Feb 20, 2012
Hey everyone, how are ya?
This week we had a great week and we saw many miracles. At the beginning of the week we found a lot of people to teach and we even found 2 families! The first amazing family is Gladys, Felipe, and Cristian. Felipe was a referral from his grandma. We passed by several times without ever finding him but we kept passing by until we did find him. And he is awesome!!! He is 15 years old and he is a big boy. We also found his mom, Gladys, who is 37 years-old. She almost got baptized when she was 12 but her dad didnt let her...but she thinks now is the time! Felipe doesnt do a whole lot, he just stays at home and takes care of his brother and they play video games. (its summer break still here) He's basically always in the house, so it made it easy for us to pass by about 4 times this week! It was great. We invited them to prepare to be baptized on March 11th and they accepted so we are excited for them. Gladys is recently going through a separation so its been a little rough on them, but the gospel will help them.
Felipe is seriously a stud! He is awesome and he came to church yesterday. His mom was going to come with Christian, his little brother, but they werent able to because they were too exhausted from the flood....oh, you ask, what flood? I mean the flood that came from the huge monsoon that hit in the middle of the Friday night! Felipe lives right next to a canal, so the rain filled the whole canal up and it overflowed and came in his house about 8 inches deep. They recently moved into the house so it was pretty lame. Nothing really got ruined though so that was a miracle. Gladys has a laptop that she almost always keeps on he floor during the night....but for some reason she put it on her bed Friday night. Also....cool story...they have a coffee table in their house that is pretty big and heavy...apparently the coffee table moved over to the other side of the room. They have another little tiny table in the room also, and thats where they put the Book of Mormon for the night....anyway, in the morning when they came down and saw the flood, everything was all over the place except for this little tiny table that had the Book of Mormon on top of it. God works in mysterious ways! Its a little miracle but its a miracle!
Felipe liked church a lot and he came to play soccer with us this morning and he loved it.....he had so many good questions during church yesterday. He wants to know what he should do to receive the priesthood and how he can become a missionary. He's a great kid.
Speaking of great kids, we found two 14 year old boys in a plaza who had some really great questions about life. We set up an appointment and went back to teach them and one of the, Eduardo is really interested. we gave him the Book of Mormon and we will verify this week if he read it.
We found a really nice couple, Antonia 18, and Diego 20 who let us in and listen to the message so nicely. Its such a blessing to find people like them who are receptive after tons of people say "NO!" They let us in and they are NOT living together which we are really happy for, because many couples just live together without getting married. They are very receptive and we have an appointment with them tomorrow.
We have been teaching a couple who are about 60 years old who are the neighbors of active strong members. They were referrals from them. The husband, Luis, is a little more stubborn, but Lina is really nice, and Lina's 94 year old mom, Soyla, is awesome and hilarious! Everytime we come over she said that she saw our mom outside in front of the house and she talked to her. She always asks us how our moms are doing. She is great. Lina and her both came to church with Sister Salamanca!
Alright, I have talked about Valentina and Valeria before, the 16 and 12 year old sisters of Marcelo, our recent convert. Valentina was the girl who almost became gothic and wasnt very happy in her life. Now....she is so different!!! She is so different and she is stoked for her baptism on March 3rd! Valeria, her little sister is also really excited. She has had a big change in her life too...up until now she has been very separated from her mom, Ana Maria, but now she is letting herself grow closer to her mom and recognizing her as her mom which she didnt really do before! She also wants to get baptized now on March 3rd. We taught them about the role of the Holy Ghost in their conversion and also about the Sabbath Day and the Word of Wisdom. They are commited to live all of the commandments. A miracle happened this week with them. They werent going to be able to come to church this Sunday because there mom was going to be working and they are only allowed to come to church with their mom. They are only allowed to be with their mom when they come on the weekends. This Sunday Ana worked...so we fasted and prayed for them that their dad would let them stay to go to church. Valeria prayed for the first time and in her prayer she asked that her dad would let them stay...then right after the prayer they called their dad all nervously (he's pretty stubborn) and he said yes!!!
