So, the Lord loves us a lot. We decided to look for the miracles this week instead of expecting disappointments. As a result, it was a fantastic week! We also had some major stresses/frustrations/sadnesses, but it`s all part of the process to help us become better missionaries and better people.
-Miguel Briones! We contacted him in the street. He`s about 50 years old and has attended church once before. We set up a return appointment and asked us to bring a Book of Mormon. The miracle part: when we went back for the return appointment, he was actually home! And he was ready to receive us with his two grown daughters. He hesitantly accepted a baptismal date for January 10th. We haven`t taught him a lot yet and he couldn`t come to church because he had to work, but it was a tender mercy for us in the moment.
-Evelin Ruiz! She`s been inactive for seven years and we just happened upon her house. She let us in and was super happy to listen. She said that she felt the Spirit when we were there, and that she missed that in her life. Another tender mercy!
-Maura Artola! She`s one of our investigators (about 50 years old) who had committed to come to church this week. When we passed by on Sunday morning, she wasn`t going to come. But we did all we could to get her excited about church and all the blessings she would receive for coming. And then at 9:30... she walks into Sacrament Meeting. Woohoo!
-We passed by Miguel and Clarissa`s house (an older less-active couple, the husband is blind. The same one who had the injured toe several weeks ago, remember?) and saw Clarissa trying to climb over the gate because it was locked from the inside and Miguel couldn`t find the key. So I offered to hop the gate to help them out. My companion boosts me up and Miguel tries to help me over from the other side. The issue is this: I was wearing a skirt and Miguel is blind. An awkward moment followed. And in the end of it all, Miguel found the key on his own and the whole mission was for naught. My companion couldn`t stop laughing.
-Hermana Gomez stepped on a giant dead rat and it was the grossest thing I`ve ever seen.
-Our ward mission leader invited us to his son`s sixth grade graduation party and asked me to give a spur-of-the-moment spiritual thought. You might be surprised to know that ¨graduation¨ doesn`t appear in the topical guide... I settled on Ammon`s glorying in the Lord instead of boasting in his own strength. I hope all of the non-member friends and family members present were inspired... The mission teaches you to think on your feet!
-It was interview week with President Russell! I learned that I need to be more effusive. You know that quote in Preach My Gospel by Elder Holland that says we need to be devastated when our investigators don`t keep their commitments? In our mission, we call that ¨the show.¨ When people make good decisions, we get super excited and give them lots of praise. When they don`t, we really show our disappointment. They need to see how the Lord feels when we sin. It`s something that has been hard for me to learn to do. However, I followed President`s counsel and as a result, Maura came to church! I realized that in order to be effective, we need to be willing to change. Complacency = pride. Pride impedes progress. The Lord is most able and willing to work with us when we are humble and teachable.
-I went on divisions with the sister training leaders on Friday. Ah, it was such a nice break to leave my area and not stress about the numbers or anything - just focus on preaching the gospel and learning from the example of my leaders! Wow, these sisters are powerful. They make missionary work look easy! I came away with good ideas to put into practice in my own teaching and area.
Anyway, time to go because I have to move into a new house today. That issue deserves its own hour of email time, it`s been such a complete headache and stress. But the good news is, we are not homeless for another month or so until we get to move again. Woohoo!
I love you lots!
P.S. I only took photos of houses this week... maybe I`ll include a couple photos of the bathrooms to give you a feeling for why I`ve been stressed this week. Don`t worry, we`re not going to live in either of these places...
1) This one`s not bad. The only problem is that we`d share it with four other people.
2) The shower of that same house.