Friday, December 6, 2013

Tania's baptized, Two dear friends and the bishop

December Update

December is here? Where's the snow? Mom, where's the hollyberry spiced candle that you always put near the fireplace? Why can't I hear Mariah belting out "All I Want for Christmas is You?" Wait, does that thermostat say 95 degrees? Am I sweating again?
Oh yeah, I'm in Ecuador. 
And I am loving every second here.

Tuesday: Hermana Smuin and I gave each other quick, little besitos and parted ways for my first exchange (insert looming "duh duh duh" here). I took off with our lidereza (sister zone leader) to Guayacanes to watch how she worked as a missionary. I admired her dilligence and awed from afar the love that just radiates from her eyes. I learned how I can be a better missionary and determined I would apply everything I learned into my companionship. But only three hours in, I was nearly under a separation anxiety attack. Where. Is. Hermana. Smuin. We've already established that my companion is incredibly fabulous. But I did NOT know it would be so hard to be without her. 

Wednesday: In the morning, I just counted down the hours until I would see her at noon. When Hermana Perez and I arrived at the chapel, I spotted Hermana Smuin down the hall and had to literally contain myself from running to her and screaming: IMISSEDYOUSOMUCHOHMYGOODNESSLETSNEVERHAVEINTERCAMBIOSAGAINICAN'THANDLEANOTHER24HOURSWITHOUTYOUILOVEYOUSOMUCH.
We greeted each other with besitos and politely exchanged companions, then headed up the stairs. Finally, I looked Hermana Smuin in the eyes as we almost simultaneously said, "I missed you so muuuuuch!!!"
And for the rest of the day, I was on cloud nine.

Saturday: Whoa, It's days like these that make all of the hard, sweaty, unbearable moments so completely, wonderfully worth it.
Tania was baptized today. Hermana Smuin and I sang her favorite hymn, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" and watched her eyes fill with tears. We watched Alejandro and Tania come up from the cold, cold water. They came up and Hermana Smuin and I slipped out to help Tania into the bathroom. While we waited in the hallway, I pulled her into a hug as we just cried together in silence. We squeezed each other tight and cried with smiles on our faces. Hermana Smuin looked at me with tears running down her cheeks and whispered, ¨"I'm just so happy".
This feeling is why we go on missions and never want to leave. We taught Tania from day one. We developed such a strong love for her, spending hours in her house teaching her, testifying to her, comforting her. To watch her come up from the baptismal waters was just...I can't even describe how pure and heavenly that feeling was.

Also, while someone was giving a nice, spiritual talk at the baptism, I was distracted when I suddenly noticed Obispo (bishop) looking straight faced at me, flaring his nostrils. So I flared mine back. Then he took it up a level and squeezed his nose down (you know, like that one scene in Princess Diaries?). I squeezed back, Determined to win this battle, he wiggled his ears at me. Dang it. Obispo, you know I can't do that. Unfair. Bah, 1 point for Obispo. Zero for Hermana Scott.

Sunday: Apparently, the entire ward found out that the mission had transfers today, that Hermana Smuin would most likely be leaving Samanes for good, after four months here. We were bombarded with hugs and squeezes and besitos, then shuffled into the hallway for pictures. What started out as an innocent picture with our new convert, Tania, turned into photo shoot with the missionaries. Hermana Smuin and I just stood there as everyone rotated in and out of pictures with ¨"Las Favoritas". Usually, I would be all emotional and nervous with everyone saying goodbyes and farewells, but I felt abnormally calm.
We went through our day normally, enjoyed church and had a delicious feast with Hermano Olaya and Pilar (the BEST - have I mentioned that I adore these people?!).
At 11:40p.m., we woke up from a call. The zone leaders. NOOOOOOOO. They only call if a companionship has transfers. Hermana Smuin answered while I rolled over and felt my heart beat in my chest. "Hermanas, thank you for your work, for all you've done...Hermana Scott, we need to talk to you." No. You can't make me! "Hola, Elders" with an obvious nervousness in my voice. "Hermana, thank you for all you've done, too....hahahaha, just kidding! You don't have transfers!"
Cruel, cruel torture.
And then a sweet sigh of relief!
Hermana Smuin and I will be together another six weeks! We have been working so hard and apparently, we have more work to do in this ward as a companionship! And I couldn't be more thrilled!

This mission is changing me. As I study from the Book of Mormon, and pray at all times, I am transforming my weaknesses into strength. I am learning that I must completely depend on my Savior to make it through with a smile on my face. I know that all things are possible with God on our side.
Watching Tania get baptized confrmed that truth to me. We trusted in Heavenly Father to help us. We had some major obstacles on our path with her to her baptism, but with faith, hope and a whole lot of prayer and fasting, we watched miracles happen.
God is so real.
And He is in the details.

With so much love,
Hermana Scott