreaded with him because he never talked. I remember when all he talked about was the voices he was hearing. I remember when we almost gave up on him. Now look at him! I wish you could all see the differences in him! Now he smiles. Now he laughs. Now he’s happy :) One of my favorite baptisms.
         As great as it was though, we still had craziness. Every baptism always has some sort of bump in the road. Seriously. After his interview Thursday we went to have Family Home Evening (with two NEW families, I might add) and it was gonna be super great... But then our zone leader called and said, "Hermana Arce! Leave everything you’re doing and get to the airport! You have 40 minutes until your plane leaves!" The stinkin assistants forgot to tell us she had to go to Lima to get her visa! We seriously took off running to grab a few clothes and head to the airport. Hermana Arce was SO bummed. She had to miss the baptism :( We had this baptism scheduled for Friday and it was too late to change plans. But God has a plan. I ended up being with Hermana Burton and Hermana Cuevas and they decided to bring an investigator the baptism. Well, this investigator has all the lessons and she just didn’t want to accept a date. But at this baptism she felt the spirit so strong and as we were talking with her afterwards she said she wants to be baptized March 15th. How awesome is that?! Although Hermana Arce and I were thinking it was bad timing that this had to happen on this day, but now looking back I know that God had this planned all along. It wasn’t coincidence. It wasn’t bad timing. It was God’s plan. I don’t know why sometimes we doubt His plan! His plan is perfect. 
         All in all, it was a great night :) What was more interesting was our special musical number... We had it all planned out. Me, Juan, Edward, and Hermana Arce had been practicing "A Child’s Prayer." We sang the first verse in Spanish, second in English, and then me and Juan in English while Edward and Hermana Arce were singing in Spanish. It was going super great... Until Hermana Arce had to go to Lima. Hermana Cuevas and Hermana Burton helped, though. But we had no time to practice so... It was interesting. Juan and I totally rocked it! You’ll all laugh when you see the video haha. Even the bishop was laughing! A for effort, right? 
         Want my embarrassing story for the week? I don’t even want to talk about it. Hermana Arce has it all on video, and I’m still speechless. I’m not sure if I told you about “M”. Well... He seemed super interested! He had had missionaries before and was wanting to read the Book of Mormon and we thought it was going super great.... NO. I called him to set up an appointment and it started off super weird.
         Me: "M”! How are you?"
         Him: "Pretty good... I just can’t sleep though."
         Me: "Oh, I’m sorry. Can we stop by your house tomorrow?"
         Him: "Yeah that’s fine. Can I tell you something?"
         Me: "Yeah..."
         Him: "Something just felt right between us. Is it against the rules for you Mormons to marry Peruvians?"
         I seriously couldn’t talk, and there Hermana Arce was rolling on the floor laughing. Let’s just say we haven’t returned to visit him... Such a bummer though. I thought he was super prepared :( 
         Probably one of the greatest things that happened this week happened yesterday. It was fast and testimony meeting, and one I’ll never forget. Hermano Richard... Who showed up the first time to the church in jeans and his torn up t-shirt, showed up in a new white shirt and tie, smiling from ear to ear. Some of our members helped him get all ready, and he was sitting up there excited to pass the sacrament with all the other guys. :) We ended up having tons of Priesthood Sunday so he didn’t pass the sacrament, but guess who got up and bore his testimony? :) Richard! I was crying. It was one of the greatest moments! He was like a pro up there! He talked about how hard his life was. How he was on bed rest all of 2010 because of an overdose and brain damage. Then he talked about how he ended up here in Piura working in a mechanic shop. One day his co-worker took him to church. Richard had no idea where they were going... His friend just said they were gonna go to a special place. He said at first he was super confused and everyone was asking him his name and he wasn’t quite sure what to do, but he said that now he feels good. He feels like he’s on the right path and that God has given him his second chance. It was SO spiritual. Of course after that, Hermana Arce and I had to share our testimonies too and it was one of the best meetings I’ve been too. I told Hermana Arce I'm not sure how we’re gonna find happiness after the mission like we find here in the mission. I love it! 
         As for investigators we’re working real hard with Julio. Pray for him! He’s so close. Right now his baptism date is for the 15th, but he still has his doubts, so he needs all the help he can get these next few days.
         Also... Halfway! I can’t even believe 9 months have gone by. I have my first mission baby! I honestly never thought I’d want time to slow down when I first got here... But now that’s all I want. 9 more months isn’t enough! I’ve seen so many changes in people and in this area. I love this area because I don’t feel like just another missionary. I feel like they’re my family. They’re some of my closest friends! I never thought I’d have so much love for people that I have only known such a short amount of time. I’m beyond grateful for my mission. I don’t know who or where I’d be without it. I remember thinking at first, "This is awful. Everyone said it was the best time of their lives... Liars!" And now I know what they meant. It is the most difficult, but rewarding time of my life. The good definitely outweighs the bad. 
         I was reading today in 3 Nephi 2 when the people witness the signs of Christ’s birth, and then years later they start to forget. Seriously? How could they forget a day that the sun didn’t set?! But then I was thinking that’s kinda like we are. We have all received so many answers to our prayers. Too many to count! Yet sometimes we forget the miracles we’ve witnessed and start to doubt. We need to remember the miracles! When we have hard times we need to think back on the many times God has been there for us. If we do that, we will never doubt and our testimony will never waver. 
         Time to go though! Love you all so much! Have a great week! And Tyson... You better dance alllll night at Prom, and even a little extra for me since I’m not allowed to :) Talk to you next week!

Hermana Roper 

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