This week has been a roller coaster. Literally we went to 6 Flags on P-Day.... nah I'm kidding. But I have never been more depressed and more happy on the mission. Let me tell you.
We started off pretty good with some good contacting in the streets and some awesome members coming out with us to teach. Hermano Vidal Herrera (from Peru, I don't why but I love Peruvian people so much) is such a champ. He told us a little about his mission in Peru North mission. He baptized 430 people. How dare he...
He is literally one of the nicest, most sincere people I've ever met. Members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, although we may be lonely, sad, imperfect, or unintelligent, have the light of truth in them. That's what's most important.
Later, on Wednesday, we went to see Maria, who is the greatest and is progressing towards baptism really rapidly. We started reviewing all the lessons with her to prep her for her baptism in a week and a half and when we hit Law of Chastity, we asked her about it. It was a good idea.
She told us that she was living with her boyfriend. We had never really met him because he always came home really late from work, after we return to the house. We were pretty devastated, as we knew that she probably wasn't going to make her date, or even be baptized at all. Her boyfriend came home from work early because she wanted us to talk to him. We did. He got pretty angry at us and told us to "No se metan en mi rancho!" which basically means, "Don't tell me who I can and can't have sex with!"
We were pretty down when we got home that night (at least I was. Nothing seems to affect Elder Giglio.)
The next morning I woke up and was still depressed. It was probably the worst I've felt on my whole mission. After some conversation/pep talks with Elder Giglio, work on the area book, and some good uplifting music (The Lamb of God - Thanks Lydia), I felt a lot better and we went out to work. The only problem was that I still didn't really believe that Maria would make the right decision of choosing God over her boyfriend. Because, statistically, it NEVER HAPPENS.
Later that day (Thursday) Hermana Cuba (from Peru) referred us to her husband's cousin Juan Jose, a 30 year old alcoholic. He came over and we talked for a little. All he wanted to do was stop drinking and change his life and he told us repeatedly that he needed God to help him do that. He noticed that Rosa Cuba had something in "her church" that he couldn't feel in any other church. He's investigated several and he hasn't really enjoyed any of them.
That was an awesome experience to see that God prepares people for us to teach. I am a spoiled brat when it comes to God making me feel better and helping me to recover from sadness. (Honestly I feel that it the closest I'll ever come to feeling Godly sadness. Maria was trading the gift of baptism and cleanliness for a grave sin concerning the law of Chastity).
On Sunday, Maria came to church as usual! I thought she would be have been burned out or sad, finding out that she couldn't be baptized, but she was there none-the-less with her 19 year old autistic daughter.
That night we visited Maria again. As we climbed the stairs up to her apartment and stepped in the front door, we saw several large boxes and filled containers, with men's clothes's draped over the top of them. She promptly asked us if we could carry them down the porch for her. Sure, we said. As I was about to ask her what they were, she looked up at us and said, "I broke up with him yesterday. This is his stuff. He's coming to get it in about 25 minutes."
We could not believe it. I walked down those stairs with a massive box of possessions that felt like it weighed nothing. When I hit the bottom stair, I got a little teary-eyed and thanked the Lord for helping her to understand the importance of his commandments. I felt powerful, like God was leading us. My testimony was strengthened 10x, in the sense that God will always make the seemingly impossible, possible.
So Maria is going to be baptized this Sunday. And it's going to be grand.
We have not seen Carlos for a while. WE're bummed because he got another job and works a TON. We'll see how that goes.
ALSO, Darmis got baptized in Pennsylvania on Sunday. We called her and congratulated her and she sounded super stoked and happy. We will be confirming her a member this coming Sunday.
It's been hard to see all of our investigators as we've been focusing a lot on a few of the really progressing ones.
Quick updates: Elder Storey's companion and trainee Elder Steele went home yesterday. We were really sad to see him go but he needed to go home (he hurt his back really bad and needed to work some family stuff out). Elder Storey and him were in the Perth Amboy driving area, but now we are in a TRIO. Second trio of the year (first one was in the MTC). The funny thing is Elder Storey trained me so we've technically been away from each other for 2 transfers and now we're back together. It should be fun. There's going to be a TON of work to do as we're dealing with both areas between three elders. We will be very busy.
I love all of you and I know this church is true. President Jeppson has kept the theme for December as the Book of Mormon. EVERYONE: It's still true. The Book of Mormon and the Church. I'm reading it in spanish right now and it's great. I find a lot of things I don't normally find.
Ps - I know this letter was straight stories. Sorry if you're bored.
PPS - Bought myself a Christmas present. I told Finn what it is. (speaking of... HAPPY BIRTHDAY FINN.)
It's a Jimi Hendrix Experience Framed Poster from his London Tour in 1967. It's seriously the raddest thing in the universe. Chris you would love it.
See you later.