This week seems like a blur but at the same time it went by way too fast. I almost feel like it`s just a whole different time wave down here.
So remember last week when I told you about our investigadora Gabriela. We did the whole fast with her to stop smoking and everything. Well we tried calling her on Monday to keep contact with her but it was late so she didn`t answer and then when we passed by her house on Tuesday she told us that she had smoked again the day before. It really broke my heart. It`s just because she has come SO FAR. but it's just this one cigarette every other day or every few days. I just really thought that she was going to overcome the temptations this time. She fasted and it was a hard fast so I just didn`t think that she would go back to it so soon, but her husband came home from working and he brought cigarettes into the house and that was that. I asked her why she did it and she just told me it was out of habit that she didn`t think until after she`d already taken a puff. So now the baptism is planned for this coming Sunday the 25th. We had her do her interview anyway thinking that would help her be more focused on quitting smoking. She told the elder that she`d smoked her last cigarette and he even gave her a blessing of strength so that she could do it. She left the interview with a big smile on her face and determination in her heart. She was doing so good too! And then we found out that she smoked again, (just one) on Saturday. It`s so hard because I just love Gabriela SO MUCH! She is so amazing and has all these wonderful desires and strong testimony, but she is just really trying my patience right now with this one cigarette. My companion even made her this cute scripture calendar with scriptures she has to read everyday and mark off. It`s just so frustrating sometimes! But honestly this experience with Gabriela is teaching me so much about Heavenly Father`s love for us. I understand how we can just always make the same mistakes and yet He still loves us because no matter how many times Gabriela falls I still love her and I just want to help her even more. When she talks about her family and the church I can feel the spirit and I can feel my heart being filled and stretched with the love Heavenly Father has for her. I can so clearly see her potential and that`s why it hurts so much every time she smokes, but I still believe in her. I know and understand better now that`s exactly what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ feel for us as we struggle through life with our weaknesses too. They know our potential and they know that we will be able to overcome them and they have a perfect love. It hurts them when we fall and fall again but they could never stop loving nor believing in us. I also have so much respect for them and their perfect patience because it`s hard to be so patient sometimes and yet they always are. Please keep Gabriela in your prayers. She needs all the prayers possible right now to be able to overcome her smoking.
This week we also had interviews with the Mission President in our house. We went on this crazy cleaning spree the days leading up to it. I won`t go into details on that. Lets just say there were stains that I thought would never come out that did.. yikes. But interviews with him are awesome. It`s so funny because I always get super crazy anxiety about it a few days before because it`s President Kahnlein! He`s seriously the closest person to God I think. I love the man to death but the thought of being alone in a room with him just scares me. I don`t even know why. I think it`s because those laser blue eyes just see straight into your soul. But like always it all went perfectly fine and he told me he`s happy with our work here. But at the same time I`m glad that it`s over with.
This week we also had our replica which is where we orientate the other missionaries about what president and Hermana Kahnlein talked about at our consejo meeting at the beginning of the month. I was a little nervous just because usually when I have to speak in front of groups I start second guessing my Spanish and then I just complicate it, but that went super great as well. I could say everything I wanted to. It`s funny it literally just felt like teaching a missionary discussion so it was like the easiest thing ever. I`m realizing that I just psych myself out about the dumbest things and then everything goes fine so I`m working on not doing that anymore.
We had a lesson with Gabriela and her kids that are already members yesterday that just broke my heart. But in a good way this time. The kids really want their mom to stop smoking. Oh that reminds me. On Saturday we totally saw a cigarette in Gabriela`s house (patience.. patience.) so my companion, Hermana Hansen snatched it and put it in her bag. We soaked it in milk and then were going to give it to her to smoke. There`s missionaries that swear by that trick because I guess it`s just the nastiest taste ever and then they never smoke again. But in the morning it just looked we literally just found it on the ground so it didn`t work. Slash we also didn`t feel good about being missionaries and being like here smoke this cigarette. But we did feel rebellious walking around with it. But yeah so we`re talking with the kids and they really want their dad to get baptized too so they can be sealed as a family. They were just telling us how cool it would be to have parents that remind you to pray and read your scriptures. Johan, the son who`s like 17, was like it would be so cool to have a dad that told you you have to read your scriptures before you can go out. He`s like if my dad told me that I think I would cry of happiness. It literally just tore my heart because I remember you guys calling me down for family home evenings or family pray and half the time I thought it was a big inconvenience. I probably did cry too, but not of happiness. And then we have these kids that just dream of it. It just broke my heart. I just don`t realize how good I've got it. I`m really hoping and praying and doing everything so that Gabriela will be baptized and that their dad will be receptive. Please keep them in your prayers!
Well that`s pretty much the main highlights of this week! I love you all so much! Have a great week!
con todo el amor en mi corazón,