Area: Delano Ward
Companions: Hermana Galvez and Hermana Ruiz
WOW! This week was an amazing week to end off the mission. I can't believe that it has already been eighteen months. We have seen some AMAZING miracles this week!
We celebrated the fourth of July this week in typical missionary fashion -- we went into our apartments early to avoid all of the drunk drivers and did our studies. It was okay though, because we were able to eat a festive dinner with a member before hand and to watch the fireworks through the window of our apartment. The only downside was that the air conditioning in our apartment has been really flaky this entire week and it was out on Tuesday night. . . it was a really sweaty time!
The biggest thing that happened this week was the marriage of our investigators, Victoriano and Luisa. It was one of the most exciting things that has happened to me on my mission. When we first came here to Delano, the elder that was leaving the area told us that Victoriano and Luisa needed sisters. Victoriano had been learning with the missionaries for a couple of transfers, but had not been able to be baptized because he was living with Luisa and they weren't married. Luisa had never talked with the elders and she told them that she only spoke Mixteco The first time that we talked to Luisa, she told us that she wouldn't get married until they were able to go back to Oaxaca and have a big Catholic wedding in three years. Over the course of the last couple of months, we have been working with them and have seen a ton of miracles with the family. Ever since they decided to get married, they have been super excited!
This week, we spent a lot of time working with the family. One day, we were in talking to Victoriano's brother, Gabino, and teaching him about tithing. Right in the middle of the lesson, Victoriano and Luisa drove up in their car. They hopped out and and ran to the trunk and pulled out five or six live chickens. They had driven all the way from Bakersfield to get chickens for the mole they were going to make for the wedding and on the way back, the chickens had started to get heat stroke and to die. Victoriano started putting them in the kiddie pool to cool them off, but it wasn't working. They had to kill the chickens before they died so that they could cook them, so they started stringing them up right in the yard and cutting off their heads. The entire time, we were just watching them. Needless to say, we needed to invite the spirit again after that! :) It was super funny!
Speaking of Gabino, we have been working with him a lot and he was able to get his baptismal interview this Saturday. He passed! I am super excited for him. He is going to be baptized this Saturday (a couple of days after I leave, but it is okay!) He is going to be a really good member of the church.
On Friday, we woke up really early to go down to the departing temple trip in Los Angeles. It was really nice. I was with Hermana Perry again. It was a bizarre experience to be living what we talked about a year ago when we were companions. I learned a lot as I went to the temple and I am super excited to go back when I get home.
Biggest moment of the week was the wedding. We were running around all morning long helping them to set up. It was pretty sweet. Right before the wedding, we were at Victoriano and Luisa's house and they told us that they wouldn't have time to fill up balloons, so they asked us to go and get them filled with helium. We figured that we would have enough time, so we went to the flower shop. When they gave us the balloons, we pretty quickly realized that we didn't really have any space for them in our car . We ended up squishing them all in the back seat with Hermana Ruiz. It was a fun ride!
The wedding was so cute! Our stake president here drove all the way from Bakersfield to preform the ceremony because Bishop was out of town. It was really nice! He doesn't speak Spanish and they don't speak English, but they were able to have some headsets and someone to translate for them during the ceremony! It was so beautiful. I am so excited for them to continue to learn so that they can go to get sealed in the temple some day.
This has been a really strange week, but I am so happy! I have loved my experience as a missionary and I am sad that it is over, but I am also happy with all that I have done. I know that I have served the Lord and I don't regret my decision to serve a mission one bit. I love the work and I love the gospel and all of the blessings that it has given me and everyone that I have shared it with! I hope that you have a good couple of days. I will see you soon!