Well, ya know how I usually start out by saying I don't have anything to tell you about....well this week, I actually do! But its really not the things I want to tell you about. First off...our baptism fell. Everything was one hundred percent ready to go until yesterday. Yesterday, the uncle of Manuel (an extremely strong member, who Manuel lives with), called us and said that they had to leave this weekend to go to the campo. It was an extremely big bummer to say the least. It is so hard for me to see someone 100% ready to be baptized, and after everything has been prepared, to have it fall through. In all honesty I was quite frustrated with Hno Dominguez (his uncle), at first--but I learned a lesson this week that helped me to handle it much better! (story to come) Anyway, if you could keep Manuel in your prayers that would be great.
This week the Assistants were out in the southern part of the mission--so we were playing Assistants and Office Elders, so it wasn't too hard to stay busy! On Tuesday, we received a phone call from Hna. Rodriguez, and we could tell she was extremely nervous. She told us that a missionary had fallen off the roof of a 2-story house, and we needed to go get him right away. We immediately called the missionaries to see what was going on. It turns out he was fine, but we were going to get him just in case! By now I'm sure you are wondering...how did it happen? I shall tell you...
One lovely Dominican day, on a hot and humid Tuesday morning, Elder Monegro (name has been changed) decided to do some exercise. "What better place to do exercise than the roof of our house", thought Elder Monegro as he started up the stairs of the cinder block house. "I think I will start by running in place, because there isn't too much room up here", he thought silently. Elder Monegro then began running. He started slow, then went faster, and faster, and faster, until he could hardly stand the burning in his legs! He closed his eyes and pushed hard to finish up the workout...when he realized he was floating through a magical margin between sky and tin shed....and then he met the reality of the rusty tin shed. He then crashed through the shed and landed square on his butt.
Well, after we realized that he was okay--we began to ask questions--and we got mas o menos the above mentioned story. (I might have taken a little bit of writer's liberty). I'm not gonna lie...I just about died laughing!! He was running in place on his roof...closed his eyes....and boom!! On a more serious note...it is amazing how the Lord protects His missionaries. A fall from that high could have easily killed him--and broken bones would be expected. But he walked away without a scratch. The Lord watches over and protects His missionaries.
Story #2 9:17 P.M. Wednesday, October 31st, 2012. Intersection of the 27th of February and Caonabo.
"mmmmm....an empanada sure sounds good after a long day of work", said Elder Batista to his companion Elder Reeder. "Sure does--lets go!" Ring Ring Ring Ring....cell phone. "Hello President, how are you?" "Bad--We have two missionaries in jail--I need you two to meet me in the Torre Crystal right away".
Yeah, in that moment all that was going through my head was "what in the ??" Anyway, we shot off like a stampede of turtles through peanut butter! Okay, we actually took off pretty quick. When we got there, we met up with President and Hna. Rodriguez, and some guy, who for the size of his head, I assumed to be extremely intelligent. I then had to follow President, who I think secretly races NASCAR on the weekends, through Santo Domingo to the jail where they were holding them. Along the way...we picked up a lawyer who appeared out of thin air.
We finally arrived at the jail, and things began to clear up a little bit. What was amazing to me, was watching and learning from the way that President handled the situation. Before entering the building, he stopped, and said a prayer--putting the situation in the Lord's hands. It turned out, that the two missionaries didn't have electricity in their house, so they decided they would try and play with the electrical meter. Yeah, not a good idea!! The police came right away and hauled them off to jail, and jail here isn't a pleasant place like it is in the States. The bathroom is the floor...the rooms are the size of a dog carrier, and it is not the most uplifting atmosphere. So, as you can imagine, President wasn't too excited about his missionaries being there.
Well, because it was late at night, they said the Elders would have to stay the night, and that the next morning, they would be let out to stand trial. Well, then all the leaders of the Caribbean were notified, and plans began to be put in motion. We then all came together, and offered a prayer that they would be granted the chance to not have to spend the night in prison. We prayed, and it still seemed as if they were going to have to stay. President then looked at me and my companion, and said, "They can't be here alone. I need you and your companion to stay here with them to make sure they are okay." I was hoping that he was talking to the other Elder Reeder in the room....but then I realized I was the only one. Well, luckily, the miracle came. The Police General came to the jail at 1:36 A.M---something absolutely unheard of---and allowed them to leave. When he said this, President broke down in tears as he hugged the missionaries.
The next day, I had the chance to spend some time talking to President about what happened, and he kept saying, "I know the Lord wants us to learn from this. What can we learn from this experience?" It was amazing to me to see how through it all, President knew to learn from the experience. He knew the Lord wanted to teach us something from that. I know personally I learned how to act in tough situations, and how to solve tough problems. Put the Lord first.
So that leads me to the baptism. This experience has helped me to have a different outlook on the problem with the baptism. I can't think about my desires to see him baptized, but rather I have to put the Lord first. I have to learn to put my confidence in Him, and allow Him to teach me through the experiences that I have each and every day. I hope that we always can look for the good in all things. I hope that we recognize the hand of the Lord in our day to day lives, and that we are always looking for the lessons that He teaches us through the experiences that we have!
I hope that you guys all had a great week last week, and that this one is even better!