I don't know if there are words exactly to describe what this week was. I'm still trying to comprehend it all.
The week started out great on Wendesday. I got to go on exchanges again with Sister Jimenez. I love that girl. We taught Fred's nieces at their house and they accepted our baptismal invitation! Iza then just invited us to stay for lunch. They had some friends visiting and one of them is deaf. He's been living back and forth between here and California. He freaked out when I started signing to him. I've never been so grateful I suffered through those ASL classes in high school. He kept signing how the people here do a different kind of sign but how what I knew is his language. He wanted a picture with me and it was just like hilarious. I was actually bummed before we got to the house (and we only went there as a back up) because another appointment had fallen through. But I know we needed to be there, and it definitely lifted my spirits.
We had an early curfew on New Year's Eve and New Years day. We just hung out with the sisters and played games all night, it was SO fun! On Friday Sister Delgado and I had to exchange with some sisters that are in the hospital so the sick sister's companion could go get her things from their apartment. The one sister was sent to the MRC today along with another sister. Everyone is getting sick lately! It was really good to just talk with her before though. I think that was like the first intimate conversation I've had with someone in Tagalog. Hah. They keep giving me these Americans for companions. haha.
Saturday was the best. Fred was baptized. That was the most spiritual baptism I've ever attended. That man is converted to this Gospel. That night we taught him and he was just glowing. He's so happy. We then went with him over to the Mayor's house to introduce ourselves. It was the mayor's birthday so there was a big party going on, but we got to meet him and his wife. I'm pretty sure he was drunk though... hah.
Sunday was rather bittersweet. Church was the best since I've been there. Every meeting was so spiritual and of course Fred was confirmed. He has an interview with bishop next week to receive the priesthood. We had our MCM meeting after church where the AP's attended. They told us there has been new direction given by the brethren and our APs will now need an area in our district. They said they needed the area with the mission home. One problem, that's our area. That's Fred's house. We ended up having a meeting with president about some other things that have been going on and we had to realign our entire district area lines. We were at the office forever. Our district leader was being very sweet and they were trying to make it work so we could still keep Fred and keep the people we're teaching in that area. The entire time we're sitting there, I just can't deny this feeling inside of me. The Spirit was really telling me that the AP's need that area. I couldn't hold it in anymore and just said how I was feeling. That was maybe the hardest thing I've ever done on my mission. I had to give up my recent convert. Not because the AP's jumped in and stole them or anything (they were actually very very sweet about it and trying to let us keep them), but because that's what the Lord needs to happen. I needed to just choose His will over mine. It's harder when you have a choice. I'm still trying to cope with it, honestly, because this is really hard for me, but I can't describe how I have just felt peace through all of this. This isn't my work. It's His. Fred told us the night before he was baptized that he was investigating this church for 14 years. He had been taught by lots of different missionaries, but he said when we first visited him that we were different. We saw such a change in him. He gained such a testimony of the gospel. But now, the day after his baptism, our work is done. Now it's time for some new missionaries in that area. The Lord has a plan. I can't be selfish about this. There's other people in that area that need to be found. People that need our APs. There's going to be lots of tracting and beginning again in the next few days because our focus the past two transfers has been in that area. I'm excited for this new opportunity and for the possibilities ahead of us.
Pray for us.
I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for the love and kindness you've shown toward me. Happy New Year!