Behind the Scenes: Baptismal Service Prep (x4)
Alright, I have a lot to cover; this has been a really crazy past few days.
Let me start off by saying that I firmly believe in a universe where good and bad are always balanced to each other proportionally (opposition in all things and whatnot). We had FOUR baptisms / confirmations yesterday. For this mission, that is literally insane. But I can assure you all that the universal balance was preserved, and that the balance didn’t give up without a fight.
Wednesday: trip to Peles was cancelled as the Pitesti District couldn’t come, and as we had home teaching to do that night. Literally nothing went right that day (save that we had lunch with our branch mission leader at a dining-hall in the building where he works, which was so weird, it reminded me of college, and the business building is really inconsistent with the rest of Brasov). Even our home teaching appointment fell through; in the same phone call wherein the appointment was cancelled, the appointee assigned my companion to give a talk on missionary work and home teaching XD.
Friday: we found out from the Sisters in the morning that they needed us to cover a lesson with two of their baptismal candidates out in Rotbav (10 minutes past Feldioara), so that kind of absorbed the day. The lesson was soooo weird, because it was SO perfect. The investigator was super-solid, the lesson was on fasting (lesson 4, what??), it was in a very nice, practically American home, and the member present (it was in a member’s home :O ??) was golden. A peek into the wonderful world of Sister Missionaries? We also were assigned to make two plates of brownies that day (for the baptism on Sunday). I couldn’t make them Friday night, as I had no cocoa. Oh, and as we couldn’t contact the person who we wanted to give the talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost at the baptism, I ended up being chosen in his stead really late that night. Yay…
Saturday: we needed to do four baptismal interviews (my companion had never done a single one). We got alerted by the Sisters in the morning that one of the candidates could only do it in the morning. So we had to change plans and make an extra trip out to Feldioara that morning. The buses didn’t come very often as it was Saturday, so we also had to literally run to one of the two bus stops in the village as soon as the interview finished. We barely made it before it pulled away and were the last two people on the bus (well, I guess one guy made us go in front of him for some reason; I don’t know if he actually got on, though). If we wouldn’t have caught the bus and made it back, no one would’ve been there to teach our Medium English class at noon; members were already covering the Sisters’ Advanced class, as they had final-touch lessons to do. Immediately after English class we had to go back out to Feldioara for another interview, and then to Rotbav for the final two. We called our investigator in Feldioara and invited her to come to church and the baptismal ceremony. We then returned from Rotbav and went to the church to do the baptismal programs, which took forever due to the horribleness of the OpenOffice program we had to use. This is also when my companion found out that he’d be conducting the ceremony. It was really late by the time we finished, and after a short trip to the store to buy some cocoa and sugar, we taxied home.
But wait, there’s more.
We still both had talks to write (though my companion’s was much longer than mine), and I had to bake two batches of brownies. I made the brownies, and wrote up a three-minute talk in English. I went to my bed to time it…and woke up at 6:30 the next morning. I’m not going to say how late I was up, only that my companion stayed up even later than I did, and that it happened to be the night that Romanian daylight savings time began…so we lost an hour of sleep. Hey, it’s just like college again!
Sunday: as I said, I woke up at 6:30, and had a short bit of panic (though nothing like that one time in college where I almost slept through a final…wait, what? I’m still surprised they let me come in an hour late and still take it). I finished the talk and translated it (luckily it was only to be five minutes long). Then I grabbed two pieces of bread and headed out the door to church. Our branch mission leader read the talk over for me before the baptismal ceremony, and was impressed with how clean the Romanian was (native-speaker grammar complement, yesssss!). I’m just glad I didn’t end up like one of the other Brasov Elders, who ended up having to give the talk on Baptism with just an hour or two notice when the assigned speaker didn’t come (just when missionaries couldn’t end up having to handle anything more for the ceremony, they had to). I’m also glad that I got to contribute spiritually and baking-ly to the ceremony. It felt really good at the end of the day to have been a part of such a huge step forward in bringing others unto Christ (and I got to use my new-found love of baking in the process, even though it added to the stress of the moment). Oh, and our investigator came to church for the very first time! What’s more, she accompanied the Feldioara group down to Brasov and attended the baptismal service also!!! So EXCITING!
Well, that was the craziness. Today we hiked the Brasov sign (it’s about time; I hadn’t done that in the three transfers I’ve been here!). I love hiking so much, and I got some great pictures of Brasov from the top (even a few I want to make puzzles out of).
Also, I’m staying with my companion for another transfer, yayyyyyyy! He gets to be the first companion I’ll have served two transfers with, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
All the best,