Hola Familia!! Surprise!! Change of travel plans, I leave tomorrow morning really early, so I have time to write today!!! Well, I cant believe how fast this week flew by. It really went by in a dream. Everyone keeps telling me goodbye and I feel like its a lie and that I will see them in this upcoming week, but I wont. I just am going with the flow and trying to keep my nerves under control. I'm really excited to see you guys, but Im nervous to leave the mission and I don't know why haha. But I will be okay. I just might cry a little bit, so don't judge me haha.
Monday we had my last zone conference and I just felt strange saying goodbye to the missionaries of my zone. Ive made some great friends on the mission, and the majority are Mexican, so I will be traveling here a lot haha. Anyways, the sisters (Hermana Zepeda, Callahan, Teisina, Mercado, and Minalla) bought me a cake and a few sweaters to wear when I get home....and lots of Starbursts haha. They came around the corner during the break singing a hymn that only comes in Spanish (Placentero Nos Es Trabajar Number 88 of the Spanish hymnbook), and I almost cried. The third verse is the one they sang. Its really a great hymn, look it up and put in google translate haha. I will send pics. I went to Juarez on Thursday and came back late Friday. I went for a meeting of the missionaries that are going home. They told us about how much luggage we can bring, a few tips for going home, and stuff like that. I heard about half of it because the only thing I could think the entire time was, "Oh my gosh!! I'm really going home!!!! This is happening." But the most important event of the week: EVELYN GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!! She was so excited!!!! But first I must share the experience of getting permission from her mother. We went to her house on Wednesday to have her sign papers. We had had verbal approval from her at the beginning, she told us that she could care less and that we could teach her daughter. So we did, but we needed to make it official and explain to her why Evelyn wanted to be baptized. When we got to the house, her mom was screaming at someone in the phone and was obviously very upset. I think she said a lot of not so nice words because I didn't understand everything. We sat down in the other room to wait for her, and once she got off the phone, she yelled at Evelyn to put her shoes away. I was starting to feel a little nervous, but I just prayed in my heart that we could change the feeling of the house and help her mom to feel the Spirit before we asked her to sign. She sat down and introduced herself briefly, then started listing off all the reasons she doesn't like religions because everyone is a hypocrite, etc. I thought, "Okay, this might be a little more tricky than we hoped." But, we just listened for a bit....then we asked her to tell us about herself. She shared when of the most difficult stories Ive heard in my mission, I understood a bit more after why she was so cold and didn't like religions. She has had it rough and is now a single mother trying to raise 2 teenagers on a low salary, and shes been burned a few times by people who were religious. After listening and making a few comments, we invited her to sit on the lesson we were going to give to Evelyn. She said okay and then offered us soda. We taught Evelyn the 10 commandments, and her mom participated and everything. We were winding up.....so it was time to ask her. I prayed again, then cleared my throat and started to speak with her. I explained that we wanted to respect her role as a mother and that we wanted permission to baptize her daughter on Saturday. I explained what the form was that we wanted her to sign and then we sat and awaited her reply. I'm so convinced that the Spirit really softened her heart, because she said, "Okay, where do I sign then?" She then asked what time our services were on Sundays because she was interested in coming. I about dropped dead. About 30 minutes before she told us she didn't ever want to step foot in church again. So yeah, I'm so grateful that the Spirit takes care of all the hard work, I know that if we wouldn't have had the Spirits help, there is no way we could have pulled that off. When Evelyn arrived to her baptism on Saturday, she was smiling and shining. She had taken out her extra ear ring, and when we went to go change her to her white dress, she started crying. But she was glowing!! She was so excited and almost ran to the font when it was her turn. She was so happy after. It was so wonderful!!! She is a great girl with lots of great things ahead of her!
But yeah, Evelyn's baptism was the golden seal to the end of my mission. So grateful I could end with that. I'm so grateful I came on my mission. Ive never felt happiness quiet like I've felt here. Ive learned so much about myself and have changed a lot. Sooooooo I'm still me, just improved haha. I cant believe this is over....but really I will never forget all the wonderful experiences Ive had and the amazing people Ive met. Thank you so much for supporting me and helping me out every step of the way. Thanks for the prayers especially. I know that the work of salvation is the best work to be involved in, and there is sooooooooooo much to do!!!! But everything else I will tell you guys when I get back....Okay....well see you all on Wednesday at 1030pm...be there or be square!!!! I love you guys!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO until next time....
Con todo mi amor,Hermana Anderton
|Evelyn and Hermana Anderton|
|Cutting the cake......|
|Evelyn and Raegan|
|"going away party"|
|Going away cake!|
|Hermana Anderton and Zepeda|
|Internet Cafe' signature on the wall|