Last week was transfers and changes certainly happened here in Morales. Hermana Melo and Hermana Grow ( the 2 hermanas who were here in Morales with us) were both sent to Lima.....and no one came to replace them. WHICH MEANS: that the six missionaries in the branch have now been cut down to four here in Morales. So my nightmare of living by a cemetary became a reality this week....but, it hasn`t been that bad. Hermana Vasquez and I have just felt so stressed moving houses because now we have the furniture and EVERYTHING of four missionaries, in one single house (because the other hermanas went to lima). We had to rearrange the "storage room" stacking the extra beds, bunk bed ladder, tables, boxes, and desks. It was quite the task and I have no idea what we would have done if Rosana hadn`t come to help us. Finished cleaning in the morning today and we`re feeling better.....our legs are a little sore from the giant area we`ve had. In the branch, the elders are on the side of "Partido Alto" and Hermana Vasquez and I now have ALL of "Morales."
This week was a little chaotic. We moved houses to be more in the center of our new area, met/started teaching the investigators of the hermanas, and celebrated Peru`s independence. The biggest joke of all is that now we have front row seats to the Resurrection--we live in front of the Morales Cemetary.......fantastic for my fear of the dark. :)
This week was really special because we started teaching Ida, the mother of a recent convert that Hna. Vasquez taught in May, Erick. Ida started getting to know the church more when her son was baptized in May (boyfriend of one of the members). Anyway, she`s come every week for over a month with her other son, Frader, and is absolutely wonderful! Finally managed to set up appointments with her this week. Here is how the first lesson went:
US: "Hi, Ida.....(chatting at the beginning)
US: "Entonces, Ida, una preguntita....what do you hope for out of these visits with us?"
IDA: "Well, I`ve liked coming to church and that Erick was baptized. It`s beautiful. I want to be in a member in your church and know what I have to do to be baptized."
US: "Wow, Ida. T`hat`s wonderful! So will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone with His authority?"
US: "Excelente! We`re preparing a baptismal service for August 11th. Will you prepare to be baptized on that day?"
IDA: "Sure. Why not?"
At this point I think my jaw might have dropped open and I almost fell on the floor. The lesson was such a spiritual thrill because she`s one of the "people prepared in your area" that they always talk about in the mission. She tells everyone how she is going to be baptized on August 11 and the branch is thrilled because they`ve already known her practically as a member since June.
Peru celebrated its independence this last week. It was different being in the field this year for Peru Independence day (28/29 de Julio) compared to the CCM last year. Of course, nothing would be complete without a lama (even though they`re rarely seen in the selva) and so there were two to take pictures with in the plaza on tuesday. All of the schools put on a big parade Tuesday here in Morales. It was neat because they costumed-up to show natives and kings being carried (like Jacob leading the caravan in "The Testaments"), the spaniards arriving and conquering....they showed their history in a parade. It was so cute to see the culture!!!! Their parades are also a marching competition. Whoever marches the best (military style) and falls in first and second place can advance to the big parade/marching competion in downtown Tarapoto Saturday morning. Every house had a flag out front and the lamp posts in the plaza were painted red/white/red on the bottom, too. PERU....now has 120 or something anos of independence.