Mi Querida Familia!!!
I am going a little crazy right now! I can't believe that today is the last day of September and that tomorrow is the first day of my one year anniversary month! October! Blah! I have also realized that I have officially spent every season in El Paso. Winter, Spring, Summer and now Fall. Yep I'm a true El Pasoen. I have no idea if that's what they are actually called ;). Everything is going wonderfully. This has probably been one of the best weeks on my mission! There is lots to say, but let's start with this morning's adventure.
I apologize for all those with squeamish stomachs, but we had a roach of epic proportions this morning. He was huge! (Yes, he, because nothing feminine could be that gross!) I walked from the bedroom into the kitchen and my companion had her back to the kitchen when my face went into "Hermana Klaus' there is a 'real' huge cockroach face" That is what Hermana Fallentine calls it. On our cupboard was one of the biggest I have seen. Then he crawled into this space between our cupboards. Needless to say what followed was a lot of shrieking and jumping in the air as we tried to figure out how to get him. More screaming when we found him crawling on the top of the cupboard. A slam of a cupboard that semi squished him. Squealing as he dropped into the sink. Me having to man-up and grab a spoon and get him out of the sink and onto the counter. Pause to take some pictures as he starts to squirm on the counter. Finally I grab my shoe to squish him and I slammed it good, but he was so big there was gut splatter on the kitchen wall. Hermana Fallentine was gagging it was so bad. I will enclose a picture, but those with small children may want to leave the room! Yep epic.
I went on another exchange this week to Hatch, New Mexico. I have also officially spent 7 nights in New Mexico now on my mission! Yes a whole week in my mission! I think I serve in the El Paso Texas mission and that's ok with me. So Hatch is the little town out in the middle of no where. Thank goodness those sisters have a truck because we would have been swallowed multiple times in potholes that would have eaten the poor Malib. The companionship is what we call a zebra. One spanish sister and one english. The English sister stayed with me in Hatch, so when we went to the spanish people which was basically everyone it was hard for her to participate. We started a lesson with a lady and I didn't want to be the one doing the whole lesson especially since this was her investigator. So right at the beginning I explained to the lady that I would translate for the sister. It turned out to be a great lesson. The sister was able to teach and bear testimony and I was able to translate. The other neat thing about the Hatch sisters is they live with a member. The member lives in an old catholic church. The church was established in 1860. It has a bell tower and everything. Everyone in the mission knows that they live in a church and we are all jealous. At least I got to stay one night. I also bought some chili while I was there because Hatch is the chili capital of the world!
On Wednesday we had Zone Conference. It was wonderful. There were some really inspiring talks. I have heard from lots of missionaries that their favorite part was when two new converts came and bore their testimonies. Amber just happened to be one of the recent converts that was chosen. She did an amazing job. The spirit was so strong when she was speaking. She touched the hearts of all the missionaries. It reminds us of why we do what we do. Why we let doors get slammed in our faces or walk for hours in the hot sun. There is nothing that can compare to the feeling of when someone makes that decision to follow the Savior. Nothing compares hearing someone testify that they know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ restored upon the earth today, when 3 months ago they didn't know anything about the church at all. Which brings me to the best part of our week the baptism of the Enriquez family!
I can't even put into words how much I love this family. It was an up and down week. I can't believe how hard Satan tried to tempt them and disrupt their baptism. Even Hermana Fallentine and I felt it. I know that Satan knew what being baptized would mean for this family and he tried everything he could to stop it. One night this week we were talking about the importance of keeping our families strong and not withholding affection from family members. We said we never know when it will be too late. Then Liz piped up "Yeah I have asthma" We all cracked up at that one. She was so serious and then Carmen reassured her that she wouldn't die from asthma randomly. One little miracle we saw happened while making the program. We wanted to make it nice and use proper spanish punctuation, but we couldn't remember how to accent an e. We tried several combinations and then searched some of the symbols. We were on a time crunch and about to just write it in later when Hermana Fallentine said one more. She felt inspired to type 138 and when she did the accented e appeared. It was a little blessing from heaven. What's more is when I looked, it just happened to be the opening hymn number. So on Saturday we arrived at the baptism and of course there were men working on replacing the carpet. Our faces must have looked concerned to see the room slightly torn apart, but the Elders who had been there to start filling the font said they would be done before the baptism. True to their word they cleaned up most things and it wasn't a problem, but we just had to laugh - of all weeks the carpet would be changed in the chapel of course it would be on their baptism day. They accidentally went to the wrong building at first and Carmen thought well maybe they weren't getting baptized today, but they ended up making it in plenty of time. An extra blessing was that President and Sister Miller, who were down in the south for Zone Conference, came to the baptism as well. The Enriquez family felt really special because they were there. It was one of the most joyful moments on my mission as first Sergio, then Liz, and finally Carmen were all baptized. Ali was an angel, so I know the Lord answered our prayers there. It didn't phase her at all when her family was being baptized and even while they were changing. I think the Lord may have sent some Ali angels to help out. When Liz came out of the water she came up to us and said "I'm not nervous anymore. I feel real good!" I was brimming with joy! When they shared their testimonies right after being baptized they called us their ninas and told how they felt different. Luckily the Lord helped us keep it together because then we sang a special musical number we prepared. We sang nearer my God to thee in spanish and English. We were so nervous all leading up to singing, but when we went to sing all my nerves left and we were able to share our testimonies and love through that very special song. On Sunday we had a sister in our ward tell us that she received an answer to prayer while we sang. Saturday night we went to the Relief society meeting and every single talk was on keeping our covenants especially our baptism covenants. Carmen afterwards told us that they were speaking directly to her! On Sunday when they were confirmed, again such a warm feeling of love filled my heart as I listened to their blessings and how they talked about working together to be sealed in the temple in a year. Carmen and Sergio already want that as their goal. They even told President and Sister Miller that they want to get sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. I have felt an outpouring of our Heavenly Father's love this week. Even with all the ups and downs, when we put our trust in him everything worked out perfectly.
I love each and everyone of you so much. Thank you for all your prayers and support. May we each feel our Heavenly Father and Savior's love this week.