Hola familia :)
First of all, today is my cumplemes and I've officially been out 11 months. That blows my mind. It feels like just yesterday that I was a little baby at the MTC! This has been the most fantastic 11 months - I'm a happy camper. And to top it all off I got the best news ever when I got on my email. Cha told me that our Connor from BYU who got baptized in March baptized his whole family on July 13th! It was January when Cha and I sent the missionaries to them, and 6 months later the whole family is baptized! I'm beyond excited. And how cool that Connor was the one who got to baptize them. I can't wait until next summer when I can go to the temple with them and see them sealed as a family for eternity.
This week was so good, last Monday especially. We went to Sol and did some shopping and ate at Subway (which by the way, is so good here... probably because of the bread) and then came home and napped. We went to the JAS center for a little bit and helped Hermana Sullivan set up for their Noche de Hogar, and then later we went to our lesson in San Cipriano with Maribel and Fátima. They were a reference from Elder Pizarro and Elder Castaldi, so we didn't know a whole lot about them, but we fell in love so quickly. We buzzed the front gate and they let us in. When we walked through we saw three little girls and a tiny white cat hanging out of the window and we hoped so badly it was them. We knocked on the door and 9 yearold Luna answered the door with Nala the kitty in her arms. Then 19 yearold Fátima walks in with her and Luna's mom Maribel. I fell in instalove with Maribel. There was no awkward introductions or ''what are you doing here'' conversations. She sat down and expressed the most sincerest gratitude that we had come. They said they had been waiting for us and they were so happy God had sent us to them. She had been searching for the truth and she knew that when she found it she'd be able to feel it. She expressed her excitement to learn the teachings of Jesus Christ and how to follow Him. She went on and on and every word that came out of her mouth was pure gold. Hermana Heims and I sat there with probably the dumbest smiley looks on our faces, mumbling under our breath how awesome she was. We talked about the Book of Mormon and when I handed Maribel her copy she looked at it, smiled, and then hugged it to her chest, not letting go the rest of the evening. She promised to read it and to pray to know it was true. Then we talked about prayer and how when we pray we're having a conversation with our Heavenly Father. She said that sometimes she calls Him Padre Azul because He's our Father and the heavens are blue. Haha it was super cute. She said she was grateful for everything she has because it all comes from Him - even the stars, and she and Luna sing ''Happy Birthday'' to the stars every day. I mean really, I couldn't make this stuff up. I'd be here all day if I told you how wonderful she is and how incredible that first visit with them was. After we said our goodbyes and they closed the door, Hermana Heims hugged and then prayed, thanking Heavenly Father for answering our fast and prayers and allowing us to be blessed with such a beautiful family to teach. I love them!
On Tuesday we contacted a lady who we were sitting with at the bus stop. We gave her a Book of Mormon and then when we got on the bus, we saw her reading it from the beginning, like legitimately sitting their reading it. She doesn't live in our area, but the missionaries who get to teach her and her family are super lucky. We had to buy a few things from the grocery store to make dinner for a family in the ward and Elder Riggs (a senior missionary) who was behind us bought our stuff! What a guy.
On Wednesday this sweet Peruvian lady Virginia invited us over for papa ala huancaina (I've probably eaten it 20 times but it's the best and I plan on eating it every day when I get home) and told us these awesome stories about her conversion. Then that evening we made sloppy joe's for the Herrerra family and took it over to them. The dad is the YM President and they've got 5 flipping awesome kids. They're one of my favorite families in the ward. We had a good evening with them and then the 14 year old daughter Karolina told us her friend wants to get baptized, so we're going to meet with her this week!
Friday morning we dropped Oscar off at the employment center. Elder Riggs took good care of him and Oscar called us afterwards and he seemed really happy! Friday night we went to Michael's baptism and we took Daniel. Afterwards I asked what he thought and he just said, ''Beautiful.'' We're seeing him tonight and we're going to invite him to be baptized!
Yesterday was awesome. And Maribel came to church! She showed up early and paid attention the whole time. During Relief Society she just kept turning to me and smiling. She was so happy there! During the lesson this woman had shared an experience about her son and was crying and afterwards Maribel went up to her and hugged her and said she'd be praying for her. She's so golden. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE HER TONIGHT! I still feel like I'm dreaming with how wonderful she is.
Ahhhh I have more to say but I gotta go! Just know that I'm happy. Baby Heims is the biggest blessing and we're being blessed here in Pavones. God loves His children and we're seeing every single day that He's preparing the hearts of the people here.
I love you!