Hello Goodbye

Hola, familia y todos…

So I had a lot of time to write this email this week. And then I used it up a bit. But I still should be able to get out more or less what I wanted to talk about. Maybe. And I´m sending pictures! It´s been a while. Like I believe I mentioned last week, my companion has a cord he uses for a little mini-camera he has, and it turns out, it fits my camera and works fine. It´s quite nice. Anyways, so this has been a week of changes…and exciting things. Let´s discuss them below, shall we?
  • So Presidente Fernandez up and left us. We had a terrific farewell conference with him (sadly with only 3 other zones, but still), and wow…it was crazy. I can´t believe after 10 months or so of him being my mission president, he and Hermana Fernandez are gone. There were a few musical numbers (all of which I played piano for, which was fun), Presidente spoke and touched us all…and made us laugh a ton, because that´s Presidente for you…we all got to say goodbye to him…and he gave me back my CDs that I had given him. Some of them, it´s possible that Presidente Zobrist will allow them, but a few of them, I just bought in Kansas for later, and Presidente told me to save all the ones that aren´t Church music, and not use them, so I shall. While playing the intro to the closing hymn, “Love One Another,” this may sound silly, but I totally had a “memories of Presidente and Hermana Fernandez flashing before my eyes” moment. It was so weird. “My whole life flashed before me eyes…it was really boring.” 🙂 Also, as part of the conference, we got to do something cool…but I can say absolutely nothing about it yet. You´ll find out soon enough.
  • Speaking of the conference, sadly, my old zone was not there. But a recently arrived missionary I knew tapped my back before the conference started, and said, “Su hijo!” I turned around, and right behind that missionary, to my shock and surprise, was Elder Montenegro. Yep. He got transferred 3 days after I did. Oh snap. He´s now in more central Arequipa now, and he says his new companion´s a bit weird, and his new area´s a bit hard, but he´s doing well. It was great to see him, and now my other son got to meet him. My posterity is coming together, haha. We also got to see Elder Armijo again (Ariel, he told me you haven´t written him yet…hmmm…), and Elder Murdock got to meet him, and that was a cool. There were a few nice reunions there. It was just an incredible meeting.
  • So this week…we had 3 baptisms. Plus my companion baptized the daughter of a member (they themselves got baptized about a year ago) who just turned 8. It was very cool…and dang it, I´m running out of time, so I can´t tell you their experiences too much at the moment. Quick Reader´s Digest version: Two of them, Ericka and Ericson, hey just got married on Friday. We got to attend the civil marriage ceremony, and that was a first for both of us. A picture is included. The judge totally liked us (she called us “los importados” and said we could come back afterwards if she was still single…oh kay…). Fun times. The other baptism we had, her name is Tatiana. She´s the daughter-in-law of the first counselor in the bishopric, and she was so ready. She said before her baptism, she felt so sure, so happy, and you could see that it was just a great experience for her and for everyone.

And…so out of time. I´m sure there are things I forgot. Oh, other change…we just changed pensions. Already. Don´t worry, this time it wasn´t a crazy Guatemalan arguing with our pensionista´s husband, haha…she just was going to be really busy this month, so she asked her friend, a recent convert and the mother of our ward mission leader, to be our pensionista for now. We started this morning, and she´s very nice. It shall be wonderful. And the pics…let´s see if I can remember what I included…one of the baptism we had this Saturday, with everyone in white. One of me and my new companion. One the day I left Apurimac, with the parents of our old pensionista. One of Elder Montenegro and I holding a dead cuy. Yes, that happened. I look so much happier and not nervous than I actually was, btw. And one of Hermana Jenny (last area) when we went to her house for her birthday. Someone totally pushed her face in the cake. Her son Adriano, the 4-year-old who talks so clearly that I told you about, is in the corner, if you can spot him. I think those are all the ones I put…a mix of my last area and the area I´m in right now. Oh, something I heard from Presidente Fernandez…I guess it´s not OK to put pics I send on Facebook and tag me and all that. Something about privacy. So be careful with that. And…I´m over time. Let´s go. I´m incredibly happy still, we´re doing great, and I love you all. 🙂

Con amor,
Elder Randall
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