Wind- Wizard-of-Oz worthy at some points, sometimes combined with rain to make a rather special type of storm and other times just enough to re-animate abandoned confetti around the empty streets.
Falla (Fire)- The beginning and end of a 5 day festival that's been a month in the making. They made the Ninots (that´s the Valencian word for the statue things) and displayed them throughout the month... and then on Thursday night we burned them.
This was a week of extremes. The metros were either sardine-style full or almost empty. The streets were either packed with kids in costume and parading falleras (traditionally dressed men and women complete with family crest and their own marching bands! A good week to be a band nerd) or post-apocalyptic-style deserted. The echoing boom of fireworks for days on end and then days of silence. The weather was either really nice or BAD. No "happy medium." But, as always, we found happiness in the extremes.
On Thursday night the fallas burned, the little ones at ten and the bigger ones close to midnight. And there were two right in front of our piso... so we got to see them. It starts with fireworks, moves on to a steady burn, black smoke and heat and before you know it- it's gone. We woke up Friday morning and the buses were running normally and it was business as usual. As if the "fallas" were just a strange and passing dream. It was a great experience... but I'm sort-of glad it's over and we can move on.
My companion had an intercambio [exchange] with the Sister Training Leader this week and I ran the area with her companion, Sister Reid (happens to be a step-cousin of sorts). I learned a lot about Hermana Reid and about the work, but also a lot about myself. Funny how that works out.
Genoveva (an investigator I'm casi seguro [almost certain] I've talked about before) came back from her brother's funeral in Africa and we went to see her right away. Our reunion was... dark. Not in the "poorly-lit piso [apartment] late at night" sense, more like the "My step-sister killed my brother with voodoo and I´ll never forgive her" sense. Dark is the only word for it. But once again in my mission, we were there to bring light and comfort. We talked about eternal families, about the resurrection, and promised to visit her every day.
So the next day we went (after another rather fantastic cita [appointment] with Allison). We were an hour late and soaked (wet puppy dogs) but we were there. And we finally taught the Plan of Salvation in its entirety. And it was wonderful. We challenged her to get baptized this Saturday (28th). She said yes.
Hermana Terrazas and I decided to hit poutas this week (a mission-wide number goal of Member-present lessons, people in church, and the like). And although we really decided on Friday and only had three days to do what seemed like the impossible... we went forth in faith, tried our best, saw miracles, and made our goals.
It´s been a great week.
Here´s the scripture I shared with Genoveva.
8 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.
This life is short, we have joy and sorrow, and it is NOT the end. Death is just one part of an eternal plan and it has no victory nor lasting sting. I know that this is true, and I love teaching it.
More great things ahead!
Summary- Fallas are finally over, and it seems like a passing dream. Genoveva's back and although shess passing through dark times we're helping her see the light. Miracles happen when you plan for them and goals are only possible when you try with faith.