Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 35: Mario el Milagro

Hello, all!  

It`s been a week of miracles!  There were disappointments as well, but I was really able to see how the Lord is directing this work.  Here we go:
Miracle:  This story begins a few weeks ago.  We were playing the game, ¨see how many Catholics you can contact before lunch¨ on a Saturday.  On the last house on the street, we yelled, ¨Buenas!¨ as usual and a smiling 50-something-year-old man walked out to greet us.  We introduced ourselves, and he said, ¨Hey, I work with a lot of members of your church, and they`ve invited me to their meetings before.  I`ve attended in (insert various parts of Nicaragua), and I really like your religion.¨ We happily invited him to the district conference the next day, but didn`t actually think he`d come.  To our surprise, we saw him waving at us as he walked out after the meeting.  

The days passed and we never could catch Mario at home.  Then on Tuesday, he was miraculously there!  He invited us in and went to get his Book of Mormon that a friend had given him.  He told us he had read 1st and 2nd Nephi and knows that it`s the word of God.  We sat there stunned and grinning, explained a little bit more about the Book of Mormon and invited him to be baptized on the 21st (because he checked his agenda and he`s scheduled to work on the 14th).  We left him a pamphlet of the Restoration and when we went back for a return appointment, he had read the whole thing AND answered every question at the back of the pamphlet.  That`s unheard of, at least in Nicaragua!  He had some great insights about the apostasy and talked about the importance of the priesthood as well.  Again, I was shocked, thinking, ¨It`s not supposed to be this easy!¨  I hope to be sending you a baptismal photo three weeks from now!
Moral of the story:  Heavenly Father loves us and blesses us with miracles when we are being obedient and doing all we can to serve Him.
Wow, there`s so much more to write, but Mario swallowed all my email time.  Back to bullet points:
-The zone leaders worked with us one day.  We learned that we need to immediately start contacting every time an appointment falls (because literally every appointment fell that day) instead of feeling bummed and wondering what to do next.
-We contacted a 15-year-old atheist who invited us to ¨forget about trying to change people´s beliefs and enjoy our lives without the weight of our backpacks on our shoulders.¨ We also contacted an ¨alien-ist¨ who is quite convinced that humans were created by extra-terrestrials.
-Estefani got baptized!  Her older sister Cecilia had a last-minute change of heart, and not a single member of her family came to support her at her baptism.  It`s not very fun to baptize children when you know they have no family support, but if they have the desire and the attendances at church, the zone leaders will machete us if we deny them the opportunity.  (Sorry for the negativity  I try to be honest and positive, but sometimes the positivity doesn`t come through.)  And despite our numerous reminders that the confirmation would be on Sunday and that the family shouldn`t go anywhere, Estefani was nowhere to be found on Sunday afternoon before our 2:00 church meeting.  That`s another confirmation that will have to wait a week...
But Estefani is a cutie and I really do love her!

-Santiago got confirmed!  And the Lord blessed us with investigators miraculously arriving at church.  That`s another story that deserves its own paragraph, but I`m out of time!
Sending love and hugs!  Read your scriptures, say your prayers, have family home evening, and pay your tithing!  You will see miracles!!!
-Hermana Ali Hansen
P.S. I read the talks from last conference`s priesthood session and was super uplifted!  I invite you to read or re-read them as well!
1) Photo of an helado, as promised.  You bite off the corner of the bag to eat it.
2) Estefani!
3) Sneak peek of the mission shoes...
4) Photo of my feet/legs that the mosquitos love to snack on.

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