Monday, October 21, 2013

Transfers, Trainer-less, Two Baptisms, and Tender Mercies

This week has been full of many emotions and blessings. First off, we had the baptism of two kids, Shirley and Rilber. Remember how a couple weeks ago I said that we had set baptismal dates for a mom and her two kids? Well this is there story: The Hervas Family is the first reference we recieved with our new ward mission plan from a member, Augustine Vargas. We taught the mom, Nelby, and two kids, Rilber and Shriley but the dad was away for work in Santa Cruz. They came to church the first Sunday and wanted to be baptized! The next time we taught them the dad, Ruben, was back from work and 5 minutes into talking to him we found out HE IS A MEMBER. He was baptized in Santa Cruz ten years ago, but became inactive shortly after. Hno Augustine told us that they were not married so we taught them the Law of Chastity and they said they would get married. The next day when we went to help them get started on the wedding papers we found out they didn't want to get married anymore. We were devastated. Nebly couldn't get baptized anymore and we didn't want to just baptize the kids for them to become inactive, which happens a lot when kids are baptized without their parents. After a couple of weeks continuing to teach them and even having the whole family come to conference, church, and a ward activity, Ruben expressed a sincere desire to have his kids baptized and Nebly promised to always bring them to church we talked with the bishop and felt like it was the right decision to have Shirley and Rilber baptized. I have never seen two kids so excited to be baptized. They were literally jumping up and down with joy when we told them they could be baptized. Ruben had to go back to Santa Cruz to work, but Nelby told us that when he gets back they are going to start their papers to get married! And hopefully within the next month she will be baptized. The day of the baptism was Friday, so Hna Moscoso could be there for it. There always seems to be problems on the day of baptisms and it turns out that this day the elders forgot to fill the font... and the drain was broken so we couldn't fill it ourselves. It was a mess. We ended up going to another chapel for the baptism. The water was freezing, but the kids were troopers and got baptized anyways. It was amazing to see how excited they were to make this covenant! It was quite the day!

Hna Moscoso is officially gone. It still doesn't feel real to me. The last two days before she left her trainer, Hna Holbrook came and visited Sucre because she started her mission here. It was cool to spend time with her and the people she worked with. Listening to her and Hna Moscoso talk made me realize how many amazing experience I have ahead of me and a lot of amazing people to meet. It is crazy to me how fast the time flies! I have been out for 4 months now. Unreal. I have learned so much and much of it thanks to Hna Moscoso. She was the best missionary in the mission. I have a lot to live up to, but I am grateful for the opportunity I had to learn from the best. She taught me how to: think creatively, work with members, truly listen to and love our investigators, have patience, have fun and be myself, to work hard every day, be obedient, be a good companion, truly study the scriptures, love being a missionary, serve others and a million other things. I am going to miss her so much.

The past two days without Hna Moscoso, Leidy Flores, the granddaughter of my pensionista, was my companion. She is so great and is starting her mission papers. We had a lot of fun together and received many blessings! We had a lesson with a lady named Tatiana who is a reference from a member in another ward in the stake. She is going through a divorce and is looking for comfort and help at this time in her life. She is so ready for the gospel it is unreal! She accepted everything we taught and told us how she is going to read all the Book of Mormon in the next 4 days. So cool! She is also very sensitive to the Spirit and can recognize it really easily which is awesome. Hopefully she will get baptized soon! It was also a neat opportunity to be on my own and apply everything Hna Moscoso has taught me and I have studied. Instead of relying on my trainer I truly had to rely on the Spirit to direct me in what to say. These past two days have really strengthened my testimony that the Lord does put the words in our mouths that we need to share His gospel and help us know the needs of others. We are not alone in this great work of salvation! Today and until Wednesday when my new comp comes I am with another member in the ward, Andrea. She is 19 and adorable and is from Argentina-near Salta:). She is here in Sucre to study. Hopefully all goes well for us the next couple days.

Oh yeah I bet you're wondering who my new companion is... haha. Her name is Hna BolaƱos from Columbia. I don't know much about her other than she has about 6 months out. I am sure she is great and I am excited to get working with her!

I love you all so much and hope all is well! THE CHURCH IS TRUE.

Con Mucho Amor,

Hna Gardiner

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