January 12, 2015
I hope this email finds you all happy and sore after your snow trip :) You guys looked great out there in the snow in the pictures you sent! I can`t wait to race you down the slopes next winter!
This week was just a week of miracles. Literally last night my companion, Sister Hansen and I, just looked at each other in disbelief. It`s crazy how fast we can receive answers to prayers when we go out and work.
It all started Wednesday at district meeting when the zone leaders told us that we were going to have the stand this week. The stand is this big, well, stand, that has a question of the soul like 'why am I here on Earth or how can I find peace and happiness? That kind of thing, that we put up in some busy place and let the people basically contact us. But it`s huge and super heavy. So we had to carry the thing ourselves 6 blocks from the church to where we would have to wait for a collectivo (it`s like a public taxi) to take us up to Chorrillos. And the thing was at that time in the day it`s so hard to actually find a collectivo and then to try to get the huge thing to fit, it`s just super inconvenient. So we`re like, great....Anyway, we lug the stand all the way to the place and I`m just praying we can find a collectivo. And seriously the second we walk up one comes. And when we walk up this guy starts talking to us who happens to be a member of the church and he`s like let me help you! and he finds a way to get the whole thing to fit in the truck for us. But as this is happening other people get in the collectivo and we`re like ah great! But one of the ladies happened to be a member in our church branch and when she saw us with all the stuff she was like oh, you guys go I'll wait. If it would have been anyone else, they would not have cared and would have took it. It was just like everyone came to our aid at once! I seriously couldn`t believe how fast it all happened. We never find a collectivo that fast. It was a miracle!
Then we had this crazy lesson with our investigator Gabriela. She`s the one who`s been trying to quit smoking so she can get baptized. We had this super spiritual lesson all ready for her that we were going to do to commit her to quit smoking for good and be baptized and as we were trying to teach it, it was like everything bad was happening. We`d start sharing our testimony and the moment the spirit would get strong someone would walk it. Or her son got home and was yelling at her from the kitchen asking where everything was. Then her other little son is running in and out of the room. With every scripture and testimony SOMETHING would happen. It was like you could really see that Satan was trying so hard to keep her from feeling any sort of spiritual motivation to recommit. It was so frustrating. Literally every time we wanted to share something or would have her read a scripture it would be interrupted. I really felt like we were fighting against the adversary in that lesson. BUT despite the lack of the spirit, Gabriela wanted to change and do it for good this time. She recognizes that her children need her example and she agreed to do a fast with us on Saturday to be able to give up smoking. So HA! in the end we won.
This week we also received a challenge from the Zone leaders to put a baptism date with someone before Sunday so we`re like yeah game on. So it`s Saturday and we still hadn't been able to invite someone to be baptized. We had a few lessons in the afternoon but both times the spirit just wasn't right or we didn't get the chance to invite them because something would happen. We had an hour left and were like ah we need to find someone. We felt like we should just pass by this investigator that we haven`t been able to find in over 3 weeks and see if she was home. She was! We taught her Lesson 3 about the gospel of Jesus Christ and invited her to be baptized and she accepted! She wasn't able to come to church yesterday but said she`d go next week! It was crazy! We were so happy to be able to invite someone to be baptized and fulfill our goal! Win-Win!! and another miracle.
Also for the past few weeks our ward mission leader has been out of town which as been super annoying because we feel out of touch with the ward and we had some things we really needed to talk about and it`s hard to get in touch with people here for some reason sometimes. But I had to get change, so we went into a random store so I could buy something and we ran into one of the counselors in the bishopric and we were able to talk to him about things and get everything figured out! It was so crazy because we were just trying to think about what we should do and it was like BAM! There was a guy that could help us... MIRACLE!
Also this week we were cleaning out our area book and found less active members and ancient investigators that we were like oh my gosh we need to find these people but their addresses weren't super clear. We found both of them just by street contacts! Seriously what are the odds of finding these people in the area book and then just happen to contact the very persons in the street the next day??? MIRACLE!!
Then we've been praying to find people because the finding game is a little hard in Chorrillos. So yesterday we didn't have anything set to do so we just knocked on doors. We`d been knocking doors and walking hills for a few hours and had had no luck. Then we were knocking on this one house in the middle of no where and no one was answering so we walked back down the stairs. As we were walking away we heard the door open and as we looked back we saw it close. So we were like dang it, this is awkward now. Do we go back or just keep going and come back another day because she already saw us and yeah it was just a little awkward. But I remembered this video that Pres. Kahnlien had showed us in our meeting that week that was like everyone deserves the chance to be contacted by missionaries. So I told my companion, 'no lets just go back because everyone needs the chance.' We went and it was this little old lady. She let us in, gave us pineapple juice and was crying by the end of the opening prayer. It was one of the sweetest lessons ever! She told us that she could feel that her house just felt different with us there. That she felt a burden lifted from her soul and her heart changed. It was just like music to a missionaries ears! She`s going to be baptized, I have no doubt. She is just the greatest. And would you look at that?! ANOTHER MIRACLE!!!
So we did the fast with Gabriela, which I was kind of worried about because she`s not exactly known for her willpower, but she did it! For the whole 24 hours! And then we met with her last night and oh my gosh, I wish I could just tell you the things she said. She has such an amazing testimony, you can just see that she is so converted and that now it really is her time to be baptized! I`m so grateful for her example. She`s just so sincere and just so selfless. Literally when I see her, I see the Savior. She is just amazing. She has her baptism set for this Sunday! PLEASE PLEASE pray for her that she will have the strength to not smoke again this week and ever again. I know that the adversary is going to be working so hard to stop her from doing it. She needs every prayer possible. But I believe in her. I really do. She is awesome.
So then yesterday as we were walking home we were reflecting on all that we were able to accomplish this week. And we literally said: now we just need to find a family to reactivate this month. And then I looked down at the phone and saw that we had a missed call from the President of the branch. So we call him back and he says, no joke: ¨Hermanas. I have a list of 12 less active families that I want you guys to pass by for. Can you come by tomorrow and pick up the list?¨ We literally just looked at each other and were like, Is this real life??? Did that just really happen??? M-I-R-A-C-L-E with a capital M!!!!!
I really don`t know what we`re doing, but it must be something right. I have just felt that Heavenly Father is so truly aware of us right now and that our goals are aligned with His. Honestly, this week I feel like we did literally nothing, God has done it all. It`s just so clear to me that this is really HIS work and He truly is doing it. He just needs people that are willing to work and be His hands. To say the things that He would say and to go where He would go. That`s exactly what I strive to do every day. Obviously not all weeks are like how this week has gone. There`s a lot of times when things just don't work out. In missionary work and in life. But I do know that as we truly do strive to be obedient and we are willing to work, we are guided and the decisions we make and the things we do become a natural consequence of what God needs done. Maybe we won`t see miracles every day or week but at least we can have the assurance that our week is pleasing to God and that in His time He will do what needs to be done.
I`m so grateful for the gospel and for the experiences of absolute miracles that I have had this week. There`s no explanations. God`s hand is so clear. I love to be a missionary. I love the lessons I learn, from the hard weeks and the miracle weeks. May we look for the miracles and the hand of God in this coming week. I know that we will be able to recognize miracles and we will feel God`s love for us. I love this gospel. It`s a gospel of work, but a gospel of miracles.
Hoping you all have a wonderful week!
Con todo el amor en mi corazón,