Sometimes, I get the most unusual productive streaks really late at night. Tonight, I worked on a midterm (when a midterm equals a rewritten fairy tale, I realize how much I love my major), a paper proposal, a study guide, and a few other things on my to-do list. And then I thought, I want to post on my blog. When I get going like this, I start thinking I'm already up way too late, why go to bed now? Bad logic, I know. But I still benefit from my productivity, so I don't beat myself up too much. I'll probably just take a nap at some point tomorrow. (:
So on a random note, I wanted to say that my mind has been on these people a lot:
These are members from the last area of my mission, La Paz (Uruguay). This ward dinner happened right after the baptism of Facundo (second from the left):
note the matching outfits, por favor. yes, it's dorky, and sad, but we did it anyway. I love hermana Cervantes to pieces.
La Paz was one of my favorite areas. Granted, I only had four areas total, and there were aspects of all my areas that I loved, but there was something special about La Paz; really great things happened there. Like finding Facundo, for example.
Hermana Cervantes and I did a whitewash in La Paz (when two missionaries are taken out of an area and replaced by two new ones, with nothing but a map and a few phone numbers to help us find our way around. the maps in Uruguay can be abysmally unhelpful, by the way). So when Hna. Cervantes and I started working there, we basically circled a neighborhood in the map randomly and said "we're going here." (we ended up baptizing three people we found in that neighborhood the first few weeks!) Anyway, so we clapped outside a home and lovely woman let us in (pictured third from the left in the photo above), and her and her son Facundo listened to the story of the Restoration, and let us set a return appointment. When we came back, Facundo was the only one there, and because we couldn't go in with just him there, we stood right at the gate and invited him to church. Interestingly enough, we both had doubts about Facundo at first. That is, we didn't think he had enough interest to continue listening and go to church. But, miraculously enough, he did! The next week, we had invited him to a big stake fireside, which he came to, and where we introduced him to our mission president. To our surprise, our mission president invited him to be baptized right then and there - and he accepted! About three weeks after we found him, he was baptized.
We couldn't have done it without the help of the members in La Paz. Their efforts to befriend and welcome Facundo into the ward were essential, and we were able to schedule the baptism the same night as a ward activity, so we combined the two, and practically the whole ward was there to see him be baptized. It was neat.
Facundo has struggled at times, like new converts often do. I've worried about him a lot, because I know some of the hurdles and doubts he had in the first year or so as a member of the church. But this past weekend at a mission reunion, I heard from both my mission president and another sister who served in La Paz after I did that Facundo just barely got married! He married a beautiful, faithful sister in the church, who served a mission in Paraguay. I heard that he was doing fantastic, que está bien con todo!
That night, and several days after that, I thanked Heavenly Father for helping Facundo stay on the path that's so easy to stray from. There are other converts there that I pray for (Valeria, for example... a kindred spirit) that I know are going through tough times, and I pray that the members there will continue to befriend them and watch out for them.
And I continue to thank God for the opportunity I had to find them, and help them, and love them. Los quiero mucho! y gracias a todos mis amigos de La Paz! son capos! (: