EASTER / HOLY WEEK
We surprisingly managed to have a pretty successful week this “Semana Santa” (Holy Week), unlike the other missionaries in our Zone. The streets were pretty deserted most the week, as many people went to visit family for the holiday week. Fortunately for us, our investigators just stayed here for the week. We live in a section of the city where they don’t have much activity for Holy Week. In some sections of the city the streets are packed during Semana Santa with parades and floats of Jesus and scenes from the crucifixion.
To be honest, I totally forgot that Sunday was Easter… which was probably because Sunday was the only day of the week where no one did anything. They just used it to rest from all their “Holy Week” extravaganzas. It also didn’t feel like Easter because all I had for dinner was toast with peanut butter, and I just sat in the house at night.
Easter is usually the one time a year where everyone who is “Catholic” remembers they are Catholic. They go around the street wearing their purple robes, and carrying cross. They hope to receive forgiveness for not remembering God the rest of the year. The lucky thing for us is most of our Catholic investigators didn’t want anything to do with them during the week. We continued to convince more and more that the Mormon Church is where it is at.
Since I am no longer in “Las Americas,” I didn’t get hooked up with a traditional American Easter dinner, but I did have a chapin Easter where people you don’t even know just give you bread up the ying yang! I am just glad that they just give you the bread to go, and you eat mangos and bread soaked in honey, and garbanzo slathered in honey as well, which is probably one of the grossest things you could ever eat with honey. They also eat fish that they just cook out in the sun with salt. But thank goodness for my toilet that I didn’t have to eat that.
As I said, we had a pretty successful week… After investigating the church for over 6 months, Erick might finally be getting baptized! He set a baptism date for himself this week! The stupid Zone Leaders were threatening to try to take him away from us because his progression.
The best success story this week was when I received the impression to talk to a woman on the bus. It turned out that she had actually gone to church before, and had once set a baptism date, but because of her busy schedule, she stopped making time for the previous missionaries. After talking with her on the bus, she told us that she would actually like to investigate the church again. After helping her remember the happiness and peace she once felt when the previous missionaries visited her, she ended up going to church with us, where she met Christian (a recent convert). After she and Christian spoke, she expressed a desire to get baptized herself. Now if that isn’t an Easter miracle, I don’t know what is!
We also had a pretty fun time trying to teach our investigator who is nearly completely deaf. We wanted to have his member brother present, but he was unavailable. During the lesson, his head movements seemed to indicate that he was following along, but when we verified his understand with find-out questions, we realized that he really had no idea what we were talking about.