Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

Hair After a Winter's Day Working

Service Project for Bishop's Wife- Cleaning Dance Studio
20 Years Old!!!

Dear Family, 
Thanks for your patience today! We had a little hang up where a woman called us bawling her eyes out....Spanish is hard enough to understand, but when tears are involved it is practically impossible. So, obviously we went to the rescue and had to readjust our Pday schedule a tad bit. Here I am, alive and well, dontchaworry. 
Turns out ¨El Parque¨, aka, ¨The Park¨, is a great family friendly place to be. Despite the drunks, mini ¨pioneer park¨, and prostitutes, I have seen quite a few touching things. Like small children playing with stray rabid dogs. Let´s just say,  I am more and more grateful everyday that I still have  teeth in my head. 
I really do love the culture change. It´s upbeat and there are funny stories every day, the majority not appropriate for children. I´ll refrain from sharing those and focus on the good stuff. 
First of all, the fantastic birthday miracle week news! THERE WILL BE A BAPTISM THIS COMING SUNDAY! Mark your calendars. His name is Patricio, and he is the father to an eighteen year old son (who will baptize him) and a 19 year old daughter (who is going to be my best friend, I can tell.) His wife and two kids are members, but he´s been stubborn for the last few years...always allowing the missionaries to pass by, but never having desires to act. 

 I arrived here and all I heard was ¨Patricio this,¨or ¨Patricio that,¨ so I figured he is a key player in the missionary work here. Once I met him, I was even more confused. He is such a stalwart man who has goals for his family. He´s been going to church for a few months, and he has been invited to be baptized before. Me and Hermana Leishman (who is also new to this area) went to his house and had a lesson, joking the whole time about WHY in the WORLD he wasn´t baptized. Well, we left there...stumped. Completely lost as to what he neeeeeeded. 
Several people in the ward gave us suggestions: Mormon messages, talk about eternal families, a few ¨techniques¨... but nothing we heard felt right. We decided to ponder and pray about it before our next visit.
My wonderful companion received the inspiration to look at his teaching record. We had looked at it before to see what we needed to teach, but SOMEHOW we didn´t catch on to the fact that he had never been TAUGHT about baptism or confirmation, just invited to do it. Well, if I were him I would not have felt comfortable getting into a pool of water wearing all white, either. 
We went to his house and taught him so simply about baptism and confirmation. We asked him what he knew, and from there determined what his understanding was lacking. It was SO natural, and SO guided by the Spirit. We left there with a baptismal date and one very excited family. :) I couldn´t be happier, couldn´t feel more blessed. 
I am SOOO glad Chile lost to Brazil. It was nuts when they beat Spain. Too many drunk men who tell us we are ¨bootyful preciosas¨. We aren´t allowed to leave during the game, we have to do studies during that time. So, we study and every time our neighbor screams ¨Goal!¨ we mark a point for Chile, and every time he stomps his feet and swears it is for the other team. I don´t know if point keeping is allowed, but at least now they are out for good and our roof is still intact after the stomping fit.

My birthday was fantastic! We ate sushi (a new found love, Anna will be so proud of me), and then worked! We had a family home evening with Patricio´s family, and the young men's president came, too. He brought a cake and they made me kiss it. Weird Latin culture. It was so nice of him to remember and try to make the day special, though. Nice people. 
I can´t believe I am twenty. I am in denial. I need to practice responding that I am twenty now, because I keep lying and telling people I´m nineteen. So last year. 
My companion and I are working on harmonizing the hymns to spice things up a bit. Currently we have no voices from the cold, but it adds a cool raspy effect. 
Thank you all for the love, support, letters, pictures, packages, jokes, and prayers! I appreciate everything. I hope life is good and that you are all sunburned...and I mean that in the nicest way possible. 
Be good, behave. 
Hermana Lauren Van Cott

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