Life is still great here in the Valley of the Sun. We had Margarita's baptism this week! My companion and I sang a special number accompanied by another sister missionary in our ward. Something disappointing is that we promised Margarita that we would have warm water for her baptism. Well turns out that there wasn't gas. So we resignedly filled the font with cold water. Then the bishop showed up, and it turns out that there was indeed gas. We then emptied a little bit of the water, turned on the faucet for hot water, and it turned out that now there wasn't water! Luckily we didn't empty too much, so there was still a sufficient amount to perform the ordinance. Margarita was so brave and valiant! We told her regretfully that there wasn't warm water, although we had promised it, and she told us "warm or cold, I will be baptized".
|This guy here above is the bishop, and the other is Adrian, Margarita's son|
That was fun. We also celebrated her birthday with the ward members that came. Margarita is just really a testimony to me that as missionaries, we really are only instruments in the Lord's hands. His work progresses in His time and in His way. In the mission, we can't make anything happen that's not His will. If there are people to be baptized, they will be baptized. If it's not His will, it won't happen. Margarita's conversion has nothing to do with us, I feel like the Lord just gave us the opportunity to be a part of this experience.
There is a talk by Elder Corbridge, of the Seventy, called "Be the Fourth Missionary". He explains that there are four types of missionaries, with the fourth being the only one that benefits personally from his mission. The Lord gives us 18 months or two years to serve Him and His children, and lots of people are helped. The trick is to learn, grow and be helped yourself from the service opportunity the Lord gives you. The way that we can do that is to give ourselves to the Lord; we have to give Him our heart, might, mind, and strength. What makes the difference is not just that we do the Lord's will, but that we want to do it. I encourage all of you, whether or not you are a full-time missionary, and whether or not you are currently serving in a calling, to give yourselves over to the Lord. Remember that the Lord said "he who loses His life for my sake shall find it" (that's somewhere in the Bible).
So now for the cultural experiences that I have been having.
Everybody here basically celebrates Christmas on the 24th with a dinner. A really nice family invited us to dine with them. It was delicious. Here they are
|The young man is a very recent RM who served in Argentina!|
On New Year's everyone also celebrates with food. Another member invited us over to eat pizza. The mom is an RM and her oldest son is preparing to leave on the mission.
So that's pretty much it for the holidays.
This week I finally ate something interesting, It's called mole de panza. Translated, that would be stomach soup. Yes, I ate some poor animal's stomach. The nice lady who fed us that day lovingly brought us our plates and cheerfully said (in Spanish, but I shall translate for convenience) "it's stomach soup! But it's not cow stomach, it's goat stomach!" Oh yay! Even better. I had a really hard time eating it, and that's the truth. At one point I almost cried, another I almost threw up, but I finished it all and thanked the lady for giving us food. The spaghetti that she made was really delicious. And goat stomach smells horrible. It should definitely not be a cologne.
One last thing. So today we had a district activity. We made something called discada which is basically many different kinds of meat fried in oil with onion and peppers, eaten in a tortilla. It was delicious. But we were going to play volleyball as well, so we were going to arrive in pants. Let me tell you, going from wearing a skirt all day, everyday to wearing pants is one dramatic and restricting change. But that's beside the point. In the morning I went to pull my jeans out of the drawer, and they weren't there! I looked everywhere in the house, in my suitcases, EVERYWHERE. And they were nowhere to be found. Yes, I lost my pants. So that made it so that I went looking for some new pants. Luckily, there's a market outside our apartment on Mondays, so we looked there for some jeans. A very nice salesman sold us some "Levi's", but we all know they're not really that brand, they just put the tag there to make it look better. The point is, on Saturday I ate goat stomach and today I may have bought black-market jeans. I really am starting to feel Mexican.
Much love and lots of ánimo,
|Hermana Cheever and her companion with a recent convert named Neri.|