the elders in our ward baptized six people! I went with Hermana Lovell in a mini-cambio (since they had double-booked their evening and I had been asked to sing at the baptism) and it was a cool experience. There was a mom with her teenage son and daughter, a mother and daughter, and the daughter of a menos activo who has come back to church and whose boyfriend is also getting ready to get baptized. The teenage boy almost didn´t get baptized. Earlier that day he had told the elders that he didn´t want to do it and then when he came to the church it was just to see his sister and his mom get baptized and he didn´t bring his white clothes with him. But after he watched the other five people and all the spectators had gone back to the chapel to wait, the elders asked him if he wanted to get baptized and he said, "yes." So he changed into one elder´s wet baptismal clothes and the other elder baptized him while everyone else was in the chapel. Just his mom and his sister were there to watch. It was awesome and crazy and really special. And before that the companionship of elders both got in the font together and were taking pictures of them soaking wet, both in baptismal clothes. I imagine it´s not super often that both elders in a companionship get to baptize in the same baptismal service.
Sometimes people here say "holas" when they are saying hello to more than one person and they don´t want to say it more than once. I find it a bit strange but it seemed appropriate to use just now.
This week we had interviews with President Arrington. The assistants (one of whom is my awesome two-time zone leader, Élder Carvajal), the Pulsiphers, and the Baldens (both senior couples) gave us some trainings while President met with us one by one. Hermana Balden is a nurse and she taught us about personal and household cleanliness, and she did it all in Spanish! She served her mission in Paraguay/Uruguay or something like that and so she is one of those rare exceptions to the wife-who-doesn´t-speak-the-
mission-language norm. Although her skills are a little rusty and she was a little self-conscious, she did a great job. Plus she´s hilarious. She is about 5-foot-nothing and has the cutest little voice and she kept telling us about messy apartments she´d seen in the missions (they work in both the Conce and Conce Sur missions) and like how there´d be a pile of dirty laundry on top of a pile of clean laundry and then she said, "¿Qué vale eso? ¡Todo huele!" (What good is that? It all smells!) And she kept saying that "¿Qué vale eso?" or "¡No vale nada!" when she would give examples of poor cleanliness. It was so cute.
Anyway, interviews went well. I told President Arrington (as I had been directed to do by President Wallis when he set me apart) about my musical abilities and he thanked me. It wasn´t a surprise to President Humphrey when I came, since he had just read about it in my mission paperwork, but since President Arrington has just read about 200 of those mission applications, there´s no way he could have possibly remembered a detail like that. At the end of the interview we knelt and prayed together, which is something I hadn´t done in an interview before with my mission president. I appreciated it. President Arrington is very loving and has really great perspective. He admonishes us to work hard and to improve but does not ever want us to feel discouraged when we don´t reach our goals or our potential. We are very blessed to be working with him and with Hermana Arrington.
Because of all the baptisms, our sacrament meeting was mostly made up of confirmations. I love hearing confirmations. It is so cool how they are all so individual and no matter how many times you are there when someone gets confirmed, you can always feel the Spirit especially strong when they confer the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a great day to be in sacrament meeting.
What else can I say? Didn´t have too many crazy experiences this week. Except for one day Hermana Snyder had taken some cold medication that WAS non-drowsy, but apparently her body didn´t think so. She walked around in so much of a daze that that night as we were walking down the street she walked right into someone who was working their way down the street in their wheelchair. It was quite humorous. We didn´t laugh about it until we got home, though.
Also, it´s FREEZING cold here. This Mediterranean climate that everyone said I would be experiencing is apparently part of some other Chile Concepción mission, because here where I´m at it´s just plain COLD. Sigh. We bundle up though, so we get along all right as long as we remember our gloves and scarves and wear several pairs of socks and fleece-lined leggings and the like. Maybe more people will let us in, right?
For this week your commitment is to review your favorite talk (or any talk) from this past conference. And I promise you that if you do so, you will be blessed. You will receive an answer you have been looking for or at least receive an extra spiritual lift. I know it will make your week better. I look forward to hearing about your experiences with this!
That´s all for now, folks.
Have a great week. I love you all very much!