This week was a week of a lot of firsts. This Saturday, we went to a barber who we weren't familiar with. Bad mistake. Apparently, the barber was used to giving all the little villa kids ghetto villa haircuts. Elder Ramos and I went to the barber hoping for crisp Elder Bednar-like (bulletproof) haircuts, and came out looking like we grew up in the villa. (Prett much a buzz with a skinny skinny line of hair along the crown of your head. So, to counteract the bad barber effect, today I gelled my hair for the first time in my life. No one laugh, I'm totally embarrassed and trying to figure out if I will continue gelling my hair for the rest of my mission.
This week I ate liver off the parilla for the first time. It was way better than small intestines, large intestines, blood sausage, kidney, pig eye, chicken foot, or any of the other strange things that I have eaten off the parilla so far. I plan on eating it again.
I think I wrote about Lucilla and her family a few months ago, but I'm not sure. Lucilla was a woman that I was teaching in Longchamps. Right when I start teaching people, I always ask, "How long have you and your spouse been married?" just to know if they are married or not. About 85% of the people in Argentina just live with their "spouse" because it's so hard to get married under Argentine law. I asked Lucilla how long she had been married when I started teaching her and she said, "Oh, like a year." I took the answer and was happy that I had found one of the few married people. She progressed really fast and we were planning her baptism. We programed her baptism for a Saturday. The Friday of her baptism arrived, the programs were all printed, the ward was informed of the baptism, I had sent out invitations, and Lucilla called me and told me that she was not actually married, but just living with her "husband". I was pretty bummed, but comforted by the fact that Lucilla told me that she was completely committed to do everything necessary in order to get baptized. I then ran to the Registrero (the place where you take out fechas to get married by law), took out a license for her and her "husband" and paid the fee. The closest date that I could get for the marriage was the fourth of May. But, as you know, I got transferred before that date came. I didn't really think about it after that until I got a call from Elder Abbott (my ex companion who is still in Longchamps) and let me know that Lucilla had gotten married and baptized. A strange flavored happiness came over me. Up till this point in my mission, I have tried to put a big focus on loving the people around me, especially the people I teach. The moments when I feel the most love for my investigators is when I see them in white and when they enter the water. When I see them like that, I feel like my chest is gonna blow up and I cry and its something really intense and a little embarrassing for me. When I got the call and heard that Lucilla had been baptized, I felt the same baptism/love feeling, but a more tranquil sweeter brand of it, no tears, no love explosions in my chest, I just felt real....good. It's hard to explain.
There is something special that happens in between investigators and missionaries when baptism is put into the mix. It doesn't matter if I'm at the baptism or not, I just feel good when people that I have helped take the steps to become closer to their Heavenly Father. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what or how it is, but I know it is real and I will never forget it. Once I fully understand it, I will let you all know.