Monday, February 17, 2014

Lots of Love and Pond Scum

Dear family, 

The only word that I could possibly use to describe this week would be amazing. Of course, it was Valentine's Day and I got to open the package you sent - a GIANT thank you for that. I needed both the shoes and the t-shirt, and the candy and earrings were very much enjoyed as well. And throughout the day, the love kept coming. By the time we got home that night we had received a painted ceramic box from Josefina, bracelets and rings from a group of children we always talk to on the streets, a tin of Christmas cookies, and some unidentifiable food that looked like brown mashed potatoes stuffed inside a plastic bag. It was a good day and we definitely felt very loved.

The following day, we had a branch temple trip and we were fortunate enough to be able to go with them and even participate is some confirmations. The temple is actually only about a 20-minute drive away from La Venta, which is surprising because of how different the two areas are (La Venta is sometimes described as campo-capitol). 

We made it back from the temple just in time to get over to the Villa Aura chapel for Estefani's baptism (which was a double with the other hermanas' investigator named Mari). Hermana Erickson and I were a bit nervous all week because of how timid Estefani is that she might not show up. She had told us that if there were too many people there, she would leave...and so, of course, everyone who went to the temple followed us to the baptism and we had one of the largest turnouts anyone had ever seen (nearly 50 people). But Estefani came and she even brought a group of friends with her. 

The longer she was there, the more comfortable she seemed to feel, and it was truly a wonderful service the church was just full of people, smiles, laughter, and so much love. One of the elders in attendance told us that it was the best baptismal service he'd ever attended. 

And if all this wasn't enough to make the week amazing, we had another lesson with Angelo last Thursday. He is reading in the Book of Mormon and was able to quote back nearly every detail of what he'd read. He even says that he know that it is the word of God. At the end of the lesson, we felt prompted to extend a baptismal date to him, which he happily accepted. So guess what? He's getting baptized this Saturday! We've still got a lot to teach him and it's going to be a busy week, but I think we're all eager for the challenge. 

Interesting things that happened this week: 

- You were right, Mom. Mice aren't big enough to carry away the traps. It's definitely rats. Big ones. One of the other hermanas saw one. They knock things over in the kitchen at night and make a mess. On the upside, at last they kill the cockroaches. 

- Cleaning checks are this Wednesday. We're having an intense competition with some of the elders. The whole zone knows about it because whoever loses has to bake cookies for the entire zone. It's pretty serious - let's just say we bought a caulking gun and nearly 1000 pesos of cleaning supplies, and I just spend nearly 2 hours scrubbing off pond scum in our outside 'laundry room.' It's going to be a long day, but its going to be hermosa al final.

Until next week, 

Hermana Kaitlin Olsen

Estefani doing Kaitlin's hair

Estefani doing Kaitlin's hair

Estefani's baptism

Estefani's baptism

Birthday party

A crazy time in Primary on Sunday

Eating 'chambre' until it is all gone!

The evidence

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