May 27, 2013
Este semana fue LOCO. Pero fue asombroso tambien.
So we started off this week by dropping off Hermana Carson. It was rough…Hermana Larsen and I got back in the car and just looked at each other like, “Can we really do this?” Not that we really had a choice. So we began by saying a mighty prayer…and then drove home in one of the freakiest rainstorms of my life.
Um…indicator of how our week would go?
Of course not!
It took awhile to get into our “groove” but we got it down, and we saw miracles all along the way. We now have 6 investigators with baptismal dates!! Milagros, every single one of them!
Jorge had his interview this past Sunday. I don’t know if I’ve told you all about him. He is 13, just moved here from Mexico (barely speaks any English at all), and is such a people-person with a total passion for telling stories. He is just the funniest thing, and he really understands the gospel and has such an excitement for it! Last week when we were teaching him the Word of Wisdom, he paused and looked down, apparently disappointed. He asked, “so I can’t drink coffee anymore?” Hermana Carson jumped on that, testifying that it would be hard to stop but the Lord would help him through it. Jorge couldn’t keep a straight face anymore and started laughing as he admitted, “I don’t drink coffee…I don’t have a problem with any of these.” Hahaha I just love him. After his interview on Sunday he came in and ate with the ward leadership after Branch Council and he had everyone rolling with laughter as he told some hilarious stories about the missionaries from his perspective [including Hermana Larsen falling off her bike… hahaha]. He made us promise to take a picture with him when we’re wearing pants because he doesn’t understand why we wear skirts all the time. We’ll see what we can do 🙂
Noe is making huge strides in the gospel. This morning he texted us probably 8 questions about his reading in 1st and 2nd Nephi. So that’s what we did for personal and companionship study…I love the questions he has and how deeply he thinks through things. He tries so hard to obey each and every commandment to the letter. I love watching him progress because he is truly converted to the Lord and wants to follow Him the very best he can. It’s absolutely amazing. Our lesson with him on Wednesday was absolutely spectacular…it was spur of the moment because we were actually there to see Rosie [we were giving Noe some space because he said he needed to be alone with God for awhile]. We saw him outside shooting hoops at his neighbor’s house so we asked him how he was doing. That turned into a full on lesson. He expressed that he felt like he wasn’t getting an answer, and he asked if he could get a Priesthood Blessing to help him receive that answer. (He learned about Priesthood Blessings in the Gospel Principles book we gave him. I’m telling you he’s going to be a general authority one day.) We said, “Noe. ABSOLUTELY you can get a priesthood blessing.” So on Sunday morning we asked one of the Elders to give him a blessing and of course they agreed. After church we couldn’t find Noe or the Elders anywhere…til we saw all of them walking out of a room. Noe was wiping tears from his eyes and shaking the Elders’ hands. He had gone right up to them by himself and asked them to give him a blessing. WOW. I am so excited for him. Satan is still working on him so hard though, trying to prolong his baptism so please pray for him!
Rosie is still feeling great about her baptism and is even talking about going on a mission! I love it! Augustine has been coming to church for the last 2 weeks, but we’re still trying to get Javier here. Both are just craving baptism though, so we are confident that they will pull through. And sweet Diamond is still trying to work out a time to be baptized before she leaves to Mississippi for the summer. She feels this so strongly, even if she doesn’t understand it all. That knowledge will come with time and I know that this step of faith she is taking will bless her family and change her life. It’ll change all of their lives…for the better.
I got to do an exchange with Sister Foster in Englewood on Thursday-Friday and I realized how blessed I am to be on a Spanish mission and in an area that is experiencing so much success! It was fun to teach with her though, and I got to see Sister Hale again! Actually we had some members drive us up and back and one of those members was Brother Smith….the great-great grandson of Joseph Smith!!! Real life! He grew up in the RLDS church and was inactive for a long time. He came back right when they changed to the Community of Christ and they renounced the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, he left for good. He hid from the elders for a long time because he was raised to believe that if the Mormons found out who he was they would kill him. But after many missionaries and lessons, he finally came around. He was a hilarious, sassy, 72-year-old convert to the church and that ride up was one of the most entertaining discussions I’ve ever experienced.
We also got to meet Maria, Rosie and Noe’s older sister. She is amazing! Her home had such a peace to it. She has 4 adorable boys: Ricardo, Raul, Gabriel, and Omar, and they were all so respectful. We are so excited to teach her family. When we walked out, she saw that we were on bikes and had a fit laughing. She took pictures of us and sent them to Rosie, and then got her bike and raced us to the end of the road! It was one of my favorite lessons we’ve ever had because it just felt so comfortable with her and I already had this huge love for her because we already love their family so much!
Saturday night was the Branch Fiesta: VeinteCINCO de Mayo. Clever huh? It actually was a really good turnout, considering everything else going on that night. We had a few investigators come and the branch was really great with them. The whole thing was hilarious though…at one point the Branch President’s wife, Sister Martinez, came out and starts dancing in full on Mexican getup. I took a video. It was too great. Fave moment in this branch so far…I love being a missionary.
Yesterday we went to go see a less-active family, but only their son was home. He is out of town a lot but we’ve been meaning to meet with him so we can help him get back to the church and hopefully to the temple soon, so we had a lesson right then and there. It was sad to see him reflect on his life and regret certain things. He was raised in the church and always planned on going on a mission but when he was 19 he just got too involved in his dad’s businesses and ended up working instead of going to church. He said he regrets it, that he wishes he would have chosen a mission instead, but was justifying all his actions now. He said he knows what he needs to do and ‘maybe one day’ he’ll do it. At one point he said, “Satan has no power over me.” At that point, my heart just sunk. So I told him, “Well…he has power over me. I struggle with temptation every single day, and I’m a missionary!” It was interesting to see the clever tactics that Satan has over us. He uses discouragement and pride to teach us that we can do this on our own, that these negative thoughts are our own, and that we can change anytime..so why not tomorrow. It’s small and simple things every single day that add up and bring about great things. Reading our scriptures, praying, going to church, family home evening…all those habits make a difference in the long run. We can’t become complacent and procrastinate. There is power in the small and simple things.
Other significant events:
-Our ceiling started leaking last Monday…and hasn’t stopped. Our ceiling is caving in, like it looks like there is a bubble in the ceiling. It’s something with a leaky pipe or air conditioning they think. They’re going to cut open our ceiling today, so…we’ll see how that goes I guess!
-I learned the word for ants: ormegas. Because they sure love us. Hermana Larsen and I found their highway on our wall by the kitchen this morning and went on an ant-murdering spree. A little bleach spray and a paper towel usually does the trick. They sure are persistent though. Our kitchen is not your playground little ormegas!
Tengan una semana perfecta, todo!
con todo mi amor