Now that I'm serving in the land Columbus found, I appreciate this holiday a lot more! Speaking of holidays, it was like this whole week was one--nobody went to school because of hurricane warnings. But we're all safe and sound, it's just that lots of people are sick because of the drastic changes from super intense heat to pouring rain. It's never been more humid, but I got to play with snow! Yeah, here in the DR! Why? Because I cleaned our freezer haha but then it died the next day, and so did our food. At least it makes you more grateful for all ya have! That's a word I'd use to describe these people: grateful. They don't have much materially, but they're thankful for what they've been blessed with, and they recognize that it's all from God:)
I was feeling grateful this week when I had a funny, mini accident that God protected me from. Hermana Vazquez and I were looking out at the downpour and discussing a good Primary song to accompany the situation. I couldn't remember a rain song, so I sang a snow one and started doing the actions to "Once There Was a Snowman." With my arms above my head, I got to, "Tall, tall, OUCH!" In my enthusiasm, I got my hand caught in the whirring fan on the ceiling, which was spinning full blast. It should have cut me up worse, but all I got was a blood blister one one finger. Yay for blessings of protection! It was all pretty ridiculous and hilarious, we were dying of laughter:)
We got to do a musical number at the baptism of the other Hermanas' investigator in the district, so that was fun! On Friday, we woke up at 4:30 am so that Hermana Vazquez could go do Visa stuff with the daughter of Hermana Flake. Hermana Flake was my MTC companion, so it was super divertido to be her comp again for a day! Not so great for our daughters...they took the wrong bus on the way back, crossed the mission border, and ended up driving 40 minutes into the East mission; poor things, they couldn't even call us because they had accidentally both taken the cell phones.
During all of that, the rest of us had zone meeting, where we talked a lot about helping entire families, something Hermana Vazquez and I have been focusing on a lot. The whole "sin shall be upon the heads of the parents" thing has been a theme of this week. The biggest example was Natasha's family. She was all ready for her baptism interview on Saturday...and didn't show up. Turns out her parents flipped the switch the night before and don't want her to be baptized right now. The drunken dad convinced the nice mom, who'd accepted the baptism invitation herself, that Natasha should wait till she's older. Since she's a minor, she can't be baptized without her parents' support. Man, it broke my heart. I just stood in the street and cried, thinking of the lost blessings and how this would affect Natasha. She's prepared and wants to do this for the right reasons. People, it's a commandment to be baptized. We're talking about salvation here. But all things happen in God's timetable, so I just have to trust in Him and know that someday, somehow, things will work out, and Natasha will be blessed.
On the other hand, Victor passed his baptism interview! He will be baptized this Friday the 14th!! He's setting a wonderful example for many and telling lots of people about the Church, even defending our beliefs when others say contradictory things about it. I love his dedication:) Things are being prepared for Wbert's wedding and baptism as well for the following week! Look at all these future Priesthood holders we've got! Starlin and Anthony are being dutiful Priesthood holders, and we're meeting great new investigator youth through them:)
In General Conference last week, one of my favorite talks was by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He said:
"Be open about your faith in Christ. When the occasion presents itself, speak of His life, His teachings, and His incomparable gift to all mankind. … Share His powerful truths from the Book of Mormon. He has given us this promise: “Whosoever … shall confess me before men, him will I confess … before my Father … in heaven” [Matthew 10:32]. I promise you that as you pray often and sincerely for opportunities to “stand as a witness of God,” those opportunities will come, and those who seek more light and knowledge will be put before you. As you respond to spiritual promptings, the Holy Ghost will carry your words to the heart of another, and one day the Savior will confess you before His Father."
Act on the promptings of the Spirit--every single one--and you'll see miracles:) You never know who needs your help! I hope you pray for a missionary opportunity this week and feel the love and guidance of the Lord! Love you all so much! ¡Disfruten su semana!