|Paola and her Dad|
So this was a good weekend! We had three baptisms that all went well for the most part. The Morales family was on Saturday. Paola is a nine-year-old, and her dad was able to get back going to church and baptize her which has been a process over the past couple weeks. They are a great family. They did a good job of setting up their program so Elder Salazar and I didn't participate except for the missionary presentation while they are changing (we just teach the restoration). Brother Morales went to baptize her, and I think it took him almost a minute, because he was crying so hard… and he really isn't an emotional guy.
Setting up for all of this was kind of a nightmare without a ward mission leader. We had someone in our bishopric do it, but then the day before he called and still hadn't done anything, so we did it all: programs, building, font… That's ok; that's always what I have done. It worries me too much to let other people do it in case something is done wrong, or they forget towels or something. Finding baptismal clothes was the biggest nightmare. Our bishopric was going to get some, then the morning of the baptism they said they had nothing and to send the Morales family to DI to get their own. Ugh...so we went to another stake and made like 1,000 calls to different people (it seemed like) and found some clothes.
The next day was the baptism for the Villalobo’s family and the Alejandre/Escatel family. Their baptism service didn't go as well. President decided to come last minute, so he called to say that he was on his way. The missionary department has told us 1,000 times that there should be no "welcome to the wards" at convert baptisms from the bishopric or primary, and we have all trained our leaders on it 2,000 times, but they did both, ha-ha. President talked to our bishop though after so hopefully they know how the programs should go now (the outline in preach my gospel and handbook 2).
At church that day, they all came with their families. The other investigators we had came EXCEPT for Hernan! That guy is the best; hopefully he pulls through here pretty soon. Last week was his birthday. I was on exchanges, but I had Elder Salazar buy him a white shirt and tie at Ross and bring it to him. From what Elder Salazar said, he was beyond happy and had never had anyone visit him for his birthday before. It was good for him to get some love from us rather than all the pressure we seem to give him about getting baptized or repenting.
How can I get people to quit saying that I am the "really pushy" missionary? I swear, I am nice to people. Sister Morales told me the other day I am the most serious missionary she has ever met. And the young women on Sunday thought I was mean my first week, because I didn't come and talk to any of them.
OH and that reminds me. I got to play the piano in primary again, and I made the best game ever. I sit in the very back of the room while I play and like two rows in front of me is where the ten-and-eleven-year-old class sits. One of the 11-year-old girls and her friends always turn around and stare at me every ten seconds (I'm not exaggerating) so whenever the one on the left would turn and look at me without the one on the right looking, I would wink at her and then immediately look away at the front of the class with a straight face. Then the one on the left would get this really surprised look and grab her friend and tell her to look at me because I just winked at her! But then I would just be looking up at the front, and the one on the right thinks the one on the left is lying. That went on and I probably winked at the girl on the left 20 times throughout the whole class without the one of the right ever noticing. They both came up after, and the one on the left asked me to tell her friend I was winking at her. I just said I didn’t know what she was talking about, and I didn't even know how to wink. Then the one on the left would get really mad at me, and the one on the right thinks the one on the left is just lying to her. That was probably so confusing to read, but it was a great game. I'll let you know how it goes next time. The best part of the game was when their teacher sitting down with them was wondering what was so distracting and would look back at me, and when I wasn't doing anything but looking down at my hymn book or looking at the teacher she would get mad at the two girls and tell them to be quiet.
Another thing happened while I was in primary. There was a stack of probably ten books on top of the piano that made it so I couldn't see. So while the teacher was doing the sharing time thing, I tried to pull it off so I could see better and the whole pile fell on top of the keys and made a loud noise as every note on the piano was simultaneously hit. Every kid in the primary stood-up, turned around, and started laughing; it was funny.
So I had two days of exchanges in a row this week! I don't like being out of my area for that long, but it's just the way it happened. Both of them involved me going to English areas: once with Elder Franco and then once with my zone leader, Elder Hainsworth. They both went fine. For the one with Elder Franco, we didn't have a dinner and got a ride from Elder Salazar to Subway with the bikes on the bike rack (a couple miles from our house or a little more). So we got, there finished eating, and had forgotten our helmets! So we started to walk our bikes home, me being stubborn about being obedient and made it halfway before we were late for his lesson and just rode home really fast to get our helmets praying we didn't either die or have members see missionaries riding without helmets. (We were late for their next appointment.)
There wasn't a ton of progress with anyone else this week. We taught a decent amount of lessons, but we are working with a lot of non-progressing people right now. The rest of the Villalobo’s family that isn't baptized (mom and older son who is actually the nephew but was just adopted by the mom) should get baptized next month, so we are still working with them.
I think that's all for now. I love you all!
|First Day of Sweater weather. Let the cold begin!|
Our Responses-it gets confusing
Jessica: You look great! Are you excited for sweater weather? I'm excited for the heat to go away but I'm not excited to be stuck inside all day.
I showed Emma the picture and she says "mamamamamamama" that's pretty much all she ever says, unless she's grunting or barking.
Taylor: I am excited for it...not to wear sweaters without a coat though because that makes me look fat...I need an honest opinion from all three of you does my face look fatter? don't lie to me I can take it!
Jessica: I just double checked to make sure I east lying. But it really doesn't! I don't know how you don't weigh an extra 50 pounds from all the junk you eat. Not fair. Did another Hispanic lady tell you you're fat?
Taylor: No I just think I look fat..my cheeks are humungous..I'm already deciding how strict my diet will be the last two months of my mission..I guess I still have a while though I don't know why I worry.
