March 20, 2017 1:19 p.m. Comas, Lima, Peru
Semana 9 ¡I’m alive! ¡Estoy viviendo!
“Look unto me in every thought [so that you will] doubt not; fear not” – D&C 6:36
Bad news- I was sick with a fever, diarrhea, stomachache, and dizziness for four days this week and we haven´t had water since Tuesday.
Why don´t we have water? There have been lots of haicos (when there´s a lot of rain in the mountains and there are mudslides or something (sorry I still don´t understand Spanish and our only source of news is members) and then the rivers overflow and the water filtering system can´t handle all the dirt-land). That was probably super confusing because I´ve never tried to explain it in ingles. Perdon.
Good news- We don´t have flooding or haicos here in Comas, so we are thankful. We have jugs of water that we get every month to drink that we can use to do other things too. I think I´ve almost perfected the bucket shower (to use the least amount of water as possible). Members in our ward are so nice and let us use the water they´ve carried from the parks to bathe (thus the bucket baths). The government sends big trucks of water out to every town and so people are always outside walking around looking for the next one or a house that has water. It´s really cool to see full families, each with big colorful containers running around in the crowd looking for water. The members tell us something this bad (as far as water) has never happened in Comas, so that gives me hope that this isn´t the norm for my mission. There have been some really great smells around the area and by really great you can imagine what I mean. When there is no water in your toilet to flush it or to bathe your family, the house become really smelly. Tender mercies: Many more people are out of their houses on the street (because jobs and schools shut down when there isn´t water), people are united in this trial (common ground to start a conversation), people´s hearts are softened to listen to messages about God, and many more.
One of our investigating families came to church! Finally! Miriam and Randi, with Sofia and Diam (their children), stayed for all three hours of church! I felt well enough to join Hermana Meza in teaching them Friday night and we had two JAS (YSA – Young Single Adult members) with us who both bore strong testimonies. Have I mentioned that our ward is incredible? Miriam had a lot of fear about attending church and was crying, but the Spirit was really strong and Randi told us “Voy a ir a la iglesia con mi familia” (I’m going to go to church with my family). This was a miracle. He was the one that was more reluctant because of their 2-year-old in previous lessons. When they came to church, they looked so happy and I asked Miriam how she was and she said a little nervous but we promised her it would be okay. They sat with a member family for Sacrament meeting. Then we walked their children to their classes and went to the Gospel Principles class with Miriam and Randi. Our teacher (also the ward mission leader, mission prep teacher, etc.) is very interactive, so Miriam and Randi ended up teaching the whole class about the Book of Mormon. They did great! We are so proud of them and hoping to set a baptismal date this Tuesday.
I´m still pretty scared of speaking Spanish. We had interviews with Presidente Godfrey this week and I was able to go. Presidente helped me so much and taught me that we can´t have faith in the gift of tongues without speaking, because faith without action is dead, or rather, it´s not faith. Faith is in the doing. I testify of that. Sunday morning, Hermana Meza asked me to call Miriam and Randi to remind them about church. I was pretty scared but I looked at the picture of Jesus that is in my room (that my roommate Courtney magnificently drew) and clicked “llamar” (call). I did it and then I did it two more times for our other two families. I know that when we look to Christ, we won´t fear because God is love and perfect love casteth out all fear. I need to remind myself of that every hour of the day, because nothing about the mission is easy or usual for me yet. I am used to the schedule and eating and sleeping when we do which is a great blessing.
Se que Dios nos ama. Se que Jesucristo es mi Salvador. Por medio de la Expiacion de Jesucristo, podemos volver a vivir con nuestro Padre Celestial. La Expiacion nos brinda experanza en un futuro mejor y paz verdadera en esta vida. Se que Dios quiere que nosotros seamos felices. Juan 15:13
Todo mi amor,
Translation of testimony at end (by mom…so, perhaps, faulty): “I know that God loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. The Atonement offers us hope of a better future and true peace in this life. I know that God wants us to be happy. John 15:13 – ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ All my love, Sister Baldridge”
Notes about this week’s photos:
- PDay as a mission zone en el parque “sin chi roca”. Yes, we played the spinning game that you have to spin for thirty seconds and then run and kick the soccer ball (I got sick the next morning…hmmm).
- Soup that a member made for me when I was sick
- Almonds that I still am eating from my plane flight from Cali 🙂
- My face at the end of my first full day back in “mission schedule” after being sick
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