E-Mail on 4/14/14 – La vida tiene sus altibajos . . .

So this week can basically be summed up with: “Welcome to Dramaville!  Population: La Rama de Vic”

Tuesday we had a FOUR HOUR meeting with David and Rami.  It started off really nicely with a decent lesson on tithing.  Then it got ugly when they said they were disappointed by conference and that they don’t believe in prophets.  Then it got uglier when Rami started crying during her prayer and David said she was only doing this because he was and that she was weak and didn’t have faith.  Then it got ugliest when David said he wouldn’t be baptized on Thursday but that shouldn’t stop her from getting baptized and she told him that he was just testing her.  So… yeah… we left there feeling pretty awful.  Then that night we see them at Noche de Amigos and David tells us that he secretly is getting baptized and he has set up is secret baptismal interview with Elder Miller.  I wanted to wring his little neck!  So basically that confirmed that he was, in fact, testing Rami and her commitment level to this.

Wednesday we had Enfoque de Zona which was probably the only drama free thing this week.  It was nice.  Minus the Jehovah’s Witnesses bashing… not very Christlike.  Not a fan.  Both David and Rami got interviewed, David told Rami he would get baptized.  All is back on track!  Phew!

But wait….

Thursday morning, day of the baptism.  We get a call from Elder Miller.  Their baptism, Tanya, doesn’t want to get baptized because OUR person offended her and her family.  Fun fact.  David and Tanya used to date back when he was like 15… She’s 12 years older than him more or less and has a 12 year old son.  So yeah… more drama and awkward.  Okay so we contact as many people as possible to try and calm Tanya down.  Kevin, Deysi, Leo… anyone who can possibly help.  Okay, Tanya will get baptized now.  4 baptisms, back on!  Everyone arrives to the baptism and some of the members look livid.  Abel pulls aside Pres. Merchan and tells him that he won’t come anymore to the Vic branch because it’s full of hypocrites and liars.  They chat for awhile.  The baptism continues with very little drama, minus the part where Deysi is angry and she and Leo go out to calm down.  The baptism went pretty well, lots of noise, lots of crazy because each baptizee was baptized by their own person.  8 wet people…3 towels.  I threatened them all to bring towels so that was their own fault that they forgot.  We’re all trying to get home… Leo, Abel and Pres. Merchan are SHOUTING outside.  LOTS OF DRAMA!  It’s a whole ugly mess between members of the branch… it only takes a little poison, a little division, a little pride, a little gossip to ruin a wonderful thing, doesn’t it?  We talk to Shirley on the phone, share a scripture, say a prayer because she is practically inconsolable.

Friday.  The branch drama is bigger and uglier.  Everyone needs comforting.

Saturday.  Antenor’s baptism!  He is so great.  I really just love Antenor!  I know that he going to do great things once he can get his feet on the ground.  He was pretty sad that his mom couldn’t be there for his baptism because she’s in Bolivia.  His mom is supportive and all.  He burst into tears before his baptism… I hope that he is happy about his decision.  Saturday night we stop by Abel’s house. He is angry, not himself.  I cry.  I cry and cry and cry and I don’t know why I can’t stop but my heart is just so broken because of all the animosity between so many people.

Sunday.  WOW! Five people get confirmed and Shirley’s daughter gets a “baby” blessing.  Beautiful start to a somewhat depressing testimony meeting.  Someone’s sister had passed away during the week.  I cried.  Lots of people talked about needing to love and not judge.  I cried.  I cried basically during the entire meeting because man.  I just love this branch.  I love these people.  My heart was broken for Roddy because he lost his sister, broken for Antenor because he’s having such a hard time, broken for Shirley, for Abel, for Leo, for Deysi, for Piero…just torn to pieces and I couldn’t help it.

Love.  We’re here to learn how to love and respect people.  It’s when we stop seeing each other as brothers and sisters, as children of a Heavenly Father, that we start seeing problems in society.  No one is perfect and people will hurt us but they deserve our love and forgiveness.  We can’t change someone else’s behavior, but we can change ours.  So that is the lesson of this week.  Just love people for crying out loud.

Five baptisms for Vic, 3 for the Hermanas.  It was a very beautiful week in that aspect.  I hope that we can start finding more and more people soon!  Have a lovely week!

Hermana, I’m not big into crying, I promise, Durham

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