- So, the kiss of a gentlewoman, “beso de moza” in Spanish, is actually chocolate. I realized this week that it`s pretty much all the ingredients of a s`more…but in a different form. It`s a medium-sized bell-shaped chocolate with marshmallow creme (but like good marshmallow creme…like it tastes fancy and amazing and probably because it has more sugar or something, I don´t know) and then on the bottom, graham cracker. And from what I have heard, they only sell it in Arequipa, and also from what I´ve heard (but in Tacna, not Arequipa, so who knows, but then again, the couple in my ward in Tacna that told me were from Arequipa, so they should have a bit of knowledge in the matter…), only during the fall/wintertime. They started selling it at a little store down the street from the chapel in our zone where we have meetings twice a week, so I´m probably going to take advantage of this and buy it every Tuesday and Thursday. I also bought one for two other gringo elders in my zone (my companion passed on having me buy one for him…), and I believe that they too were converted. Though I just remembered, I haven´t asked them what they think of it yet. But yeah. I might have to order them from Arizona every May or so, because I´m not sure if I can exist without having besos de moza in my life. (I suppose when I get married, I can have real besos de moza, but that´s another story. :))
- And…now that I went on a little awkward tangent there, haha, our numbers have continued to improve, every week we´ve been doing better in our area, and this week, we have 2 baptisms planned. We have to work pretty hard to make sure they are, for sure, going to be baptized this week, but they´re both doing well. I´ll have to tell you their stories a bit, but for now, we´ll just be making sure that their baptisms happen. They´re both excellent.
- We had zone conference this week…and Presidente Fernandez informed us that it was the last zone conference we would have with him before he leaves. (He told us we´ll have a farewell conference with him, but that happens next month, and it won´t be quite a zone conference, really.) The zone we had it with turned out to be the zone of…Elder Armijo! Yep, I already got to see him again, haha. It was a nice little reunion. So Presidente kind of went to town on us…we need to improve as a mission a bit. But the things he said/yelled were all great things that will really help us out…it was an excellent meeting. And holy cow, I cannot believe that Presidente Fernandez is already leaving next month…like I said last week, this is going to be quite different and weird. And sad. You just can´t replace Presidente Fernandez. We´ll see how it goes.
- As companions, we are still doing very well. As always, this week, we had tiny little differences. But that´s the thing. They´re tiny. They don´t last long. And we come out of them even stronger. For example, yesterday, after we resolved a disagreement we had, we had a terrific Sunday and were able to do extremely well and accomplish the goals we had set for the day (and some of them for the week). It was great. 🙂
- So, on Friday, I had one of the strangest days of my mission. It was crazy. I´ll try to recap it a bit, in a chronological form, and hopefully I won´t get too caught up in the details (yeah, I know, it´s me, it´s unlikely…):
- So that afternoon, at about 3, I went to the area of the hermanas to talk with one of their investigators (kind of like pump him up a bit, I suppose) with one of the zone leaders (the gringo that I´ve told you a bit about). My companion and the other zone leader went back to our area to have the zone leader interview one of our investigators and help her out. We went to find the hermanas´ investigator with the hermanas (they are now a trio…another gringa hermana arrived early this week, right after she got her visa, and now the hermana that is training is training two American hermanas…that don´t know much Spanish…and she just got done being trained herself…honestly, they could make a movie out of this, but they´re doing pretty well, it looks like… :)), and they ended up staying with us even though they were supposed to go to another appointment, because at first their investigator said he didn´t have time, and then we talked at the door a little bit with him, his sister, and his amazing, hilarious member aunt. (She joked that she´s apparently going to open an Arequipan restaurant in Arizona someday now. I´m not opposed. :)) Then we went to look for another investigator that was supposed to be baptized the next day, but was having issues, and we went to her work and she wasn´t there. The hermanas left because they had an appointment, we waited a bit longer…and then we started walking back. The zone leader bought us two little ice cream bars…and then, almost all the way to the chapel, we found their investigator. We talked with her (well, I didn´t have much chance to talk, but that´s OK, the gringo, in his own way, helped her quite a lot), I eventually just threw my ice cream bar on the ground because it was almost finished, and it started melting on my hand and dripping on the ground, and it was awkward to hold it, and yeah. It was crazy how we were able to find her…we were walking past, and because I had interviewed her a few weeks ago, I was able to recognize her in time. Sadly, she didn´t get baptized Saturday, but the hermanas are still working with her and helping her out.
