Allow me to begin by sending a BIG hug to each of you!! I really love you all a lot. Super descriptive English, I know, but I hope you understand the feeling behind it!
Y ahora, los acontecimientos de la semana: (the comings-to-pass of the week?)
Divisions! I spent Tuesday in Monimbo 2 with Hermana Reeve. She´s from California and has five weeks in the mission. It was my first time working with an American who was so new, and it was fun to remember how much the mission really changes us! I forgot how much of an adjustment the language, culture, food, and missionary activities can be. Hna. Reeve is super confident, smart, and optimistic, so she´s doing great. I enjoyed talking and working with her while Hna. Hernandez and Hna. McArthur found a bunch of new investigators in our area. Thanks!
Investigator highlight: Lourdes! We contacted her house thinking that it was the house of an investigator the hermanas had found in our area on Tuesday. Lourdes, about age 35, invited us in with a big smile and started talking our ears off. :) It turns out she and her ¨husband¨ listened to the missionaries in Managua a few years ago, but never got baptized because he´s afraid of marriage. As we talked about how the gospel blesses us and helps us to change, a man walked by pushing his ice cream cart and Lourdes bought us ice cream cones. She accepted a baptismal date and then came with us to church on Sunday! Another miracle: her husband went to a wedding on Friday night and came home drunk but also really excited about getting married. Lourdes told us, ¨I wish I´d had the lawyer right there to just get it done quickly!¨ The Lord works in mysterious ways...
Chikungunya update: I got a fever on Thursday and had to stay in a member´s house for most of the day. Hna. Doris in an angel and the mom of all the missionaries... she literally calls each of us, ¨hijo¨ or ¨hija¨ whenever we talk with her. That sweet lady took my temperature and then had me lie down with wet cloths on my stomach and head to feel better. Luckily, my companion was able to do divisions with a returned missionary for a few hours and my fever broke before ward council, so I was able to work for a little bit. The next few days have been pretty good with only minor intestinal issues. I am so thankful to have been blessed with good health on my mission!
Testimony builder: It was Fast Sunday and I was fasting and praying hard for several purposes. Long story short, many important investigators did not go to church and we didn´t meet the standard of excellence yet again. I was feeling... not even sad anymore, just numb. I thought, ¨Why are we not seeing the fruits when we`re working so hard?¨ Typical missionary doubts, you know. The elders tried to pep talk us and we ended up feeling more destroyed. We walked back to the house to pray to break our fast, which I was thinking had been ineffective. But after we finished praying and we went out to work, I felt that sweet, calm assurance that only the Holy Ghost gives. Throughout the day I saw the Lord blessing us to meet the rest of the standards of excellence, to feel the Spirit as we contacted and taught, to find a new family to teach (in a house I had already contacted twice), and to feel true joy in the service of the Lord.
I KNOW that the Holy Ghost is real. Each of us has access to His constant companionship. I didn`t feel better in that moment because I`d received a nice meal, a tight hug, a peaceful nap, or a powerful pep talk. I felt better because Heavenly Father heard my prayer and answered my fast. Oh, the gospel is so true! Sometimes we get tested to almost more than we can bear, but I can promise you that He is always there.
I`m out of time, but I want you to know that I know it`s true! And that I love you! He loves you too!
With Suleydi in the paradise that is Tisma!
Another P-day in front of a cool lookout. Hna. Reeve is the other American.