Wednesday, February 1, 2012
January 23, 2012
I had a dream last night that was so real and stressful. I dreamed that I was at the Denver Airport, just getting home from Argentina, and greeting the whole fam. It was so good to see everybody and give lots of hugs, but the prevailing feeling of the dream was one of confusion and discomfort. I was just really confused why I was home so early and wishing that I was back in Argentina. I woke up and was really relieved that I was still in Argentina. I love everybody at home so much, but I realized last night how much I belong in Argentina right now and how much this place has become and second home for me. A second home, and the staging ground for a lot of changes in my life. I love Argentina and its people so much. It caused me so much dream stress to have left Argentina and I'm sure it will cause me a lot of real sadness to leave the place, but in that moment, I will be more excited to come back and see the family than anything.
This week was real good. Yesterday we baptized and confirmed a 13 year old girl named Malena. Does everybody remember the story of when I baptized Norma, the woman who screamed the whole time she was in the water? Malena is her daughter who still wasn't sure about baptism at the time of her Mom's baptism. I thought that screaming during a baptism might be in the genes, so I was kind of relieved when she told us that she wanted Elder Jolley to baptize her. She is such a good, humble girl and has such a sweet, simple, pure testimony. The baptism went totally smooth and was real real good.
The other day I was on splits with Elder Rivera (from Chile) and we were walking down the street when this lady came up to us out of nowhere, got right in my face and was like, "TEACH ME ABOUT THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE!!!" She had one tooth on bottom and one on top and really big, crazy eyes. I am kind of accustomed to crazy people getting in my face in the street and saying totally weird things, but I still felt really uncomfortable and wanted her mouth more than 4 inches from my eyes. We started talking and she told me in deep breaths and lots of really fast, desperate talking that she loved Mormons and had been hoping we walked by her house soon. We made an appointment, found out her name was Ana, said bye, and gratefully walked away.
Crazy people are all over the place in my area, and that kind of thing happens all the time. We spend huge amounts of time talking to crazy people about how they don't like the taste of shadows or conversations that they had had with their fence posts. I was kind of negatively expecting the visit with Ana to be another crazy person babbling and went into the lesson without much hope. I was so wrong. Ana turned out to be the nicest, smartest lady I have met so far in my mission and had so many good things to say. She told me that she had found a Book of Mormon in her daughters house once and read the whole thing cover to cover in the two days. She read it several more times in the next few weeks. She told me how great the Anti-Nephi-Lehites were and how much she liked the Brother of Jared. All of this kind of blew me away and my jaw dropped several times throughout the lesson. She told me that she knew the book was true, but felt like her knowledge was being wasted because she was taking no action on it. We then talked about how one has to do things to enjoy the gospel, including baptism. She was so excited at the idea of baptism, and hopefully that will be happening in the upcoming few weeks.
Transfer calls come this Saturday night, and I feel fairly sure I will be headed to my third area. I will let you know.
I love what I am doing. I love the people I am talking with. I love Argentina.