Happy Birthday Annie

I already knew it was Annie´s birthday before Mom told me. Sadly, I do not know her email address. Someone please forward/show this to her asap so she knows that I´m wishing her a very happy birthday and I´m thinking about her.

So, they announced transfers this morning. Hermana Quiroz and I are staying here. The 6 Hermanas in our zone are all staying, but three Elders are leaving. I can´t remember if I mentioned before but besides one companionship of Hermanas, every companionship had one Latino and one gringo. Three gringo Elders are leaving and three Latinos are coming, so we´re going to be in the minority here in Iquique. It´s sad to see missionaries go! Even after just six weeks, we´ve built great friendship in the zone. But I´m looking forward to meeting the new Elders!

So I wrote last week about dumping Manuel. We went to visit him Tuesday to "kill him" but it was totally different. We had a super spiritual lesson, he read all the baptismal interview questions and said they were easy, he PROMISED us he´d stop smoking. Before he always said he knew he had to be baptized but "me falta mucho," like he needed to experience a mighty change of heart, and when we went on Tuesday, he said "me falta UNA COSA POCA," which was quitting smoking. So we left Tuesday, absolutely full of joy and hope. Friday we go to do the pre-interview, where we ask all the baptismal interview questions to make sure he´s ready, and he admits that he doesn´t have a testimony of the Restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. We were super crushed. We´ve seriously given him everthing, so we just advised him to read the Book of Mormon from the beginning and keep praying to know if it´s true. He´s super faithful in coming to church, so maybe in just a few weeks he´ll get his answer and want to get baptized, because he´s prepared in every other way. But man, that was soooooo depressing.

We do have another baptism scheduled for this Saturday though. It´s about time I told you about the Donario family. They are recent converts, a couple in their thirties, with a 14-year-old son named Juan but they call him Kook, and he doesn´t want to get baptized. When the missionaries were teaching them (they were Elders then) they spent A LOT of time at their house, so they´re used to the missionaries always being at their house. Obviously we have a lot of work to do and aren´t going to just hang out at their house for hours every day. But Hermano Donario´s mom is Suena, the one who is getting baptized on Saturday, so recently we´ve been over there more, to teach her everything in a short time, but not so fast that she doesn´t understand. This is all well and good, except that Hermano Donario doesn´t think it´s necessary to wear a shirt sometimes. One time he answered the door, knowing it was us, in just shorts. HQ got so mad and was like "wow, you could show some respect for the missionares or something..." Haha. Another time he came downstairs to take a shower (their bathroom is right next to their living room but their bedroom is upstairs) in JUST A TOWEL. I almost died laughing. He also is REALLY into praying, all the time, for everything. Once we were there when he got home for the day and he was standing there talking to us and then all of a sudden said "permiso" and turned his back to us and started praying out loud, thanking Heavenly Father for making it home safely. He´s a kook.

Anyway, his mother-in-law is getting baptized this week so shortly we won´t be over there all the time. Thank goodness. I like their family though, they´re good people. Yesterday we ate lunch with them after church and their washing machine started dumping water all over the floor for some reason. Luckily we have experience with mopping up large amounts of water with limited means (remember the font?). Haha the mission is crazy.

Yesterday we had a special stake conference with Elder Corbridge of the 70, who is in the Area Presidency of Chile or something. We were sitting in like the third row, and someone was talking when I noticed that Elder Corbridge was looking at me, or more specifically, my plaque. I imagined what would happen if they called me up to bear my testimony, what I would say, and then assured myself that it would never happen. After that speaker finished, the stake president got up and announced a slight change in the schedule. Elder Kneisly, a missionary who is going home this week, is going to bear his testimony. Huge relief. We´re also going to hear a testimony from Hermana Coppins, who is just starting her mission. Huge wave of nerves. But man, the Spirit told me it was going to happen! Crazy! And I think it went pretty well. As far as I know/other people said, I didn´t make any grave mistakes. So that was exciting.

I don´t have much else to say, except that apparently you decided to move this summer?? Dad casually mentioned it in his email last week, that I didn´t read until I was home and had finished emailing. That´s big news. But that´s good! Keep me posted on the details when you find a house and stuff. And have fun on your trip to New York and Boston! I love you guys!