Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Chapel, New Font, Baptisms!

Whelp, there is a ton of stuff to write about this week and very little time.

I'm going to talk first about the crazy week, then the baptisms, then the district activity, then see if there's time for anything else!

Ok. Crazy week. On Monday, Hna. Paredes from our district had to come here to San Ramon for the Emergency Hospital. Her stomach was killing her. At 10:30, we went to go give a blessing to her and then went back to make pancakes (our house is like 100 meters from the Hospital). Took them the pancakes and all, came back, and got to bed about midnight. We had it good though, because they got back at 5 AM. It turned out that she had a problem with her Gall Bladder.

Then on Tuesday, one of our Zone Leaders Elder Ballen came to do an interview for us. It was decided that he'd join us at our district meeting, stay the night and head out Wednesday. Whelp, his companions had to go to San Jose Wednesday, so he ended up staying with us until Saturday! Now I don't know what you all know about a house of Elders, but it's never really too well stocked on the food side, since we buy everything we eat and don't buy much for fancy cooking :-) So, food was a little thin this week haha. Oh yeah, he had like no money as well.

Then on Wednesday (ok might have been Tuesday, I can't remember too well) The same Hna. Paredes fainted. That was a big scare. She ended up having to go to San Jose (1.5 hrs away) twice or thrice this week because she fainted some 4 or 5 times. Still not sure why, but she's going home to Argentina tonight. Since my companion's the district leader, we've been in the middle of all this with millions of phone calls between the sisters, the zone leaders, the nurse, president's wife, and the sister specialists (sister training leaders).

On Saturday we had the new chapel opening, which was great. about 150 nonmembers showed up I think is the number. Hna. Paredes fainted at that too (which is the point that it was decided that she's going home) so my companion and Elder Johnson went with her and Elder Valesquez and I had to stay and try and piece together some plans out of the two of our days to hit our important appointments, because our planned splits fell through. Then we ended up walking (fast walking, missionary pace) for about 3 hours and had all our citas (appointments) but 1 fall through.
Then Sunday was crazy with the new chapel and all that jazz, and then today we had a missionary activity all day.
Elder Ritchie, Isabel, Elder Henry

Four hours after the new chapel was dedicated! Wonderful way to "break in" the new font!
Ok. On to the baptism :)

From our area, A, I, and the family of Iv, L, and J got baptized. From San Ramon II area C and A were baptized. 12 people in white between the baptizers and the baptizees.

Out of the 5 baptisms that we had, 4 were references. The thing about working with members is that it really is just the way to find people who are prepared! While there's nothing wrong with teaching people who are unprepared, our role as missionaries really isn't so much to be that preparing force. Our role in these two years is (more of) seeking out those who are prepared and helping them into the waters of baptism. Member Missionary work is the way to go. I was actually talking with a member (Jorge Lopez) last night and talking to him about how if all the active members (About 175 is our usual at church) put in ONE HOUR to missionary work in a week, they've done more than my whole week. That's including sleeping, eating, and P-Day.

Alright, On to District Activity. It was really fun :) We just hung out at the new chapel. We all arrived at about 8 and Hna. Pacheco brought a little bit of DELICIOUS cake that a member made for her. Then we hung around and chit chatted for a while then went on to playing on the new courts we have :) The volleyball poles aren't here yet so we just played Basketball and Futbol. Then, somebody had the wonderful idea of going to a pulperia (store) and buying flour. It's custom here in Costa Rica to throw flour on somebody and crack an egg on their head for their birthday. Well, no eggs were involved, but it ended up with everybody being covered in flour and drenched from a refilled coke bottle. I was not very happy about that, but it was okay. Then we played ball for a while more and then made another cake (that strange looking small little cake there in the picture haha).

It really ended up not being such a birthday celebration and a farewell to Hermana Paredes, as she leaves tonight. All the same, it was very nice to be able to have that for her before she left, as it was an emergency transfer and all. Great to spend a day with the District.

Love the German Futbol jersey on the new missionary!
Happy birthday/farewell Hermana Pacheco and HB Elder Velasquez
Hna Pacheco making the cake :-)
I love my mission. I just want to all to know that God's plan is the Plan of our Salvation and also the Plan of our Happiness. When we give our Heavenly Father the reigns, he makes us pretty happy campers. I actually studied Hope and Faith for a few days because they're so difficult to separate. Hope is having a trust in God's plan and will for us. It's formed out of faith, an attribute we have, which is why it's hard to differentiate. Confiding our lives in God's plan is literally having Hope in our lives.

I love you all. Thank you for your blog comments, as well! Keep on Keepin' on.

-Elder Henry

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