This week has been good. We really feel like we are being blessed with the spirit lately. We have been working so hard and the Lord is doing his part. We have been having to use every bit of energy to get into people's houses in creative ways to be able to find people to teach. We did many things, from caroling, to asking to use their bathroom, to asking for a glass of water, and other random things. Basically, anything we have to do to be able to spread this beautiful gospel to the people here!
We have been working with Francisca, a 10 year old girl who has a strong desire to follow Jesus christ. With her, the thing we fault is the support of her family. They are all members but they are in the process of reactivation. Her mom has been slowly by slowing losing herself in the false teachings of the world, and we were able to find her one night and we had an amazing lesson with her. She expressed that she doesnt think all of the little parts of the church are commandments from God, but from men only. Things such as going to church with skirts/dress. We really focused on just listening... We were patient and we were able to discover that her doubt really went beyond a dress code for Sunday but it was about modern revelation through a prophet of God on the earth. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God who has the very authority over the kingdom of God on the earth and that he receives revelation directly from God. We were able to realy help change this sister (sister Cuevas) and by the end of the lesson it was like the spirit had reentered into her life after taking a long detour. That is why I LOVE this gospel and this work! Watching people completely change for the better.
Speaking of change, I want to talk about Nicole. Nicole is a 20 year old who has two little babies and whose mom was just baptized last month. At first, when her mom was taking the missionary lessons and going to church, she didnt want anythng with the church. But in a couple short months, she is a different person now. I have a strong testimony about the power of one example in a family. One person can help the other members of their family so much! Nicole used to be a person who wasnt very friendly...she was hard to get along with. Especially at first. But the spirit has literally changed her into the most pleasant happy person who is always smiling. She now wants to get baptized also. It's funny because she doesnt really understand why before she didnt want to get baptized or why she didnt want anything with the church. It's because of the Holy Ghost. It's the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ that changes lives! I know for a FACT that Jesus Christ is literally our Redeemer and Savior. Without Him our lives dont have purpose. Nicole will be baptized on January 7th.
I want to talk for second about Marcelo also! Marcelo (9) is the son of an inactie member, Ana (45). Ana's family are also all members, all of them! But they have been inactive for years now. Something that I have really focused on lately is being a friendly person who the Holy Ghost can work through. Or in other words, a tool. Yes, I want to be a tool! We got into this house of the Gonzalez family and we focused on helping them feel the spirit again in their lives. We talked a lot to Ana, and she said that she doesnt go to our church anymore...but we just like of shrugged that off and kept talking to her and we set up a family home evening with her and her son Marcelo, who isnt a member. We went to their house and sang hymns and taught about the gospel of Jesus christ and the plan of Salvation and Ana got so excited to go back to church. On Sunday she came with Marcelo and she told us that her siblings are short to follow. We are really excited to help this family receive the blessings of the atonement in their lives. Marcelo is going to be baptized on the 7th of January.
We've had some really neat experiences with inactive members this week. We had one recent convert/inactive family return to church this week which made me so happy. We have been working with an inactive member, Mario, who is really awesome but he is passing through a really rough time in his life. It's like Satan is literally trying to take him down into his grasp. He thanked us in his tears for caring about him. For being there for him when nobody else is there.
Scripture of the week--- D&C 10:5! Read it! Do it!
-Us at a preparation day activity.
Please everyone, GO VISIT SOMEONE who needs you!!! Please please please. If someone didnt come to church on Sunday, be at their house right after church and ask them why they didnt come or if they are ok or if they need something. Dont let anyone fall away! These are the last days, things are getting worse and worse and we must be excellent disciples of Jesus Christ or we wont be ok. We just rescue our brothers and sisters. We cant just worry about ourselves, we have to worry about all of our brothers and sisters!
I had a really cool story about following the spirit. Me and my companion were walking along one street one day and we were on our way to a person's house whose birthday it was. We were going to sing to him and give him some candy. The thought flashed through my mind, "listen to the Spirit" So I tried to listen to the spirit. I didnt know why it hit me right then...then all of the sudden, as we were walking pretty quickly along a street filled with houses on both sides, I stopped at random house and we yelled "alo!" and they came out and said that they were getting ready for a party because it was someone's birthday. I said "what a coincedence because we are actually wishing a few people happy birthday at this very moment! Can we come in and sing a Christmas hymn for his birthday?" They let us in right away. All this time my companion didnt know that I had randomly stopped and hadnt even turned around because we werent planning on tracting right then...so he turned around and he came over and we went into the house and we taught a family of many people about the gospel and we set up an appointment to come back. It was so cool! The Holy Ghost is very real! People hardly ever let us in their house...why did I randomly stop at this house out of the tons of houses on the street...randomly on our way to wish people happy birthday? The Spirit!!!!
I'm freaking out...because I completed 15 months in the mission this week. That is a lot! Time goes by so fast!
Tender Mercy- As left a house, a cute 3 year-old little boy followed us. He ran with us as his mom came out and watched him and called after him. The little boy ran in front of us and stopped at a patch of dandilions. He bent down and picked two and then came and one to me and one to my companion. I was like "aawwwww" Ha ha. It was so nice and cute. It erased anything bad that happened this week!
I love you all, have a great week. Write me!