So I was with Hermana Lamoreaux [Hna. Lamoreaux and her companion shared the apartment with Alayna and her apartment in Valencia.] after Hermana Een left Bilbao (I don't know how I was so blessed to be with these two incredible missionaries! They are the best!) But with transfers yesterday, I am now on the island of Palma de Mallorca. I will be with Hermana Johnson, who just finished her training, and am really excited.
Con amor, Hermana Randall
|Hna Randall, Manuela, Hna Lamoreaux|
Begin forwarded message:
From: Amanda Randall
To: Alayna Een
Subject: Manuela's Baptism :)
Oh Hermana! I so wish you could have been there! And I wish I could capture how wonderful it was in an email. She talked about you EVERY visit and will NEVER forget the impact you made in her life -- I have never seen an investigator (now member!) love a missionary more :) I feel bad that both of us are gone now because of how much she will talk about us.
So I don't have enough time to write you all the details (that would take all day!), but here are some pictures of journal entries that talk about her baptism. This last week was such a whirlwind that I didn't get to write about anything until I was on the shaky train going down to Barc-Sants with about 3 hours of sleep from the night before.
[From her journal]
Tuesday December 8th, 2015
"Manuela was BAPTIZED!!!Oh, it was so perfect. :) This week has been incredible and so busy, but I finally have time to write since I am currently 7 or 8 hours to Barc for transfers.
Friday was Manuela's interview. The Elders showed up late- so she missed Noche de Barrio- but she passed :). (We went over everything beforehand- but she was in there for a full hour with Elder Loaiza. She came out with a sad face to joke around and say she didn't pass. After, she told a few members and they congratulated her). :)
(I think she told Elder Loiaza all about what happened with her husband and what happened with him and Jonathan. . .)
We then went and ate lunch (a portugal dish with beans and then a Latino version of Shepherd's pie) at Manuela's with her Kids, Amy, and Bishop. THey made me a cheesecake to celebrate my birthday. :)
The baptism started a little late but everything went so smoothly. (Hna. L said it was one of the best she's seen). A bunch of family and friends came, including her brother Angel, her Sister Merci, kids... that, with Ward members made it so we had about 30 people there!
Us missionaries did a musical number singing "Lead, Kindly Light" (They sang, Hna. L played violin, I played piano).
The baptism was performed by Bishop.
He was great at calming her down and practicing before she got in the font. Everything was perfect for the baptism and she gave Bishop a big hug after. I was then with her and Alma in the bathroom while Hna. L was in the chapel tho play violin while people wrote notes to Manuela.
Hermana Lamoreaux and I then bore our testimonies :) It was a beautiful baptism service.
While I was with Manuela and Alma, Manuela said "soy Manuela." She said that the water was "calientita" and she felt so much warmth as she came out of the water. I told Alma how we came in contact with her :). It was incredible to be with her and see her joy and happiness.
Well Saturday night was transfer calls. I'm still a little shocked that I'm going to Palma de Mallorca. I will be with Hna. Johnson (an Hermana who just finished training.... so I'm her breaker). It's my first time being "senior companion" and knowing more Spanish than my comp.......
But it's hard to leave Bilbao. It is a BEAUTIFUL city with an awesome ward, incredible members, the best district... ahhh I love it SO MUCH!...
I was SOOO nervous with how Manuela would handle it. She was surprised, too. We didn't prep her at all beforehand with the knowledge that I could be leaving (because we didn't want it to affect herbaptism and confirmation). Bishop and his councilors confirmed her a member of the church with a beautiful blessing. When we explained to Manuela after how we had just got the phone call the night before saying that I would be leaving she teared up and looked pretty sad the rest of the meetings."
We went Monday night to visit her one last time before I left. Oh, it was hard! I held it in pretty well until we got in the elevator and turned around to say one last goodbye - then I lost it and wanted to bawl :)
Thanks for your emails! It's so fun getting them from you and Hna. Ingram :) [Hnas Randall and Ingram were companions at the MTC.] Love you and glad to know this are going well in Lleida - take care of your lame toe ;)