First Baptisms!

Hello!! This past week was a great week! We had some amazing things happen! I have really been recognizing the Lord´s hand in my mission and life.

But first of all, we had our baptism!!!!!!!  dscf03111 It was seriously so awesome! I loved seeing their faces as they came out of the water. The Younger boy just was like ¨Wow that was the best experience of my life¨and that made my day! Its so awesome to know that they are just having a clean start, and have made the best choice of their life!!!! We also are planning to have at least 2 baptisms every Saturday of this month- we are receiving a lot of blessings here in Bella Vista!!!
I have stopped being sick, so that was great! I learned a lot of humility from that experience, but it’s all good now!
This week we have been focusing on contacting, something we haven´t really done, because we have had so many investigators. I was actually super nervous because it’s hard enough going up to somebody in English and talking to them and getting an appointment with them, but it’s a whole different ball game to do it in Spanish. Especially because in the country areas there is a lot of prejudice against white people, like me 😦
So, Yeah…about people hating white people. We were contacting in a rural area and walking and this week the men are back from Chapari. Basically the majority of men here work in another city for 7 weeks, come home for 1.5 then leave again. Its rough. But they really hate whites in chapari. So when they come home and see me, I guess emotions flow. This week one day we are walking and I’m just talking with Cortez walking down the street when BAM this rock just DRILLED me in the back of my head! haha then a trufi drove by with all the people shouting “gringo!” and some other words that I can’t write as a missionary. So here I am, blood running down my neck, my shirt is just turning completely red, and we just kept our cool. We walked to the bus stop, and actually contacted the chango that had just drilled me. He was super sorry and apologetic, and although we didn´t get a cita (appointment), it was super sweet to see how the gospel and Christ-like love can change people´s views!
I am learning a lot about the power of prayer.  I have changed the way I view my Heavenly Father lately and it makes me so excited to be able to talk to Him about everything.  He understands everything that I feel and want to do. I know He understands me perfectly! Cortez has been laughing at me because my prayers keep getting longer and longer, but I am just really enjoying spending time talking to my Heavenly Father and trying to listen for how I can become more like him.  Cortez thought I fell asleep the other night because I prayed for almost a half an hour- haha- but I definitely wasn’t sleeping!
I’m learning a lot about people and their choices.
I have really learned to love people WITH their flaws this month. I know this sounds petty, but you know how I can NOT stand when people chew with their mouth open? Well Cortez does that constantly. I know it’s little thing, but has been such a struggle for me. Every time I want to say something I take a deep breath, say a short prayer, and then think about him like God thinks about him. And that really changes my perspective. I can see the good in anyone and regardless of what happens, I am not angry or upset anymore.
This week we met a lady who gave us chocolate milk every day!!!!!!!  WHOOOOOO ITS THE BEST!!!! I wasn´t really sick at all this week! SO that was awesome!!!  I have lost a TON of weight! I packed a size 30 pair of jeans, and now I can fit my fist in between the waist band and my waist-but now I am feeling great!
I am truly  happy. I really couldn´t be happier here! I love the people, and the new people we are finding! We are so blessed.
I love you guys! Pray for you! And MISS you!!!!! almost 2 months done!?!?! WOW its flown by!
Love you!
Keep praying, keep the faith.
Elder Hammond

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