Elder Simmons celebrating his 2 year mark on the mission.
He extended so he´s going to be here for another transfer.
At the baptism:
From Left to Right: Elder Soriano, Cristina, Michael, Gerald, and Elder Bauer
Aranjuez branch members attending the baptism
Interior of the Renfe trainWhy hello my familia!!!
What a crazy week this has been!!! For you and for me that is! So we had our last regular lesson with Cristina on Thursday before her baptism. She was doing super great and was waiting for her baptism. She says that she was counting down the days until the baptism so all was good with her. Friday we found out transfers and three of the four sisters in Leganes left and we got two new ones. Now Leganes has Hermanas [Sisters] Farías, Carter, and Frandsen. I know, a trio, but that´s fine for now. In Parla, no one changed so we´re all the same here. Nothing new in Parla, but it´s okay. Elder Forrest, my office companion, is also leaving the office and training Elder Bagley. He sounds so depressed over the phone, but I´m sure that he´ll get over it.
Saturday we had a lot of nothing in the morning, but in the afternoon we went over to Pavones to make sure that the baptismal font was full and that everything was good to go for the baptism at 6:00. Everything was fine and at around 6:00 everyone started coming to Pavones from Aranjuez. It was cool to meet some of the members there and to see Cristina and her two boys with smiles on their faces. We had a slight issue with the baptismal clothing, but all went well in the end. The sister missionaries that are serving there, namely Hermanas Jimenez and Shepherd, helped us out a lot with that. When the services started, it was awesome!! Pretty much the whole room was crying except for a small number of people, and the spirit was powerful!! Cristina´s older son, Michael, gave a talk on how happy he was to see his mom enter into this path. Then the ordinance of baptism was done and after Cristina bore her testimony and she didn´t last three seconds until she started crying. She shared how blessed she felt for having chosen this path and that she did it by herself, no one pushed her into it. It was really cool!!
Then her younger son who is deacon age, Gerald, bore his testimony and he said that ever since he was baptized, it was his dream to see his mom be baptized. He then said that it was made true that day. He was also crying up there as well as his brother in the front row, powerful!! Then the branch president also got up to welcome her into the branch and he cried too, as well as the relief society. Really cool experience! Afterwards we had refreshments and it was all good!! Sunday we went to the branch of Aranjuez for the confirmation and everyone was surprised to see missionaries there since there haven´t been any for about a year or more. We stayed there for the full three hours and went back to Parla afterwards. We then did contacts for the rest of the time.
Monday not much happened except that this evangelistic woman I swear just wanted to pick a fight with us since we ran into her two times and both times she preached to us. I remained silent most of the time in both occasions, but my companion tried to help/make her see where she was wrong. I really don´t see the point in fighting. I respect what everyone believes and such, so I leave them all alone and let them do, say, and preach what they want. If anyone decides to come up to me and try to talk to me about where I´m wrong, I´ll defend myself, but up to that point. I don´t look for fights, but anyway...moving on. Tuesday we had district meeting and it was pretty good. We got to know the new members of the district and all was well. We then had a lesson with Vincent, an African guy from Nigeria who we´ve been trying to get a hold of all of last transfer, but never got a hold of him. We then had a lesson with Ana, who is the one with most potential here in Parla. It was pretty good. I then called a less active lady called Raquel, she was a reference from the Barrio 8 Hermanas [sisters], and when I told her who we were she started crying since she recently moved to Parla, and probably wasn´t expecting to hear from the missionaries for a long time. I set something up with her and all is well. We will meet with her Thursday evening. Then we ran into a Columbian lady after looking for a different house, and she was carrying a heavy bag. We contacted her and offered to help her out with her bags and she accepted. Between the two of us, Elder Soriano and I, it was super heavy! I couldn´t understand how she could´ve carried that from the Renfe Station to her house, since it was a good 15 minute walk. We got to know her a bit and she said that she´ll pass by the church sometime or call us sometime soon. I´m pretty sure she will.
Today is P-Day and one of the things that I will definitely buy is a new pair of proselytizing pants since these are getting holes in the pockets. It´s also the best time to buy since there are rebajas por todos lados [sales everywhere]!! Everything is much cheaper than usual so I´ll have to aprovechar [take advantage of the sales]. Wow, I just lost my English abilities right there, but yeah. Take care and I love you all!!!