Thanks for all of the birthday messages! We've had a crrraazzyyy week. And a beautiful one as well. I´m so glad to hear that everyone is okay despite the crazy storms that have been going on. Give Vanessa a HUGE hug for me and tell her I love her! Sounds like the kids had fun despite the storm, and TJ. I´ll keep the Wetzels in my prayers! Dad, the KFC just serves regular chicken ahah, but they don´t have beans or biscuits...just chicken...potatoes....yeah basically Peru.
Well. This week was insane. It was really stressful, but also really rewarding.
We moved into a dump of an apartment...but whatever haha. Our neighbor is a single mom and I´m convinced we´re going to baptize her.
First of all... I don´t know HOW all of the members remembered that my birthday was the 31st (it´s always one of the first questions they asked when we first got here, they asked when our birthdays were and that was back in May). But just about everyone surprised me and spoiled me rotten. It was kind of stressful because really I didn´t want anybody to know it was my birthday haha. But we went to my pensionista´s house and she had decorated, the kids came and gave me a huge hug, and she made my favorite peruvian food. It was really cute. She even bought a cake and we sang happy birthday in English haha. Then we went and helped an investigator sew Chuckie dolls (she´s a seamstress and some lady asked her to make 50 chuckie dolls...crreeeeppyy). Her name is Lily, she´s a new investigator, and she has a lot of potential to progress in the Gospel. After that we went to visit Hermana Elvira, a menos activa. Then we went to visit Cusy and her girls and they told us how much they loved us and that we´ve really changed their lives.It´s been amazing to see their progress. After that we were walking in the street and two girls ran up to me yelling ¨HERMANA CARR, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Did you already go to Franco´s house for your party?¨ Whattt? Party? ohhhh noooo...... we had an appointment with Franco and Janeth, two recent converts. We showed up and they had a surprise party for me! The members came, there was cake, the whole house was decorated. I couldn´t beeeliieevvee Janeth!!! It was super cute and I was very surprised....not a big fan of the attention though. Then we had to RUN because we thought that Rafael would have his interview that night (FINALLY)...so we showed up to his house and he still wasnt home, but Liz ALSO remembered my birthday (I feel like Hermana Kim had a hand in this, though she still won´t admit to it). So we had a cake....AGAIN.... and they sang to me...AGAIN. It was super cute and the kids were all excited...needless to say, I think that was the most celebrated birthday I´ve ever had haha, we celebrated like three times. It was really sweet. I feel weird now that I´m 21!
All of the stress came from the fact that the whole week we couldn´t catch Rafael at home. The poor guy had double shifts at work, because this week was also Peruvian Independence Day, so he had a lot of other shipments to get around Peru. He didn´t even make it home for three straight days. Time was NOT on our side and I was worried that he wasn´t going to have his baptismal interview, and with all that time gone he wouldn´t get baptized. I was so worried. Oh me...of little faith.
We prayed...hard. Every moment. We showed up at his house every day this week hoping that he would get home early. He would call us and tell us he was coming early, then later at night when we were waiting at his house he would say that he had HOURS still before coming home. Time was running out. Saturday was our last chance. We had moved his baptism to Sunday in the morning, because it´s his only day off. We prayed that he would get home early from work. I was beyond stressed out. Really because I love this family so much and I just want them to be sealed next year. I just worried that Rafael´s time away would make him doubt or something.... but Saturday as I was reading my scriptures and read something in D&C 123 17 that really helped me out. This scripture made me remember that we were being diligent, doing everything we could to have this baptism...and that the things I can´t control, I CAN´T CONTROL. So we just needed to trust in the Lord and trust that He would work things out for this family. And He did. Rafael got home early on Saturday and we were able to teach him, he was able to have his interview.
Sunday, bright and early at, Rafael and his son Sebastian got baptized. It was a small meeting, but the spirit was so strong. The focus wasn´t only on their baptism, it was on their goal to be sealed in the temple next year as a family. That has been the motivation for Rafael from the beginning. It was great too because Liz has some cousins that are really strong members of the church that came to support, and one of them was my supervisor in the MTC!!! Crazy right?! He pulled Hna Kim and I aside and told us that he would be helping with rentention and would help Liz and Rafael get to the temple next year. He´s really cool. I felt really good about everything. Rafael and Sebastian both had reallly great blessings when they were confirmed, and Rafael´s two little girls had child´s blessings to be registered in the church. It was a beautiful day.
With all the stress of the mission, sometimes we forget who´s really in charge. I´m just grateful for the Lord´s hand in my life. I feel His help every day. When things get tough I just remember that He´s been through all of this before, and that according to my diligence and effort, He´s going to help me be successful in His most important mission.
Oh, I also got selected to sing in a small choir for Elder Anderson when he comes this month! I´m stoked! We´re a group of 20 missionaries and we´re going to sing a special musical number in the meeting. Yay for being able to sit up close to the Apostle haha.
I love you all, don´t forget it!