Companion: Hermana De León
Hey, another week has just flown right by. This week was actually a little bit slower than all of the others, but there were no break downs and no super hard days ... If having a bit of a slower week is the price for that ... I think that it is totally worth it. This week, I learned sooooo much about myself. It is amazing. Every week, I think, "Man, I learned so much. Maybe I am done learning for a bit." But Heavenly Father doesn't really work that way. He pushes and pushes and pushes and pushes. There really isn't an end here.
First of all, just so you all know, THEY ARE MAKING CHANGES TO PREACH MY GOSPEL. What the smack? We met together as a zoneand they made the announcement. Basically, Preach My Gospel has four lessons that we are supposed to teach to investigators before they get baptized. After their baptism, we are supposed to teach them about the temple and about giving service in the church ... yeah, little details. Now, we have to teach all of the lessons to the investigators before baptism (so, we talk about the temple and all that jazz before they are baptized ... what the?).
Why is that important?
I have always had this vision as I have been working on my mission. I want to help people to get to the temple. It doesn't matter to me if they are new converts, less actives, or people on the street. I want these people that I love so much to have the blessings of eternal life with their families. This is something that I have felt strongly about for a LONG time, but I don't know if a lot of other missionaries had that same vision. Baptism is so important for a lot of the people out here ... but I think that the vision of the temple is such a great goal to work for for EVERYONE.
With this new announcement, I guess the goal is that they want everyone to be working with that end in mind. Ahhhh, it is sooooo powerful! I can feel the difference in the focus of the work. I love the temple!! I am so grateful for the blessings that the temple has brought into my life! :)
Hermana De León and I have started to count miracles of the day. There was one day that was a little bit tiring this week. We walked and walked and walked and didn't enter into a single house untilat night ... not because we weren't trying to enter. Sometimes the work is like that. We just talk to everyone and knock on a lot of doors and keep walking. But, all through out this day, we saw miracles! In one of the little streets, we ran into an antiguo investigator named Damian. He is this 22 year old kid that is SUPER. He is really hilarious and his mom is a member of the church ... but he wasn't progressing because he wasn't willing to quit his job so that he could go to church (and he really likes to party in the summer time ... but that is a different story). I have really felt like passing by for him, but he lives out in the boondocks, so we haven't really had the chance this cambio.
Anyways, we ran into him and he said, "Hermana ... I got work off. It is only two Sundays a month, but when they told me that, I immediately thought of you." YAAAAAAAAAHOOOO. He is ready. It's winter here, so he can't go to the beach and party all of the time. He has Sundays off. He knows that he has to get baptized. Wow, what a miracle.
Another miracle from that day: We went to pass by for a recent convert named Nicole for our last cita of the day. Her family is a little bit nuts. One time, her mom vented for a good 20 minutes about all of the grudges that she has about the missionaries of the past. They always say that they are fasting when I offer them food. They never pass by to say goodbye to me when they leave. They always try to get me to start rereading the Book of Mormon. Things like that drive her nuts. Anyways, this day, we were fasting because it was Fast and Testimony Sunday this week. She has never offered us ANYTHING to eat, basically because she was CHATA (uh, I don't know what that word is in English) with missionaries not eating her food. I thought we were safe ...
But when we entered, it was her daughter's birthday. She had the table filled with food and cake and soda poured out in the glasses. Ayayayayaaya. I was trying to send a silent message to Hermana De León in my head. Hermana, if she serves the food to us, I am going to eat it. We cannot offend her more. I didn't know how the fast was going to work out ... but I was halfway praying in my head that something could happen to save us from 1.) offending her and 2.) eating the food.
She began to cut the cake.
Hermana De León and I just looked at each other, trying to hide the panic in our eyes.
She served the cake on platters.
Suddenly, our salvation came in the form of our new convert, Nicole. "Hermanas, are you fasting?" She said it kind of kiddingly, and we just started to laugh. "The truth is, yeah, we are." I said, trying to look as pathetic and sad as I possibly could. Hermana Sara (that is the mom's name) just looked at us. "AHHHHHH, my suerte!" She threw her hands up in the air and just looked at us. I promised to her that we were not trying to avoid eating her food ... that, actually, fasting every month is a part of our religion hahah. We promised to come back the next day and all was well.
What a miracle.
We had some really wonderful lessons this week. I love being able to help others to understand a principle of the gospel that I love so much. Sometimes, as missionaries in general, we talk and talk and talk and nobody really understands, but I have been able to see so many people really understand this week. It is such a rewarding experience. I have felt so guided by the Spirit this week. When we speak with the Spirit, people LISTEN. We gave lessons about the Book of Mormon, and people LISTENED. We taught about temples of a less-active family and they came to church. There is nothing that I can do on my own to force people to accept what I believe. But, really, when people are prompted by the spirit, they will act.
Nada que ver, but I really have had the desire this week to truly consecrate myself to this work. I know that I spend every day preaching and teaching and walking and talking about religious things, but I want to forget about myself even more. I want to leave everything in the Lord's hands and just be an instrument. I am not exactly sure how to go about doing that, but I started to try consecrating myself this week. I pushed myself to be a little more kind, a little more happy, a little more dedicated, a little more animated. This week, I have gone to bed tired every day ..., I am pretty much a walking dead person. But I have also experienced a lot of joy this week. I love my mission a lot! I know that I can love it even more as I lose myself in the work.
I love you all so much! I know that this church is true and that Christ lives! He is changing my life out here! I started to reread the Book of Mormon this week as a race with a kid that is getting ready to send in his papers for a mission. As I read, it really hit me HOW BLESSED I AM. I am super, super blessed. I have a great family, I have the gospel, I have this once in a life time chance to be on a mission in CHILE. Wow ... Heavenly Father really loves us. He loves us enough to help us to be in the right places at the right times. He loves me enough to help me to be a better teacher and a better missionary. He loves me enough to answer my desperate prayers. It is a wonderful thing. I hope you have a great week!! Smile in the sweet summer sun for me!
Love you lots,