Ann Maas (Typed while holding a baby. )
From: "Doreen Robinson" <email@example.com>
Date: Feb 14, 2011 5:17 PM
Subject: Fwd: Alegria
From: Elder Robinson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 2:37 PM
To: Doreen Robinson <email@example.com>
Family and Friends,
If opening a sector wasn´t fun enough: the rains and power outages of Guayaquil are! I had forgotten the pure joy that warm rains can bring to a person. Last night we were in the farthest part of my sector when torrential rains started, within 10 minutes the power had gone out and the streets were flooded with mud. Normally this would have caused me to return home immediately (actually, that is what I should have done: rules) but I was in the farthest part of my sector and my companion and I didn´t want to cross the bridge in the dark. We swam (figuratively speaking) over to a members house and toweled off. They made us a great candlelight dinner and we enjoyed conversing until the power came back on and we reswam (figurative speaking) back to our house. Unlike Cuenca I don´t have to buy Hot Chocolate and bread, take a warm shower, and jump into bed to warm up. The rain in Guayaquil isn´t tropical. More on the warm side. It made for a really cool night.
I think I mentioned last week that my current companion is Elder Calderon. He and I get along great. The work is a little slower in the mornings with him but we do get out and contact every day. My sector can be divided into 4 sections: ¨Portete¨, ¨Girosol¨, ¨Renacer¨, and ¨Jardines del Salado.¨ The latter 3 are comunities on the other side of the bridge. We live in ¨Portete¨ this side of Guayaquil. We have been working a lot in Jardines, the roads haven´t been finished yet and they are still filling in more swampland to put in more houses: it´s a muddy mess. The people we have been contacting are great and very receptive. I expect that we will have a fully fledged program (with just Jardines) in a week or two. The bonus of working with the Ward Mission Leader, the Ward Missionaries, and the Members will only cause the program to explode. Working with the Ward is the best option. ALWAYS.
We are preparing for the baptism of Norberto Rierra. He is a 75+ year old gentleman who has been a Catholic his whole life due to tradition. His wife was baptised in December and never received permission from him to do it. She told us that he was hard hearted and she knew it was right so she did it anyway. He has been receiving us with gusto the last few weeks. He even happily accepted a baptismal date. He wasn´t baptised with the last missionaries because he had a hard time understanding them (which makes no sense: I am American and they are Chileans). Last night we were teaching them and I was under the impression that he knew that his wife was a member (his wife has been going to church for the last 2 months) and I mentioned that he would be baptised in the same way that his wife was: oops. He was super confused. He looked over to his wife and said, ¨Baptised like you? You´re not a Catholic anymore?¨ He looked slightly sad. She smiled saying, ¨Didn´t you see the change in me a few months ago? Haven´t we been happier than ever the last two months? Aren´t you a different person? I am part of Christ´s Church! And the two YOUNG Chileans were my friends to help me do it.¨ I sat back to see how the conversation would unfold. He paused. Thought. With a smile he declared, "This is serious business then. Will I be baptised Saturday or Sunday?" I could have laughed. The Gospel changes lives and families and I love watching (or at least seeing) the results in the lives of the converts. I am 100% confident he will be baptised before the first week of March but we are aiming for the last week of February.
Everything else is going great. We are working hard. The District is having problems and we aren´t meeting the high baptismal standards that the President wants us to but all of that will come in time. Now I need to get back to my sector and work.
I love you all. I am excited to be seeing you all in a few short weeks. I was listening to "Showtime!" from MoTab and they sing a song from Lord of the Rings called "In Dreams." I haven´t replayed it as much as Christy and I did with the "Utah!" CD and "I should have left you" but I have heard it a few times now. As I listened to the lyrics I realized that it had a lot in common with me. I can´t tell you how many times I have dreamed and all or some of you are there. I awake and sometimes I honestly think we talked during the night. Dreams truly are amazing and whether they be real or not they keep us going.
I can hear your name
And in dreams
We will meet again
I will go there
And back again
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