Another week here in Oregon! I can't believe it's almost May!
The best part of the week was probably the baptism for Gloria. I think I explained last week she's 71 and totally paralyzed on her left side. It was a beautiful baptism. They had a little trouble with the physical act of baptizing her because of her paralysis but, after a few tries, she was baptized. She was so happy and cried afterwards while we were talking about the Holy Ghost. It was a really special experience both for us and for her.
Another really fun experience we had this week was when we had dinner with the Burton family. The mom is a life long member of the church but was not active until a couple months ago when she walked up to the Elders at the library and asked them to baptize her kids. They are such a cool family. I was particularly impressed with one of their sons who is about 13. He just expressed so much excitement for the gospel; so much happiness and enthusiasm. After the dinner, I found out that he's kind of the reason all of this happened. He had been bugging his mom about how their family needed to start attending church so when she saw the Elders in the library, she knew she had to go talk to them. We watched the Mormon Message "Dare to Stand Alone" (which my companion is actually in, by the way) and he shared a really similar experience.
Hayley's companion plays the girl in the movie theater
who leaves after her friend does
He talked about how when he first started learning from the missionaries he was so excited about everything but was a little nervous because he thought he was the only Mormon at his school. He said that after he started coming to church and youth activities he realized there were all these people around him who he had always known, he had just never known they were Mormons. He said it made him feel like a part of something and not alone in what he believed.
So, I was in a parade this week? Like, kind of by accident? We volunteer at the Centro Cultural here in Cornelius teaching English classes and on Saturday they had this big event called Dia de Los Niños which is a highly celebrated event in Mexico. It's "Day of the Kids" so basically just a day to celebrate children. We were volunteering at it and, at the last second, the people said, "Hey, will you hold this banner and lead the parade?" It was pretty cool.
We're starting to teach our own free English classes at the church this week! We advertised a little bit across town so we're hoping to get a lot of people there. We were feeling a little overwhelmed as to how to start this, how to teach, etc. Last night we had dinner with a family and found out that the dad is a full time ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher and has a Master's in it. It's so funny how that happens; literally he was the exact person we needed to talk to and Heavenly Father put him in our path.
This has happened before. A couple of weeks ago the other Hermanas started teaching a family who has a deaf son and they really wanted to learn sign language to try and teach him. A couple days later, we were at dinner with a family and it turned out that the mom spoke fluent sign language and said she'd be willing to go teach this family with them. It was President Spencer W. Kimball who said, "God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.” I've definitely seen that here.
We're working with Ishmael right now to try and help him quit smoking. It's going pretty well! He's only smoking seven cigarettes a day (sounds like a lot but he used to smoke 10 a day). We're hoping he'll be able to break that habit completely in the coming weeks.
We taught Primary yesterday again and it was really fun. The Loza boys were in there (the family in one of the crown pictures) and after it was over one of the older ones said to the other "Can you believe the MISSIONARIES were our teachers today?". It was super cute. The youngest one calls us the "missies" and it's adorable.
Sister Barrios said she woke up in the middle of the night the other night and I was in the middle of bearing my testimony in my sleep in Spanish so I guess that's a good sign, right?
Congrats to Nic!!! He's going to love the CCM. (Nic was just called to serve in the Texas Houston Spanish Speaking Mission and will be going to the same Missionary Training Center Hayley attended in Mexico City). I don't have any advice off the top of my head but I'll think of some.
Congrats to Nicki (Hayley's cousin who just gave birth to sweet Grace) and Amelia (on her engagement) as well. That's so exciting.
Note from Mom: We sure wish we had a picture of Hayley in that parade! I just ordered an adapter for her camera so, hopefully, we'll start getting more pictures. Here's a picture of the family she had Easter dinner with:
as well as a random photo of them with a cute baby: