Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Operation: "Dejar la Llama"

Well, I´m currently about to bang my head against the computer screen because the music in this internet place is so loud!  I´m not sure what the new zone leaders were thinking.
Well, last Saturday we got the call for the new transfers. It was surprising to find out that I´ve been transferred to a new zone......Pachacamach 2......BUT I´m here to stay in Floresta! Yay! President Douglas changed the zone limits here in Villa El Salvador and changed the names to accomadate the division of a new Villa El Salvadar stake! On June 2, there will officially be a whole new stake called Pachacamac here. It really goes to show how hard the missionaries are working to advance this great work!
The second great piece of good news is that I´m training!!!! Surprisingly, I already met my companion before he was a missionary........huh. Elder Borda is from Canete, my last zone, and came to Mala once to help us do a big activity knocking doors! He´s temporarily waiting his visa to head over them mountains to La Paz, Bolivia. But I´ve been blessed to be his trainer over the next six weeks! Yesterday we had a chance to do a bit of proselyting together and I´m super impressed. He has a great spirit about him and a natural way of teaching in a simple, powerful way. Also, a great laugh! I´m excited to be his first non-CCM companion in the big bad mish.
Thirdly, I forgot my USB to send you guys the photo of the baptism last Saturday. It was a chaotic process getting all the baptismal interviews and other arrangements out of the way for Saturday, but it was a great success! With Yhon and Rosa, the hitching and dunking process was so fun (again, again!) Now we´re focused on two of their other sons, Andres and Luis, who seem to be a bit more animated to join the church.

Jhon Quintana had a vision the night after his baptism that comfirmed his future role in bringing his whole family into the gospel. Apparently, in his dream, I was baptizing him in a huge river with ward members and missionaries observing from the banks. Suddenly, it was the end of the world and an angel descended from heaven saying "Choose which door you must enter". Then two doors appeared in front of him, one wide, the other narrow. All the members and missionaries entered into the narrow door, leaving Jhon behind to choose which to enter. He said there was an evil voice that was tempting him to enter into the wider door, but he resisted when he thought it would be better to follow the rest by entering the narrow door. After entering, he said he was surrounded by a beautiful, cloudy landscape, where all the missionaries and their families were there. He said he had never felt such joy and peace, and that he never wanted to leave. Once again, a voice came to him indicating that their were 10 people he was meant to bring there but 6 hadn´t yet entered through the narrow door, and Jhon realized that his family wasn´t with him. Before he could respond he woke up, but knew what he was supposed to do. All this he told was right before his confirmation at church on Sunday morning. What a nice coincidence when you read 2 Nefi 31:9.

 At the baptismal service, Alexis and Amy´s mom, Mary Lou, gave them both big enthusiastic hugs and kisses as they climbed out of the baptismal font. Alexis and Amy are now on a mission to get their parents married and baptized in June.We have plans to get in gear with collecting their documents as the massive marriage ceremony is on June 22.

 Well, let´s just say that Saturday night, after the baptismal service, I slept more profoundly than ever before from exhaustion.
I guess it´s time for the bad news. Last Friday, at the very last moment, Edward told us he didn´t want to get baptized. We had an interesting lesson a few days before where his mom and two aunts were present. At first we had a great lesson going. Suddenly the doorbell rang, and in came the LLAMA. A man of about five feet with a maroon sweater and yellow collared shirt, and to complete it all, almost bald. THIS was the man Regina had mentioned a few days earlier, who ended up being her daughter, Maria´s, secret......well, adulterer. AAaaahahhhhhh in that moment I wanted to die. But we continued the lesson as if we didn´t mind him listening. THEN, just to complete the situation, the doorbell rang again, and in came Edward from school. It was Sooooo awkard........but hey, Edward sat down and in the middle of our lesson asked a key question. "Elder, what happens when someone has a double personality?" We already knew what he was heading towards, but it was too late, Elder Gutierrez, in despair, pretending as if nothing was wrong, said, "what do you mean?"  Edward responded, "What happens when a man already has his girl, and then he goes to see another girl. And what if he´s already married and has kids? Because THIS man right here already has his family and my mom is his girlfriend!" Then the llama exploded. They had, well....... a little argument because Edward hates the Llama. We just sat and watched as the embarrasment engulfed Maria. Basically we left that lesson telling them they all need to repent and be better examples. Now Maria never wants to see us again, and has influenced Edward not to get baptized. The Llama has her hooked so far, even though he just uses her for money....and other stuff...uhhhhhhhh.....ugh. It was a true tragedy, and there´s worse that could happen right? Not really.Things like this aren´t too uncommon down here.But hey, we still have hope to help them dig themselves out of a dirty situation and recieve forgiveness. So our new plan with them is called, Operación: "Dejar la Llama". Things like this just help me look further into the healing power of the Atonement in uniting families and saving souls.
Anyway, we currently have Lucero and Lucia with baptismal dates in June. This next week we have to do a bit of recontacting with them as last week was so crazy busy. Also, we have couple newer families, Alvarado and Munoz, who we´ll now be focusing on more. There´s always more work to be done here, and more people who need the saving ordinances of the restored gospel!
I´m grateful for the time that I have as a missionary. Each day I´m realizing more and more how short the time really is. Already almost nine months!!! That means almost a year, and then 18 months, and them I´m back home. But hey, I´m taking it all in as much as I can while it lasts, and the Lord is working within, and outside of me as I strive to be odedient, faithful, diligent and teachable. I love this gospel because I know it changes lives and families, and is changing my current family and preparing my future one. I love you all so much and wish you all another great week! You all deserve the best!
Elder Lundberg

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