This week was one of the most emotional in my mission.
Here goes nothing: Last Monday night we found out that one of the more elderly gentleman in the Spanish branch passed away suddenly. In the Spanish culture, you have about a week of mourning to grieve for the person deceased. During this week everyone comes by constantly and cooks you food and you have to entertain them and they entertain you. I knew none of this until i had to live through it. Brother Riojas was a great man and very very funny. He loved to joke around with me and the other missionaries. His wife is so cool. She teaches la esquela dominical (Sunday school) occasionally and its always very elaborate and grand. She always has a lot of energy. Brother Riojas fell and i don't know all the details but it was a severe enough fall that he passed away on his way up to San Antonio because the medical situation here in Del Rio is poop. (comforting i know). Well Sister DeLeon and i decided to visit her on about Wednesday and see if we could do anything to help her. When we got there, all of the Riojas family (12 children in total) were there. One of the children had a son serving in London England, south so that made me happy. I told her Carli's name and since i am terrible with names, i forgot what her son's name was. He comes home soon though and has loved his mission. It was nice to have a connection for a brief moment. Sister DeLeon is determined to have me play my violin every chance i can so she offered us as a musical number. THEY ACCEPTED. We had 1 day to arrange a piece for How Great thou art. We already had plans the next day so it was terrifying. All the time while dealing with the sadness in the branch for sister and brother riojas, we needed to prep Mike for his baptism on Sunday. That means we have to work out logistics of his baptism and ask people to speak and give prayers and etc. We also had to organize when he would be interviewed for baptism. IT was very hard to go from a very sad place to being very excited and supportive of Mike and his decisions. We managed it all though and made it through!! The night before the funeral, we (all missionaries- sis. Deleon, Nygaard, Lindsay and myself) had to help with set up--it was the same after the and during the funeral as well but The piece turned out to be very beautiful. Sister DeLeon plays the piano very well and it was beautiful. I was very blessed to be a part of it. It was hard though being at a funeral again. Fue Muy triste. It was a lot of hard work but...like the year books at preschoool graduation, it is suuuper crazy and then its over. Once it was over we were able to kind of focus on Mike again. He passed is baptismal interview and all appeared to be set for the great day! Do i know how to do anything? No! I don't know how to set up a baptism or anything and as a missionary, you just kind of are supposed to know everything and i do so i freak out. Oooooohhhh weeelllll it was fine.
I did love our reaction from the English branch President: After presenting him with a baptism on Sunday and a scheduled baptism for next week, he said " is that it? Got anything else?!" -not in a joking way. In a way that was very condescending and mean. Man i struggle with him A LOT! i know that he was divinely inspired so i will keep my mouth shut. I was so frustrated but oh well. Well everyone.....IT WAS HAMMER TIME YESTERDAY AND WE WATCHED AS MIKE HAMMER WAS BAPTIZED 3X'S!!!!! hahaha the first time he kind of laid back like he was being laid to rest in a coffin. His hands came up and never went in. Man it was funny. Mike hammer's brother (John Hammer) was baptizing him so it was really really really awesome. They have a very close bond. Their other brother died a little while ago so they are very close. This close bond was awesome because Mike (who is a very nervous person) felt very comfortable. After the first attempt Mike and John got the giggles. They could not get through it so John just shoved him under the water. The last and final time, all the giggles and everything set aside, it was finally done correctly and Mike was baptized. It was so perfect and so appropriate for Mike. Mike often jokes that he is worried because he can only take just one piece of sacrament. this means he is taking it seriously. Man it was really awesome.
The emotions did not end there. We went out to Jackie Wilson's house for dinner. Jackie is getting baptized here next week and we absolutely love her. She is perfect. She truly has done the most amazing things. She is the dog lady that i have believe i have referenced on more than one occasion. Well it was an amazing dinner. She is currently housing a friend and helping him recover from being an alcoholic. He is having some major withdrawals and so he shakes a lot. She is just the best person in the world and she has dogs so i love her even more. Well we got transfer calls there. Sister DeLeon is going. Ooohhh my heart breaks. ITs hard. She has been a HUGE security blanket. She knows the language and she knows the members and she knows Del Rio sooooSorenson) is going to the AP position. We are getting a lot of missionaries down here. I am in the only sister missionary companionship in the border. Ok well its hard. its going to be tough but i will keep working hard and hopefully i will still be living and have a lot of fun new adventures to report to you next week. I love you all so much.
Please don't forget how much i love you all. I am working my tail off. I am being blessed. I'm sorry the home is so crazy and that there seem to be a lot of health issues and other crazy financial issues. I wish i could be there to help. God bless you all. Choose the right. Keep up a relationship with the lord.