This week was great! We even saw a miracle with the weather. It hasnt rained here for more than a month and a half, probably a record for Los Angeles, Chile! But this morning we woke up and it was raining.
This week me and my companion were thinking about what we could do to help our own area, and to help the other missionaries in our zone. We decided that the best way we could help them was to first, be the examples. Using a style of leadership that Jesus Christ used- "Do as I do, not as I say"- so we went to work!
We found one lady while knocking doors who seemed to be pretty good. Her name is Eliana. She said we could come back the next day when they werent so busy, so we did. When we got there she let us in and we sat down and got to know her and shared with her about the restoration of the gospel. She has some friends who are members of the church, but she has never taken advantage of being taught by the missionaries. For some reason or other, she is at the point in her life when she is more open to hear about religion. As we shared the restoration, we shared a scripture from Amos that talks about how days of hunger will come to the earth. Not hunger or thirst of food but hunger of hearing the word of God. And people wont be able to find it. We asked her if that is how she feels. She said yes! And we shared about Joseph Smith, and when he also had this hunger to know the truth. When we got to the first vision, the Spirit was so strong in the room! We shared the vision and she kept commenting on how good she felt. She said how she was surprised that she felt so peaceful about it and she feels like its right. She said that she wants us to come by more. Honestly, i cant remember everything that happened in the lesson because we were very much guided by the Spirit. One thing I remember though at the end. In the pamphlets that we give out, at the end it talks about "How we can know?" and it talks about the way the Spirit answers us and talks to us. It says "this knowledge is very important and can change lives, BUT, it is usually manifested to you without big visions or spectacular demonstrations of the power of God. It's usually manifested to us through a peaceful security that it is true.." (something like that, if I translated right) then it shares Galatas 5:22-23 about the fruits of the spirit being love, peace, joy pacience, kindess, etc...When she ready that, the spirit was in the room very strong and she said this is exactly how I feel right now! I feel a peaceful security. We are so excited for her!
We had a miracle happen to us when a man stopped his car while we were walking down the street and he said in perfect English "hey, can you guys come to my house one day to speak English with me, I need to practice." We said, "of course!" So we came by the next day and he let us in his house. His name is Francisco and he is 22 years old. He lives alone because he is studying right now here in Los Angeles. He was one of the most pleasant people to be around! He speaks English really really good and understood everything we said. We were a little hesitant at first that if we started right away into our message that he wouldnt be interested, because maybehe just wanted to speak english, but he started asking us all sorts of questions about our message! It was great! Actually it turned out that he really doesnt need to practice English as much as he needs the gospel in his life. He lives alone and he has a girlfriend, but apart from that, he seems pretty lonely in this moment. He is looking for something more in life. We talked about the Book of Mormon also and he was really interested in it. Again, when we taught him the first vision the spirit filled the room and he told us afterward too! He said that he is really grateful that we came by because he felt something really special with us. He was very happy. One of the coolest parts of the lesson is when we invited him to church. He said he would love to go! I said, "Awesome, and when you are there, you can take advantage of all of the english speakers in the ward" (there are like 8 members who speak fluent english) And he said "yeah, but that's not the most important reason of course, it's a lot more important than that!" I was just shocked! I thought "who says that?!" ha ha. He is awesome! We are excited to go back tomorrow. I'll keep you all updated.
We had a really good family night with a member who has been really struggling lately. He hasnt come to church for about two months because he has debt with another member and he gets really uncomfortable there. Satan has really been working on him to make him weak. We actually dont even know which member it is who he owes money too, which I am extremely grateful for because I cant stand being involved in unnecessary problems. We just testified of the gospel and the commandments and the importance of keeping thecommandments. He has a lot more courage now to face his problems and he is going to do it. Satan has really worked on him and he has stopped reading his scriptures, even praying for a while, and obviously going to church. And he is miserable! But he thanked us so much for being there for him and for helping him. He got really emotional about it. I am so humbled all the time to be an instrument in God's hands here on the earth.
On Sunday we saw many blessings for our work throughout the week! The church ATTENDANCE (not assistance ;D) doubled which we were happy about. it went from in the 60s to 125! Nice. We had a lot of investigators in church which we were happy for and just yesterday we put a baptismal date with Abigail. She is a 12 year old whose birthday is just one day away from Naomi's. (July 15th!) She is the cousin of a member family and she came with them. Her mom works at a little business just a couple houses away from where we live, and that is where we found her. We have invited her so many times to church and finally she came! Her older brother was baptized a couple months ago too actually. Yesterday we taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the steps we must take to be happy in this life and have the Holy Ghost. We invited her to be baptized on January 21st, with Christian, Marcelo's cousin. i think I mentioned him last week. Christian is also going to get baptized on he 21st. Christian and Marcelo and their family are all doing really good too! They came to church for the 2nd time in a row now! :) I confirmed Marcelo yesterday which was a neat experience!
We were able to find many new investigators this week so we are going to be working with them. In the testimony meeting in church yesterday, there were some really powerful testimonies by some of the ladies in the ward. I dont worry at all about the relief society here. The bishop's wife bore her testimony about how she was worried about what she should teach her children (they are very young, 3 and 1 years old) but it hit her that all she needs to teach them is the gospel, and they will be ok in life. It was so powerful and she got emotional. Then another sister testified about the love of God. That He truly loves each and every one of us so much. It was powerful also. Then another member about shen she was sad one day and she decided to turn to the manual that they are studying right now in Sunday school (George Albert Smith) and she found exactly what she needed. She testified of the power of the scriptures. It was a really good meeting.
I also know that this church is the church of Jesus Christ, and that he in reality is our savior and he loves us! We can grow close to him by praying sincerely and readying the scriptures. I am so happy here in Chile on my mission. This week, I reached the point when I was the most tired that I've been in all of my mission. But God helped me keep going and I am so happy. I cant explain my happiness really but I just know that it only comes through living the gospel.
Tender Mercy- I'd have to say when Francisco stopped us on the street and contacted US! Ha ha :) That was definitely a blessing of the Lord.
I love you all!
-Us with Viviana, our investigator with a baptismal date in March. She is so awesome and ready for baptism but her marriage date is the 10th of March! So her baptismal date is March 11th. But she is awesome!
-Me making pancakes
-"Disponible" means "available" :D