Dad: Oh please! No one is going to call you fathead. Relax.
Taylor: the way you worded that worries me dad "no one is going to call you fathead"..I could be a fathead you just aren't willing to be the one to say it
Mom: I don't see any fat. But your hair is short! And more blond.
You look so much like your dad.
Dad: I was just trying to stretch your cheeks on my iPad but I don't have an app that does that. Your cheeks look huge! I can't believe you can hold your head up. You must be exhausted at the end of the day!
Taylor: Yeah I just got a really really bad haircut...short and long uneven chunks everywhere and a patch of ttwo inch long hairs on the back of my head that elder salazar saw when I got home...it's only more blonde because of the light...is short hair bad?
thanks dad, I knew I could count on you to pull through..give me eight months, I'll work on it
Mom: No. But that might be why you think you face looks fat. The skin the hair ratio is altered. By the way. Unless you say no, I'm going to put all your fat cheek comments in your blog letter. It's funny.
Dad: Julie asks about you every time I see her, which was Saturday. Her husband Jim walked in to and asked, "how's your son doing in Utah?"
Don't worry, she can fix anything, except fat cheeks.
Taylor: it's ok I guess it's my personality or something right?
Glad to hear that she still misses me! Tell her I miss her and can't wait to get a real haircut!
Dad: You look exactly the same, just not baby-faced.
Taylor: I kind of liked the baby face..oh well..how does everyone feel about my cardigan? does it make you think I'm girly now because I'm not
Jessica: I like sweaters on guys.
Dad: You look sweet.
Mom: I like sweaters. It's the khakis that throw me off. Still getting used to that one. I like Elder Salazar's sweater, too. We got his letter this week. It was very sweet.
Dad: I'm teasing. I like it.
Mom: Dad is sure feeling sassy this morning.
Jessica: Hahahaha dad. That was perfect .
Taylor: I'm glad to hear the approval...elder salazar, ward and plowman said they make my shoulders look good (remember what I said about not being girly)..and mom what do you mean how you feel about khaki's?
Dad: I'm like mom. The khaki look on missionaries is still weird to me. It looks good though, just more casual than I'm used to.
Taylor: Yeah it does look more casual, I think the reason I like it is because it feels so different.... suit season is coming so no more khaki's for a while!
Mom: Khakis just look casual to me. They look like you are going to work, but not necessarily going out to do missionary work. The elders here aren't wearing them yet, so maybe I'm just not used to the transition.
Mom: You are so bad. He's a missionary! He's not allowed to have a sense of humor for at least 10 more months.
Taylor: hahaha, It's ok mom I still mock people plenty I decided I better wait a few more years to reach perfection ;)
Mom: So glad. I don't want you to get translated before I have a chance to hug you again. Give it a few years, and make sure to give us a few grandkids first. Then you can go.
Taylor: I'll do my best...y'all better hurry and find me a wife then!
Jessica: I actually just had a vision in my head of what your wife is going to look like. But I can't tell you. It would be too distracting.
Taylor: I'm already plenty distracted with wondering what my wife looks like you can just tell me it can't get worse right?
Jessica: Maybe one day.
Taylor: fine...well either way I was just kidding about being plenty distracted..I'm sure that won't happen for at least seven and a half more months...speaking of which I don't even know when I am going home I should find that out..do we have plans or I am supposed to be going to summer term of school? I think I already asked this but my memory is a lot worse that it used to be and it was pretty bad before.
Mom: I don't think we've ever talked about it, but we are planning on you taking a family vacation with us. Hope that's OK.
Why don't you just let us plan your life for the summer. We'll fit meeting your wife and proposing in there somehow.
Taylor: I like that better..I think I am coming home at the end of april or very early may but I haven't even asked and don't really want to...I'll be presenting my proposal to have president extend me one transfer soon I'll let you know how it goes..until then yes plan my summer!
While you're planning my summer start planning what I am going to wear when I get home..I think I will probably wear suits for six weeks until elder plowman and ward get home and then they can just tell me what to wear.
Jessica: Extend a transfer? When did I ever say you could do that?
Taylor: The good news about extending a transfer is it would give me on more mothers day to skype you! I thought you'd be happy about that?
Jessica: I don't think she would like that.
Dad: Hawaii in July Baby!
Good luck. They won't let him adjust your release date more than 4 weeks from your entry date.
Jessica: It's a good thing you're taking him to Hawaii- he'll need to work on his tan .
Taylor: yeah my farmer's tan is really really bad..and yeah maybe the aunts would be better..you probably don't want elder ward to dress me....he worse extra small polo's from the polo store and short shorts that came three quarters of the way down his thigh and sparry's..the frat boy dream could become a reality!
Taylor: and dad I'm sure they'll make an exception just for me, I'm special.
Taylor: I didn't know that dad still wears gentile clothing. I figured he wears suits everyday now that he's a big deal...dad if you want to supply me with a wardrobe full of suits so I can dress like you then I absolutely approve.
Jessica: Can we just talk about how cute Emma is? Did you like the pictures I sent of her? We're working on teaching her who you are- maybe "Taylor" will be her first word...
Taylor: I love the pictures! does anyone else think she looks like me?
Mom: She does have fat cheeks.
Dad: Good one!
Jessica: Boom! Roasted! I don't know who she looks like. I usually think Tyson. But we can say she looks like you.
Taylor: And mom says dad's in a sassy mood
Dad: She has my eyes.
Mom: I think she looks a lot like Tyson and some of her facial expressions look like Jessica. But don't worry, Jeffrey looks (and sometimes acts) just like you.