Boy oh boy.. this past week has been incredible. It's funny how I feel like I'm always talking about miracles, but even though they happen a lot on the mission, I just never get "used" to it :)
Well, last thursday I got to go to the airport again and I ended up with a new comp! His name is Elder Cancino (Can-see-no) and he's from a city called Talca in Chili. He speaks suprisingly good portugues which is a miracle cuz teaching someone a language that you yourself learned is kinda interesting. I feel bad though when he's trying to explain a word and we have absolutely NO way of figuring it out haha. He's really excited and has an amazing amount of faith. I love training or working with newer elders because they always have so much faith... I find that just from all the difficult experiences I've passed through tends to weaken a little bit of that certainty that you start out with. Definitely something I'm trying to get better with.
One little funny that I wanted to share, 2 days ago my comp asked me if the showers here had hot water. The shower heads here are the kind that have wires going into them, and they take a little while to heat up. Anyways, I explained for him how they work, and then he took his shower. About 5 or 10 minutes later he walked out and explained that the whole shower head and pipe (I'll have to show everyone a film where I explain the situation) had broken off of the wall :D So now we don't have anymore hot showers, and I ended up breaking apart on old broken washing machine (hardly a washing machine, it's called a taquina, Aust should know what I'm talking about) and using the drain hose to just shove into the shower "hole" in the wall :) So now it's cold showers from now on. Not a big deal really with how hot it is here... Flip.
Anyway, we came back from the airport, and arrived in our area at like 7:45, and just had time to teach one lesson. Amazingly enough, in just that one lesson we marked baptismal dates with a mom and her two sons (ages 16 and 18). I can't think of a better way for a missionary to start his mission in the field :D The Lord sure blesses when you try your hardest and have the faith that He can and will bless you. Sunday that family had some complications and couldn't make it to church, but the Lord blessed us with some other awesome people who went to church as well. Our recent convert Ygor invited a friend to church who loved it. He's only 11 years old so we're working now to get his mom, sister, grandma, and cousin to go to conference so that all of them can be baptized together. Man it'd be an amazing baptismal service :) On top of this, about 20 minutes into sacrament meeting, a member that was baptized like 15 years ago, but it slowly coming back into activity in the church, walked in with about 8 other people. I wish I could have seen my face, cuz when a family of a mom and dad and kids walk in to church, all wearing jeans, tank tops, etc. a missonary REALLY gets excited :D We found out that about 5 of them were a mom and dad and 3 daughters who are neighbors of this less active member, and the other 3 were his wife who's not a member, and his 2 kids who aren't members either. It's astounding the way the Lord works... It's totally mysterious but marvelous at the same time. We passed by their house later that day and they excitedly accepted to be baptized, but just need to be legally married first; a process that takes about 45 days sadly.
This family as well as Ygor's friend stayed there at the church as well to see the baptism of Rui, and man... probably one of the most spiritual baptisms on my mission. With these last few people who've been baptized, the branch is being SO acceptive of them and it's amazing how much of a difference it makes. Everyone giving Rui a hug and him just beaming with joy... Later this week he's had a few questions about serving a mission (he will turn 17 in december). Absolutely indescribable when a recent convert has those questions. Then these last few days we've just been having miracle after miracle, and this next weekend is going to be amazing. An investigator has to go to church 1 time before the sunday that they'll be baptized, and general conference can count as this for whichever of the 4 sessions, the 9th of october is going to be amazing :) I simply can't believe how much the Lord does in this work, I'm absolutely worthless without the Lord's help, but when we're obedient and truly go to work, these miracles are undescribable. I love this work so much. I'm so grateful for ward and branches and good members that help one another and help these new people become a part of God's family. I hope that I can be that kind of member after the mission, cuz it makes an amazing difference. This Church is true, and nothing, absolutely nothing, will get in the way of this work from going forth witht total force and strength. I love being a missionary :) I can't think of (and truly believe that there doesn't exist) anything so worth it. Love you all! Hurrah for Israel!!!-Elder Ballard