Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17th

Let me start off with the best news: this week we had a family baptized! That is like GOLD for the mission, if you don´t know. Alberto, Felicia, Jeffrey, and Joel Pena were all baptized on Saturday and all received the Holy Ghost Sunday. This is my first baptism where I began teaching them and was with them through the entire process and it is such a privilege to be a part of that change in their lives! I love them all very much! 

So I just got back from the craziest p day ever. Not really but here´s the story. So. There´s a guy in our branch who has a ton of land and invited us to do a hike up the mountain of his property. The elders made it sound like we´d hang out by a creek and do a short little hike and then have a nice lunch. Relaxing right? So we wake up SUPER early to get there and we show up and before we set out the guy tells us that we´re going to see things we´ve never seen before on this hike, like it´s going to be totally unbelievable and totally dangerous too. And we´re like ooookay. So we set out, and it is GORGEOUS. We´re plucking delicious fruit from trees as a walk and there´s a lovely river that we cross and it´s all fine and dandy. And then we start climbing uphill. This is normally what you would expect from a hike, only it was super different because it was pretty much straight mud that we were climbing up. If there were rocks, they just fell downhill when you touched them so it was like a booby trap or something. And THEN there was the grass of death. It was super thick, reedy grass about four feet tall that twined itself around your legs as you walked and did all in its power to trip you, or at least rub the skin off your ankles. Through all of this tribulation,we were led by Prophet Yonelvi, who the ENTIRE TIME was shouting scriptures at us as if he were Moses and we were the Jews. He was like "God has commanded that we press forward! God has commanded that we walk onward and not faint!" you get the picture. Super funny! An awesome thing was that I drank water from a little waterfall and it was THE MOST DELICIOUS WATER IN THE WORLD. We stopped somewhere nice to sit and had lunch and then it was time to go back through the grass of death and slide ourselves down the mud mountain. My legs were beyond destroyed with mud and dirt. So when we got to the river that we crossed at the start, I took the opportunity to try to scrub the filth off myself. After a few minutes, someone is like,"hey don´t stay in that water too long, it´s contaminated from the mine upstream." So yeah, the relaxing hike turned into a jungle trek of treacherousness and the little stream was actually poisonous, but it was still a really fun day!
Random awesome fact: there´s a dominican elder in my zone who had the opportunity to sign for the orioles´baseball team and make MILLIONS, but turned them down to serve a mission.
Also yesterday was Mexican Independence Day and Hermana Castillo, my Mexican compa, says hello!
Here are pictures:
I´m eagerly anticipating your letter and I look forward to reading your talk. Send Amber a happy birthday message from me if you can! 

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