They were able to come and Valentina told me as we were in sacrament meeting that she felt something really good-strange during the sacrament, the same feeling she got that last time she came. They are doing really good!
The other miracle that happened from our fast was with Viviana. Viviana also wasnt going to be able to come, because her dad came and got her on Friday night to go to the campo for the weekend (the country) Viviana is 38 and her husband works in the north, so her parents like her to be with them on the weekends. Anyway, she called us to tell her that she wouldnt be able to go to church...but I just sat there on the phone and kept talking to her. She eventually said that maybe WE could go out to the country and teach her there because its not that far. So I told her, if its not that far, maybe you could come to church on Sunday for just that hour for sacrament meeting. I told her we were fasting for her and that I know she could come...God would provide the way. Anyway, miraculously, on Sunday, she showed up! I was so happy and I know that fasting works. Viviana is getting baptized on March 11th.
We had a crazy experience this week with the sister missionaries. They called us at 1:30 in he morning because Sister Diehl was sick. She was throwing up all over the place. A member in their ward went and gave them a blessing late in the night without oil, and in the morning she was still sick so we went and gave her a blessing with oil. Right after the annointing she fainted and started to have a seizure but we picked her up and put her on her bed. Then I gave her a blessing. It was incredible how she recovered. Sister Martinez (mission president's wife) said that they had to stay in their house for a few days, but she is doing a lot better now. I know that the priesthood power is real! We have another priesthood blessing this week also, to an old lady in the ward who was baptized 7 years ago who never misses a Sunday. She is a great examle to everyone in the ward. She is very very faithful and she didnt come today so right after church we went to her house and she was sick so we gave her a blessing. She has so much faith in priesthood blessings because she has been healed many times. I also know of its power because I have seen MANY people be healed through them!
I have been thinking a lot about Labranza this week and how crazy it is that I havent seen them for about a year now! I miss them all a lot. I have never returned to the south of the mission since I left, but I have faith that one day I will go back. Some of the members from this ward went the a young single adult conference and all of the youth from Independencia were there and they all told them to tell me "hi!" So that was cool...it would be cooler if I could see them in person but I know that patience brings blessings!
We passed by an inactive family, the Cid family. They are a member family who as of 3 years stopped going. We read Mosiah 2 with them and also Moroni 7:45-47 with them and the spirit was their strong. They told us that we are different than other missionaries...she said we are literally angels sent from God and they are going to come back to church now definitely. They were really grateful because they said they know that missionaries shouldnt be spending a lot of their time with people who are already members, but with investigators and finding new people, they said they are very very grateful that we spent our time with them and cared for them. They came to church yesterday. They are awesome. I dont even know why they went inactive!
Random- Every monday we do a yogurt chugging contest, and just so everyone knows, last week I TIED with my companion! That has never happened! My companion always creams everyone.....but we TIED! :D a kilo of yogurt in 12 seconds. I'll show you the videos when I get home! Ha ha.
Tender Mercy- The blessings that come from fasting. We now have 6 investigators with baptismal dates. That's more than we've ever had so far here at once! Fasting is a true commandment. It helps us grow closer to our Father in Heaven and it truly results in miracles.
This week was full of spiritual experiences! I know that the spirit is real. It will guide us, it will comfort us, and it will TEACH and TESTIFY to us of TRUE THINGS!!! I am so happy right now. Too bad everyone cant be a missionary! This is truly the work of Almighty God.
Fulfill your callings!! Invite a friend to church! Give references to the missionaries! Help someone in need! ALWAYS smile at people, always forgive!
I love you all,
-Us with Claudio, an atheist man who is really nice who is married to a member.
-After a spontaneous service project for the sister missionaries.
-The waterline that stayed in Gladys' house after the flood.
-Great BBQ pool picture! Hahaha...At a member's house.
-3 members...sisters in the ward. The closest is Sister Salamanca, who intruduced us to Lina, her neighbor.
-Eating the the Villagran family...the boy next to me is Angelo Martinez, my mission president's son.
-people worshiping the virgin mary in their car (in a taxi)