I have no idea what to name this email mostly because I have no idea what to say. Mostly because I have only 20 minutes to try to share about the craziest week I have had so far on the mission. Sooo much has happened yet I think all I can really say is that sadly, Satan has been more than real here in San Juan. Trials began hitting us hard Thursday night after we got a text from Nardz saying that he could not make it to his baptismal interview that day. We were bummed but knew that if he was meant to be baptized on Saturday all we needed to do was have the faith and pray for him to be better the next day so that we could interview him and have his service on Saturday. So we prayed.
And the next morning, success! He texted us saying he was better and that he would meet us at the church that afternoon! But during our planning for that day we got a text from our landlord saying that on Saturday we would be having our power cut for the day. Not because we are pasaway (naughty) tenants and don't pay our bill but just because it happens every once in a while with the electric company here. Anyway, not only that but also there would be an "Iglesia ni Cristo Parade" starting Saturday morning. Iglesia ni Cristo is a huge religion here in the Pines and an Iglesia parade ibig sabihin (means) pretty much no one will be getting anywhere if they try to travel by car, jeepny, or tryke. All the the Iglesias come from wherever they come from and just take over the place. Bumper to bumper traffic and you might as well walk wherever you need to go. Nardz lives in San Fernando, about 30 minute drive from the Chapel where he would be baptized. So probably an hour to an hour and a half walk.
We had just faced trial number 2. But we knew that if he was meant to be baptized on Saturday that if we prayed, the Lord would provide a way for Nardz to get to the Chapel on Saturday. So we continued to plan to meet him that Friday afternoon to have him interviewed. But as we were eating lunch, right before we were supposed to meet him, he texted us saying that he thinks he just got dumped by Ruth. Ruth is not only Nardz's girlfriend but she is also his fellowshipper and the way that he got introduced to the missionaries. Also they were planning on getting married after his baptism so them breaking up is kind of a big deal. Trial number 3. But we told him these were all just trials of his faith and that he would overcome them if he had the faith. So he agreed to still meet us as the church. When he pulled up to the church he had a friend in the passenger seat who was drunk out of his mind. My heart sank as I could smell the liquor on them.
The nice thing about Nardz is that he has no filter so you can know that everything he says is the truth. He told us that he was so upset about the break up with Ruth that he called up Gian, his best friend, the drunk guy in the passenger seat. Oh by the way this is all happening on February 14, aka valentine's day. If you're thinking "wow Ruth that's pretty messed up to dump your boyfriend on Valentine's day and the day before his baptism." don't worry, I was thinking the same thing. Anyway so the 14 also just so happens to be Gian's birthday so he told Nardz to come to his birthday party to get his mind off of the break up. There was alcohol everywhere at the party and Nardz said that he wanted so badly to drink, but that he couldn't. Unfortunately the greater temptation for him were the cigarettes that were being offered to him, and eventually he gave in. He did not drink, but he smoked 2 cigarettes. Is this trial number 4?
Aw man I'm out of time now :( we had a busy pday today and so we only had like 30 minutes for email. Major bummer pero okay lang kasi I remembered my camera! So I will leave with a couple of pictures and continue the Nardz saga next week! But safe to say, we are rescheduling Nardz's baptism. Kathleen's progressing great to her day though! She was also with us on the 14 with everything with Nardz so she has a strong testimony of how real satan can get right before a baptism. So she is being cautious and as strong as ever in her testimony :) i love her. Sige! Here are some pics and then I must be on my way! But I love you all so sooo much. We are so blessed to have the lives that we have. No matter what, someone out there has got a greater trial than you do and so just remember to thank Heavenly Father for all that you have. You will be happier if you do :) I promise. Okay take care! Until next week!
Quick note from Julia: I couldn't get the pics to open so I will work on getting those on the blog asap :)