Saturday, April 13, 2013

January 21, 2013

This is my third to last email I will be sending. Writing these emails have been kind of strange. I have been fairly lazy as far as writing in my journal goes, so I think these emails will be valuable for me in the future. When a seventy´s wife came to teach us, she said, "The best journal you will have for after the mission will be the letters that you have written to your mother." I hope that is true.

This week was pretty busy. Elder Reynolds and I had to run around doing a couple different activities, so we did not spend as much time teaching as we would have liked. On Tuesday, we had interviews with the President. Whenever we have interviews, the zone leaders have to do a workshop for every companionship of missionaries. Giving the same 1-hour workshop eight times in a row can be kind of tedious, but it was funny thanks to the company of Elder Reynolds.

On Wednesday night, the office Elders called me and told me that I had to be in the mission offices to do visa work the next morning. The mission offices are on the other side of the mission. (Two buses and two trains). We got to the offices on Thursday morning. There, they told me that they couldn't find my passport and were frantically looking for it. The mission Presidents wife and all of the office elders were fasting so they could find it. I asked them what it means if I don't have my passport and they told me that I would have to stay in the country for another 2-3 months while the embassy made me another passport. That notion was very bittersweet for me. More bitter than sweet so, I started to pray too. Meanwhile, they told me to go to a nearby government building and try to do some paperwork to get my visa current and to ensure than I leave the country legally. At the government building, I talked to a not very friendly lady (who reminded me of one of the ladies who works at the post office, except meaner) who asked me for my passport. I told her that I did not have it. She shouted at me for a little, and in short told me to get out and come back when I had my passport. I went outside for a little bit and called the office Elder whose job is to organize the visas. He told me that the lady didn't know what she was talking about and told me to sneak back into the building, avoid the mean post office lady who had just finished shouting at me, and try to do the paperwork with a different mean post office lady. I sighed and said, "okay...". I tried to sneak back in and was promptly discovered by the same shouting post office lady. She asked me, with lots of expletives, what I was doing. I told her, in a faltering, frightened, and higher voice than normal, that I was there to retry my visa paperwork. She blew up. She started screaming about how if our situations were switched my country would have deported her years ago and how Yankees are always acting like they own the world and something about my mother...She just caused a big scene and everyone stared at me. I just tried to smile. She then called the policewoman who was stationed at the government building and told her to take me out of the building. The police woman (a lot shorter than me) grabbed me by the upper arm and ushered me out of the office. sweeeeeeet. I then made my way back to the mission offices, feeling rather defeated and embarrassed. When I got to the offices, the office Elders told me the bittersweet news that they had found my passport and that I could go back and face the screaming menace once again to finish my visa papers. I went back and the lady had left, and the papers went smoothly. It all ended well and for the moment, I am not to be deported nor exiled.

The best part of the week, by far, was the baptism of the Sanchez kids. I wish I could send the picture, but this computer is not cooperating. (I will show you them in a few weeks.) I don't know why, but it seems like something goes wrong at every baptism. The Sanchez baptism was an exception. The water worked, the clothes fit, the family arrived on time, the members brought refreshments, it went well. The kids were so happy and the family too. It was especially special because Hermano Sanchez, who recently re-activated in the church, was able to do the baptisms. Everyone was beaming, and the whole experience was real good.

All is well. Life is good.

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