This week was children's week in Hualqui. Or rather, children's weekend. On Saturday Hermanas Call and Razeira had a baptism. A 9-year-old boy named Juanito. His great-aunt and uncle are members that live in Conce, and after his dad passed away recently they told him that if he got baptized he would be able to live with his father again in the next life. So of course he wanted to get baptized! He lives with his grandmother, who is very Catholic, and who supports him fully but was not interested in hearing the lessons for herself. But we are VERY anti-baptizing-niños-solos (without their parents or other support) in this mission, because those sweet little kids just go inactive because there is no one to go to church with them. All of my "hijas" have had to raise their right hand to the square and swear that they would never, ever teach or baptize niños solos. But Juanito was really committed and really wanted to get baptized, and Hermana Call and Hermana Razeira could feel that the grandma would come around eventually, so she didn't want to tell Juanito he couldn't live with his dad after death just because his grandma didn't want to get baptized yet. So they made arrangements for his grandma to go in and have an interview with a member of the bishopbric to give her consent and commit to make sure he is in church every week and that he can get to the activities and things. And she is totally on board. So Juanito got baptized on Saturday. It was a really, really special baptism. The Spirit was so strong there and you could definitely feel the presence of his dad and his other deceased family members supporting him, and you could feel how happy they were. His grandma really felt the Spirit too. I think she was even crying. It was such a nice day. Juanito is going to be an amazing missionary someday.
Then on Sunday we were treated with the annual Primary Presentation! It was also very special, and full of that same special Spirit that we had felt in Juanito's baptism. I loved the theme this year, "I Am a Child of God," and how all the songs and scriptures had to do with our relationship with our Heavenly Father and the plan that He has for His children and their families.
All the kids did really well on their "talks" and the music went pretty well, too. There were a couple of kids who played the recorder, a cute family that sang "Families Can Be Together Forever," and for the grand finale, the BISHOPBRIC sang with the Primary kids on "Teach Me to Walk in the Light." I thought that was genius. If I was a Primary chorister I'd definitely try to get the bishopbric to sing with us for the Primary Program. Something else really neat that they did was all the kids dressed kind of color-coordinated. Everyone in white tops (or a white jacket or sweater or vest over a top of another color) and the boys had these royal blue bowties and the girls had blue hairbows. And they all had a sticker that said, "Soy un hijo de Dios." It was really cute. I was really happy to get to see it.
Being Hermana Haymond's companion has been great because we just sing all the time. In the house, in the streets, in the church, wherever we are. It's been a real long time since I sang so much. But we have tons of fun!
We are starting to get excited for Thanksgiving around here! Right now our biggest concern is whether or not we will be able to make something that resembles pumpkin pie.... It will be my biggest Chilean baking challenge yet! And then once Thanksgiving is over we are going to put up our Christmas tree! Hooray!
But anyway, what are you all grateful for? Your commitment this week (along with reading the Book of Mormon every day, of course - we're about halfway!) is to write a list or a letter or a blog or journal entry or email or a Facebook status or what-have-you about what you are grateful for. Try to think outside the box and you will feel really blessed. As the beloved hymn states, "Count your many blessings, see what God hath done." For example, today I am grateful for copy machines, safety pins, a seat on the bus, the ability to read and write and type and spell (mostly), crazy coping mechanisms, alarm clocks, earplugs, and the good taste in music that they have at this ciber.
Anyway, that's all for now, folks. Next week I'll report on whether the pumpkin pie turned out and fill all y'all in on another week in the life of the crazy Hualqui hermanas!
Hope you are all well and happy. I love you all sooooo much!