Monday, October 26, 2015
Wow, I can´t believe another week has flown by. Not to mention that tomorrow I will officially be at the halfway mark of my mission. I don´t know where the time has gone but it´s been fun to reflect and see how much I’ve grown and changed in this time. I can´t imagine what else the Lord has in store for these next 9!
This week we were able to really see the fruits of many of our labors over the past month or two. We are finding new investigators that are really prepared to hear the gospel and also seeing progress in the investigators that we have been teaching already. We were walking one day after a lesson fell through and we passed by the house of an old investigator. We decided to stop by to see how they were doing and ended up having a great lesson with her where she asked us directly about baptism and what she needed to do to prepare herself. Then in the next lesson we were talking more about baptism and she shared with us that she had received an answer that the church was true, even though she had never been interested in joining a specific religion before. We are super excited to see her progress in these next weeks as we help her to increase her faith in the savior and his restored gospel.
Yesterday we had an area-wide stake conference where we were able to listen to Elder Andersen, Elder Soares, Elder Nash, Elder Uceda, and Sister Esplin speak to us (all in Spanish except Sis. Esplin) by transmission. It was so neat and I learned so much. It was for Peru and Bolivia and was very direct in the things that we need to do here in this area. :)
We´ve also been trying to look for more opportunities to serve during the day to gain the trust of the people and help then recognize us as servants of Christ. Well, the Lord answered our prayers! We were teaching an inactive woman and she was telling us about how awful her neighbors are and that they are always putting things through the sewer that clogs it and it overflows in front of her house and she has to clean it out every day. As she was telling us this we began to see water rising from the sewer in front of her house and start filling her front porch. She just looked at us with an exhausted face and said "See, what I’m talking about?" So...we told her not to worry and that we were going to help her clean it up. We popped off the top of the sewer, she handed me a bucket, and I started scooping out all the water as Hermana Chavez followed with a broom to sweep all the water off her porch and down the street. The people in the streets just walked by and stared at 2 young girls in skirts playing in the sewer water as Hermana Gladis tried to find what was blocking the hole. It was probably the strangest service project I’ve done in my mission so far, but we did feel good after and the Hermana was so grateful. She told us she would never forget us and that she was going to start coming to church and our English classes to thank us. Haha, it was a fun little experience. :)
Hermana Chavez and I are working hard and trying our best to follow the spirit as he guides us to know who is ready to receive the gospel and how we can help those here. The ward is another one of our big concerns and we are trying our best to gain the confidence of the leaders and work with them to strengthen the members. So many needs and lots of problems but we have faith that little by little the Lord will help us make a difference. I am learning a lot about patience, love, and humility as well as the importance of seeking the help of the Lord in all we do. Too often I try to rely on my own talents and abilities when really it´s the Lord that does the work in the hearts of the people.
So exciting news...J... is getting baptized this week!!!!! Please pray for him and his mom M...! He has grown so much in the few months I’ve been here and it has really strengthened my testimony in how much the gospel really can change people. J... is 12 and the son of a less active member. His father is not a member and so he really doesn´t have a lot of support but he is strengthening his testimony every day and I know he´ll grow to be a faithful, dedicated member if he keeps putting in his effort. Please pray for him, he´s a little nervous. He´ll be baptized on Friday and confirmed on Sunday. :) Also please pray for D... and her family that they can come to church and act on the things we are teaching them, B... that she can recognize that the church is true and overcome her fears, M... that she can come to church and that her mom´s heart can be softened towards her participating in the church, B... that he can keep progressing and gain a testimony as well as M... and V... as they read the BOM and learn more. So many amazing people here, I love getting to know their stories and see their faith.
Love you all so much. I know this church is true and that Christ lives and loves us all. He truly is our Savior and leads his church through his chosen leaders. Keep doing the little things like reading your scriptures every day and having family and personal prayer. So important. Love this work. :)
This is a common peruvian dish here...french fries with hot dog on top and smothered in mayo and ketchup....super healthy, I know. :) No wonder I´m gaining weight! I feel like it´s something Logan, Kylee, and Braden would enjoy though. :)
Some view from the rooftop!