March 22, 2011
What an adventure! Let’s start at the beginning!
Last Tuesday we got back from Asuncion and my companion had just lost a wisdom tooth and so his mouth was hurting. Elder Anderson of Rama 3 was really sick too so I went with Elder McKeon (his companion) to do some visits in rama 2 and rama 3 (rama = branch). We got back after that to find that Elder Anderson doesn't have dengue fever, everyone was thinking that he had it. A sister and an elder have already gone home from that. After the second time you have it they send you home because the 3rd time you could possibly die. There are about 2-3 elders that have it right now so it is something that the mission is aware of. That night Elder Anderson was talking with Hermana Madariaga and a sister that is serving in our mission as a financial aid who happens to be a nurse. So he got a notice that he would have to go to Asuncion Wednesday in the morning with Elder and Hermana Benitez so Elder McKeon came to stay with us. We were in a trio. Later Wednesday we found a local youth from rama 1 to work with him. Wednesday we got 2 boxes with our A/C so we were happy with that but we had no idea how to install it. We had to get someone to do it because you need to know what you are doing so were working without elder McKeon at this moment. But to make a long story short, a member came over with someone to hook it up. The member didn't charge us but the other guy did - Gs 250 mil - so we paid that and Gs 78 mil for supplies (which we got paid back for). But he charged us for nothing. He had to put a gas in the A/C unit but he didn't do that and the member hunted him down to get our money back and came back about 2 days later to fix it. (I don't have time to write all the details but it will be written in my journal.) It was a disaster!!! but now we have A/C and we sleep in the cold :) THEN Thursday in the morning it was raining and our new house has a back room outside where you can hang clothes to dry but the drain was clogged and all the water started creeping in our house until it was almost all flooded! Then some rain started coming in through the roof! :( so we had a disaster week).
Friday at night after branch night we were doing contacts at night close to our new house because we didn't know anyone around there. We were talking to a lady and I started feeling something, tingling, then PAIN! I didn't know what in the world it was. My feet and my hands started getting really itchy. I took out the phone that has a little flashlight in it and shone it on the ground and there were thousands of ants crawling all over the place!!! Also on the fence post where I had put my hand. I looked at my feet and there were SOOOOO MANY!!! I stuck my feet in a puddle to get most of them off and to drown them but there were still more so we went under a light post to look. I lifted up my pant legs and there were a few still crawling around. The next day on my hands and my feet I could see all the ant bites! My leg and foot were all bumpy. Later that day my hand (mainly my left hand) was all puffed up. I had 2 bites on my left hand and 5 on the other. I didn't know it before but I think I am allergic to ant bites!
That day Elder Walker (ZL) and his companion Elder Packard had baptisms, so we talked to a family in our area and arranged that the 8 year old girl could be baptized too. They accepted and my companion baptized her that same day. I will send pictures next week. So Saturday after the 3 baptisms we went to visit a less active lady who was a reference of a less active family. (If you can't tell we have been working with a lot of less active people.) We went to her house and she said that she will be going to church ¨sí o sí¨ this Sunday, We had lost a lot of time on Saturday because of the sudden baptism. We were thinking that we would have less people in the church because 55 was amazing. But we felt like Alma and his brethren when they said ¨we were astonished beyond all measure¨ when during sacrament meeting we had 69 people in total! We don't know how it happened but it truly was a miracle.
Don't worry about the shirts for right now. They are still usable. I think most of it has to do with my area because it is happening to my companion too so I think they will be usable a little longer. That is awesome that Tanner is a priest and Tim is a teacher. That is awesome! Tell Tanner to write me. I'm still waiting for his letter ha ha. So we have a date to go to the Temple the 5th of May, but I don't know if I’ll still be in Concepción for the trip because the 13th of April are changes and at that time I will have 6 months here. I would love to stay and really don't want to leave but the odds are small. So we’ll see.
President Madariaga is coming Thursday and Friday to Concepción to give us a capacitacion (training). The elders from Pedro Juan Caballero will be coming here. Elder Buchannan and Elder Shirk from the MTC will be coming from there. The Hermanas have a baptism for tomorrow but since President is coming Thursday they moved it to when he will be able to attend. It is a lady about 40ish years old. Her name is Nilsa Colman. Her son Alex got baptized about 4-5 weeks earlier. I mentioned that I did his interview and it was special. I sent a couple of pictures with him. His mom is a lady that I started teaching when I was in rama 1 with Elder Arzate and now she will be getting baptized! I was so happy to hear her name when about 3 weeks ago they told me that they were going to invite her to baptism. We (Elder Meneses and I) went with the Hermanas to do a visit with her. I didn't know it before hand but they were planning on inviting here then. So I got the privilege of being there for that. Today the hermana told me that the interview was for 8:00 PM which I was not really happy for because we would loose so much time walking there. It is far away from our area, and so today after district meeting we left to go send these emails. We were walking with the Hermanas and this family lives one block from the church and so we passed by to see if , by chance, she was home. Yes, she was, so we got to do the interview this morning. That was something very special. So Thursday with President Madariaga she will be getting baptized. She mentioned to me that she would like me to perform the baptism. It was a moment very special for me. So we'll see what happens. I told her I would be overjoyed to do it. SO this week we are starting off on a great start and we are planning 3-4 baptisms for this Saturday, so keep your prayers on our investigators - especially Hector, Ariel, Gloria, and Sara.
I love you all! Thanks for everything that you do for me!
Con mucho amor y cariño,
Élder Lucas Rodgers