SO this week we had a baptism. We didn't think the baptism was going to go through, so we were a little unprepared and surprised, but also super happy. Bianca was baptized by Elder Wihongi and I was able to confirm her and bless her with the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday. This was my first time ever doing that blessing. It was such an amazing spiritual experience. I'm so grateful that I got to be a part of this family's joy. Bianca is the daughter of Jorge Quavedo. Jorge is a member but he's been inactive for years and he has a girlfriend who is not a member. We've been teaching The Quavedo family since I got here to Mercedes. The Baptism was awesome, as well, because Bianca and her Family showed up, score!! But also, some less active people that me and elder wihongi have been working a lot with lately showed up for the baptism and they happen to be friends of Jorge's. Also, Jorge´s parents were there. They are active members. The spirit was so strong and they cried during the last part of the meeting when Jorge got up and bore his testimony about the restored Gospel and about how he knew that the covenant Bianca had made was extremely important and that he was Extremely happy in that moment for her. Amazing experience!! Elder Wihongi and I are SO Happy for Bianca and her family. Jorge has an operation on his leg tomorrow so we are going to pass by and give him a blessing and we have a hope that we will heal rapidly so that he can marry his now fiance Augustina and so that she will be ready to be baptized this next month as well.
WE have also been working with some other people who we believe have some great potential. We’re focusing on one family in particular because they are a family of girls about the same age as Bianca. We are trying as hard as we can to start building up the young women's program here because, as of right now, it only consists of Bianca!!
This week was also super crazy because of the never ending problems with our bikes!! This week my tire exploded twice. I had to get a whole new wheel and then the guy insisted that I get new brakes because my bike hasn't had any brakes since I got it! Haha. Then I had to get a new tread because two days ago the tire exploded again!! My bike is almost perfect now, except the wire for my new breaks is too tight so i've been riding with the brakes on the bike wheels for a few days. It's fine though. My legs are super awesome now like they were when I was on the swim team! Haha.
Also, elder wihongi and I were heading to a lesson/lunch appt. this week and Elder wihongi had just fixed his bike but as we started going we realized there was another problem. His chain kept falling off! haha. We didn't want to be late, so we walked to a recent convert´s house and dropped off his bike and started heading over again. And what do you do when you have miles to go and a short time to get there and only one bike for two people? Yip, you decide who is stronger and bigger and you have that person pedal while you jump on the handlebars!! I jumped up and held on for dear life!! Poor Elder Wihongi had to pedal my bike, with the brakes that were rubbing against the wheel, and my 6'4, 145 lb. body, for several miles, against the wind! On the plus side, we made it to our appointment AND we got a video and pictures of our unprecedented journey to lunch (video attached below!). ELder Wihongi and I are probably one of the most unified Elders in our mission. It's been a great experience serving with him.
Another reason This week was so awesome is because of how much food I've been eating! We don't get fed very well by the members in this area, but the food is really cheap so me and my comp buy tons of food and cook it ourselves. Remember last week how I told you I bought a ton of food? I ate 30 of the eggs I bought this week and 2 kilos of potatoes and onions. In other words I’ve been living in Luxury!!!!!!!
This week was awesome!! Loved it entirely.
I love you guys.
Elder Ren Porter
1. Elder Wihongi, Bianca, Me (at Bianca's baptism)
2. Me, Elder Sales, Augustina (future wife of Jorge), Bianca, Elder Wihongi, Jorge (at Bianca's baptism)
3. My district--me, Elder Lopez, Elder Sales, Elder Wihongi, Hermana Cheever, Hermana Sierra