Friday, June 9, 2017

Hit and Runs, Humidity, and Baptisms - Coral Reef South May 1, 2017

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all doing well. It has been a crazy week here, but so good!

Monday started off with a nice relaxing P-Day. We treated ourselves to Coldstone, and at the end of the day I had Sister Carling trim my hair. She has never cut hair before, but it turned out pretty good! 

Tuesday we had a pretty normal day of studies, knocking doors, then we visited a less-active family. They are so so sweet! They invited us to come back to their house some time for a barbeque cookout! Then we went to go visit our Cuban family, and they are doing great! It is so cute when they all gather their chairs in a circle to listen to our lessons. Usually the 5 year old little boy has a hard time paying attention, so one of us tries to entertain him while the other one teaches. Our favorite thing is that this week he has started calling us "mi hija" (my child). He hears his parents say that all the time, so now any time he finishes a sentence he says "oiste my hija?" (You hear my, my child?) So funny!

On Wednesday we had zone conference. I love zone conference! President Richardson has such a powerful testimony, and so much knowledge of the gospel!! He also announced some exciting news that now we are allowed to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead when our recent converts go through for the first time! We are so excited about that!! On our way home from zone conference we were at a stoplight turning right. I was about to make the turn, but a car switched lanes, and was therefore in our lane of traffic so I stopped, and the car behind us ran into us! We pulled over into a parking lot, and the truck that had hit us followed. There was very minimal damage on the car, but when we called the mission office they told us we had to file a police report anyway. We explained to the man who had hit us that since it was a missionary vehicle we would have to file the police report. He admitted that he had not been paying very much attention, and then said "let me grab something." Then he jumped in his truck and sped away!! Luckily his tires screeched on the way out of the parking lot, which caused one of the sisters sitting in the backseat to notice that he was leaving, so she was able to write down his license plate number on one of our Jesus pass-along cards! Apparently we should have taken his info before we told him we were going to call the police. Well, about 45 minutes later the police officer shows up, and another 45 minutes later we leave the parking lot with the "hit and run" police report file in hand. We had to make tons of phone calls to our mission vehicle coordinator to get everything sorted out. We were surprised when we got a letter in the mail the next day saying that they had found the man that had hit us, thanks to the license plate number we had managed to write down. 

On Thursday we got a call from our Ward Mission Leader, Hermano Sanchez. He told us that he had already pretty much set up our entire baptismal program for us, which was a nice thought, but it ended up causing a whole lot of problems because we had already talked to several people about doing things, so we had to call and cancel half of the ones that he had set up. It turned out to be a huge headache, but he was just so excited. We think it is because he is Cuban and our investigators are Cuban too. We had lunch that day with two awesome ladies in our ward who help us out a ton, Sister Sant and Sister Gorman. That night we had the baptismal interviews with our Cuban family. It was so funny because the District Leader is the one who does the interviews, but his companion has to come too (obviously). So Elder Boss, is our district leader's companion, and he is brand new. He hardly speaks Spanish at all, but he made our whole family cry from laughing so hard. Yariel was pretending to shoot him and he was pretending to die, and it was hysterical. We were a little upset because Reinaldo was not home, and we had told them that they would all have to be interviewed in order to get baptized! It was not easy to reschedule because the District Leader lives pretty far away. I love these Cubans, but sometimes they are so flaky!! Half the time they are not home for our appointments, so it was pretty stressful trying to make sure they got taught everything before Sunday! It turned out alright because we were able to do his interview on Sunday, right before church. Good thing he passed!

On Saturday we were mostly trying to get everything set up for the baptism, making lots of phone calls, doing the baptismal programs, etc. That night we made cupcakes, so that was fun! The zone leaders came with us to teach our Cuban family because they wanted to demonstrate how the baptism would work. Of course, only half of the family was there, but the best part was when Yailen the 8 year old girl wanted to prove to us she understood so she "baptized" our 6' 5" zone leader, she is probably about 3' 6" tall, so it was pretty entertaining. 

Sunday morning we woke up early, went to our Cuban families house, watched them all run around trying to get ready as we kept trying to rush them, but we made it to church in time for Reinaldo to have his interview! Then we had normal church services, except for during Relief Society Sister Carling and I went to get everything set up for the baptism. After church we had the baptismal service, and TONS of people came! It was awesome! The ward was so supportive, and so helpful! It was so sweet watching all of them get baptized one by one, and then watch the rest of their family get baptized. The Spirit was SO strong when Yailen got baptized, and when Yudenia came out of the font she just sobbed into my shoulder for a couple minutes. She was so happy! I just love them!! Our ward mission leader was so excited to baptize Reinaldo, and then Elder Jones did the rest of them. We also had their confirmations right after. After the baptismal service was over a family in our ward invited all of our recent converts to their house for dinner. We would have gone too, but we already had an appointment with our Relief Society President. She made us ceviche, which is kind of like fish soup. I was little grossed out by the thought of it, but it turned out really good! 

It is such a blessing to be a missionary! I love you all!

Love, Hermana Monson

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