Sorry I couldn't write yesterday. I was running late to get to the temple. I got to the mission home right in time for President to drive us to the temple.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes! Honestly, I had kind of forgotten that my birthday was so close. I don't know if it has to do with American culture or something, but I feel like the 21st birthday is a big one. Thanks for the birthday wishes, especially the videos. I showed my companion the video of all the Colorado family singing and he asked me why all Yankees go, "Wooooooooo!" after they sing Happy Birthday. I could not give him an answer. I don't really know what I'm gonna do for my b-day. Probably the same thing as always, but that's good enough. I'm being very careful not to make last years mistake of telling people that its my birthday. Last year, when I told people that they all started throwing raw eggs and handfulls of flour at me. I'm still not sure why.
The temple was really good once again. I was in the welcome tent once again. That means another 11 solid hours of talking to anyone and everyone that I could. It was fantastic especially because the Longchamps and Solano wards were there. I was able to see a lot of my converts and members that are good friends of mine. Real real good.
Before I forget: this upcoming Monday is transfers and my companion is going home, so I will be receiveing a new comp. We will see who...
This week was really eventful. On Wednesday night, Elder Ruvalcaba and I were in the secretary's office at the church, making the program for the baptisms of the following Saturday. Before I went into the office, my companion and I set our backpacks in the front room of the church on a chair, right around the corner from the secretary's office. I didn't really think anything of it because there were was a single adults activity going on in the chapel. As Elder Ruvalcaba and I were preparing the baptismal program, I just started to feel really nervous about by backpack. I don't know why, and it was really weird. But, I ignored the feeling. Another 15 or so minutes passed and I went to grab something from my backpack. I went out to the front room, and it just wasn't there. I then searched the church for about 30 minutes and didn't find anything. It was a huge bummer because I had just spent the night in another area, so my backpack was full of things: all of my bathroom stuff, slippers, flip flops, a soccer jersey that one of my mission buddies gave me, shorts, my marked mission scriptures, my camera, my memory card of my camera, the photo album that Megan sent me, my mini-hymn book, and a few other things. The ironic part about it is that just earlier that day, I was walking around, with my full backpack, in one of the worst villas in Argentina that is famous for robbings, and nothing at all happened. But, I came to the church, and they took everything. I'm just curious why they took my backpack and not my companions. my backpack had had its better days; it was chocolate brown (it was black when I bought it) and the zippers are broken. it looks like a homeless mans backpack. I was pretty mad and sad about it at first, but I got over it pretty quick. Luckily i had just filled up my last memory card, so the memory card that got stolen only had about 2 months of photos on it, and the most important ones were already sent home.
Throughout the rest of the week, different members kept on calling me and telling me that they had heard that my backpack got stolen and that they were going to find the robber and kill him. I told them not to do that and not to worry about it. But, one of the single adults that had been at the activity called me and told me that they thought they knew who it was that robbed me. The member told me that a less active 16 year old from the ward who comes to the church to play soccer every once in a while had taken it. I told them thanks and didn't really plan to confront the kid or anything. The kid has a really tough life and is addicted to a lot of different drugs. Two days ago, on Sunday, church had just ended and I was saying goodbye to everyone at the door when the 16 year old kid walked in the door. I was really suprized to see him because he never comes to church and decide to take advantage of having him right in front of me. I took him aside to see if I could get my stuff back and just started out by asking him how he was and he just looked at me with a really profound sadness in his eyes and said, "All bad." He then started to tell me all his really complex, horrible problems with drugs and his family, and crime, and how the church was his only hope to having a good life. After about 10 minutes of hearing that, I was not all that ready to make an accusation. I just listened and then told him that I loved him and that God loved him too and then invited him to come to the temple open house with me. He cried and accepted. I was about to say goodbye, but without me saying anything, he grabbed my arm and told me that he had heard what happened with my backpack the last Wednesday. He didn't admit that he had been the robber, but promised me that my backpack would turn up within the week. I didn't ask how he knew or for any details. So we will see if the backpack turns up someday. but that is less important, I hope the kid keeps on feeling the strength that comes from being in the church, and doesn't drop the church entirely for the shame of the robbing. My runners roost bag works great as a backpack anyways.
This last Saturday we had "El Gran Dia de Bautismos" or the mass baptism of the whole zone. The goal for the day was 15 baptisms, but in the end we could only have 10. But it was still real real good. All those who were baptized were congratulating each other and smiling a whole lot. Ingrid, Gloria, and Adilaida, Elder Ruvalcaba and my investigators were baptized. They were all real happy and cried. I baptized Ingrid (the 11 year old girl). They are the type of converts that you are sure are gonna be active for a while.
This upcoming Wednesday, the stake has rented out a bus to the Temple Open house, exclusively for investigators. Malena, the daughter of the tango dancers, and a few other investigators of ours will be coming. This will be the last time in the temple open house.