Today is changes. I didn't get an email like I'm supposed to so that's a little annoying. The missionary portal still says my companion is Elder Rodriguez so I'm assuming that means we don't have changes. This will be his fourth change here in Alborada. It'll probably also be his last. It's been a hard transfer but he and I get along so at least there's that. He doesn't like it if I ever offer suggestions on how to improve though. Yesterday my pensionista told me that he's changed a lot since he's been with me. I asked her how, and she told me that the last two changes with his other companion they would sit in her restaurant where we eat lunch pretty much the entire day. They hardly ever worked. She told me he's improved a lot this change. That was a really good thing for me to hear. I realized that what was slow working and a little laziness for me was a lot of work and progress for him. It helped me understand a little more. We'll see how this next change goes. Step by step.
So we did indeed have a baptismal service on Saturday for Maribel. It was very special. I was given the honor of performing the ordinance. Our bishop blessed her with the gift of the Holy Ghost in church yesterday, and my companion and I participated. It was wonderful. She is so cool. She has so much excitement about the gospel and has so much desire to share it and to learn more. She's awesome.
We're not going to have that other baptism this Saturday like we thought. Our investigator left town so we need a little more time to work with her. We're hoping for the next couple weeks. We also started working with an 18 year-old named Wilmur. His brother is a returned missionary, and Wilmur is basically a member, but he just hasn't been baptized yet. We're going to work hard with him and try to put a date for March.
So the past couple weeks I've been carrying a deck of cards with me. It started because my dinner pension's daughter had a deck of cards and I did a magic trick for her that she LOVED, and still makes me do it for her almost daily, so I thought I could carry some cards around to do for little kids and street contacts and stuff. As I was doing this, I realized that I could totally use it to teach. So I started using the trick in lessons, and this week I perfected it. So the trick works like this (it's the one Trevor taught me when I was like 12):Someone draws a card (which I already know) and then puts it back in the deck. Then I find it and put it in a special spot without them seeing. I show them a bunch of cards that aren't theirs, and sneakily put their card in with the other ones. After a few we do the same thing with the same cards that weren't theirs (only their card is inside). I tell them both times that their card is within the others, and I even show my companion who tells them, and they tell me that I'm crazy and they don't believe me. Then I have them make a fist and I put the cards between two of their fingers and hit all of them out except the one that's theirs. I then tell them that the whole time I knew where their card was and was telling them that it was there, and they still didn't believe me or my companion. Our life is the same. We pass through trials and the whole time God knows where our "card" is, even though we can't see it. He even tells us through revelation and through our prophets that it's there, and still we don't believe him just because we can't see it. Then, after he's made us strong by allowing us to experience trials, he lets us see it, and we realize that it really was there the whole time. That's kind of a watered-down version, and I do a couple other things as well, but you get the idea.
Story of the week: So the other day my companion and I were heading home after dinner (around 9:15 ish) and this drunk guy (everyone was drunk this week because of Carnaval) sees us and yells "ELDER!" so we went over to shake his hand and make a hurried exit. When I shook his hand he holds on and says, "Elder, I know you!" I was just thinking he was confusing me with another Gringo from around here cause he's toasted, but then he went on to say stuff like I came to his house and prayed with him, he would never forget what I did for him, what I said changed his life, etc. Long story short, he tells us that his wife left him for another guy and he was ready to kill himself, but I came to him (without my companion) and calmed him down so he didn't kill himself and then prayed with him. Oh, and this happened last week apparently. Kinda weird, I don't really know what's going on with him, he was sloppy drunk. We invited him to an activity at the church the next day and wrote it down so he wouldn't forget. He didn't come which was sad but not really surprising. He was wasted. I do have his address though so I wanna go to his house and find out what's up. He kept telling me "I trust you elder Pearce!" and stuff like that. Maybe he was just hammered, or maybe there was an angel protecting him. I dunno. We'll see.
I'm starting to get my lunch pension to like me a lot more. I bought a pizza for her family and after that things seem to have changed. She's a lot more friendly and she and her husband have even taken us out to eat a couple times, which they had never done previously. So basically I win.
Well that's all for now. I love you all and am aware of your needs. Love you all! Peace and blessings!