- And then we went back to our area and had a very nice lesson with the niece of one of our investigators (she had given us the referral). We went back to the room because we were going to call the son of a less-active member we were going to visit. The investigator we had just taught, I thought I saw her name in our area book, and my companion sat down to look through it and see if she had a teaching record or something (hopefully I´m not using too much missionary jargon here… :)), and then all of a sudden, the zone leaders call. It was about 7:30, a bit before we´re usually in our room. The zone leaders were calling because they needed someone to interview their investigator that was going to get baptized the next day…he was all ready, his mom´s a member, but he still needed his interview really quick. They had already called their district leader (Elder Valerio), but it being 7:30, he wasn´t in his room yet. If we hadn´t thought to go to our room to call, and even if I hadn´t thought that I saw that investigator´s name in the area book…we wouldn´t have been in our room when the zone leaders called and needed us. Crazy.
- So we hurried over to their area, I interviewed their investigator while my companion was with the gringo zone leader and teaching a lesson in the chapel to a part-member family. We hurried back to the chapel from the interview, and the lesson was still going, so my companion and I stuck around for it, even though it was getting a bit late (being with the zone leaders, we would have been fine). Then all of a sudden, and sadly right before they were going to challenge them to be baptized, a crazy lady who´s apparently a member walked in, started yelling at us about how a missionary a long time ago called her a dog, and she´s not a dog, and a bunch of other angry things that had absolutely nothing to do with us, or something along those lines. It was awkward. Some members eventually escorted her out, after she had started arguing with part of the family the zone leaders were teaching. And yeah, there went the Spirit. Right before she came in, another area called the zone leaders…they were supposed to come to try to interview 3 of their investigators. Since the lesson with the family was still going (well, after the crazy lady left), I went with one of the zone leaders to the other area. This was about 9 at night. (They called and got permission from Presidente to be able to go.)
- We went to the other area, it was so weird because it´s one of the areas right next to us, but the only area I hadn´t been in in our zone (I´m not exactly sure how I´ve been able to be in all 7 areas…), and was across the ravine for us, and it felt like another world, haha. In addition to that, we were all out way past we usually are, because of the whole special permission to do the interviews thing. The area is huge. We had to do a lot of climbing to get to one particular investigator. None of them were there, and at almost 10 at night, we had dinner with the elders from the area in the…broastería? Basically a place that sells fried chicken and other sorts of Peruvian fast food-type stuff, I guess…that their pensionista owns. (They have quite a cushy pension, to be honest. :)) That was weird too. But delicious. And then, at like 10:30, we went back to the zone leaders´ area, met up with our companions, and Elder Montenegro and I traveled back to our area, and had dinner again.
And with that…I´m pretty much out of time. Maybe my story sounds boring, I don´t know, haha, but it was just…so weird. But a great day. We got stuff done. It went quite well. And it was a bit of an adventure. 🙂 Anyways, for now, I love you all so much. You´re all in my prayers, every day. Be sure to write me…I love hearing from each and every one of you. And hey! Ariel, I got your grad announcement. The day it happened, haha. It was so weird to think at like 9 PM here, you were starting to graduate. I showed it to the other missionaries, and basically, they all think you´re attractive. Just cutting to the chase here. 🙂 Anyways, I´m so proud of you. And I can´t believe you´re already done with high school. This is just…whoa. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY Wednesday! I hope your birthday goes amazingly. You´re not allowed to turn 18, so I think I´ll just have you turn 12 again or something. I´ll be thinking of you. 🙂 I love you all so much…and until next week…