I´ve got so much to tell you all! First of all. I´m in love with San Juan!
My new companion is Hermana Lybbert. She´s from Washington. We´re having fun being gringas together. But that´s not stopping us.
I honestly came to San Juan with a new fire.
I got here, and they told me that the work had been a little slow for the last few months. They didn´t have any progressing investigators, or anyone close to baptism.
We had weekly planning with our district the morning after I got here, so that was a little challenging, since I had no idea about anything. But honestly I learned from my transfer in May Valley, that sometimes starting with nothing brings great miracles, because you HAVE to rely on the Lord.
We decided to stick with some of the names that they´d had from Abrir La Boca, or street contacting. But after two days, we walked, and walked, and walked, and walked. Yes, like pioneer children. In the very cold. And didn´t contact ANYONE. One thing I´m not in love with is that the siesta is literally SACRED here. meaning from 1-6 it´s me. my comp. the dogs. and the tumble weed. real life.
So. After that. I remembered my first transfer in WA lesson. If something´s not working for ya. Try something new.
We decided to start with the area book. We found several really old antiguos, and by really old I mean there wasn´t really a whole lot except for like 2005...
But. We took out a few that looked promising/had been to church, had kept their commitments, etc. and decided to start from there!
Long story short, this weekend was INCREDIBLE!!!
We found a family! We contacted an antiguo, Antonia and she told us that they´d met the elders several years back, but they just stopped coming one day. She invited us to come back and visit when her husband was home. So yesterday, we went back, and When we showed up the kids ushered us in and welcomed us like we were old friends. They´re seriously the cutest! Her husband is Raul. And they have 9 kids. 8 of which are ¨baptizable¨. We taught them the restoration, and it went awesome! The spirit was so strong! And the 4 of them that were there all agreed to a baptismal date! They´re going to read the Book of Mormon together, from the beginning (Lehi´s Family is PERFECT for them!).
Needless to say we were stoked!
We have another antigua, Lucia, who is an older lady. She too had met with missionaries before. She is solid and came to church with us yesterday for the second time, and we have a lesson with her tonight to start prepping her for her baptism.... for this weekend!
Veronica is another lady that the hermanas taught a few lessons to before. We went, she told us she wants to know what she needs to do to help her family move forward, and come closer to Christ. We taught her about the gospel of Christ, and she agreed to be baptized!!!
We have several other amazing people that we found and began teaching. Something that we´ve really been focusing on is building really good relationships with these people. They´re super loving, and when you love them and show them that you´re there for them, the spirit directs the lessons, and amazing things happen!
I´ve been thinking a lot this week about what it means to be a part of the work of salvation. That´s something that´s so beautiful and so hard about this work. I know that it´s something that I don´t even fully comprehend. But it´s something that´s of infinite importance. It would be easy to do this thing halfheartedly, but that would defeat the purpose.
As missionaries, it is our job to ¨desire the salvation of souls¨, that´s what we´re working for. I was reading in Alma 31, and it talks about how Alma cried unto the Lord for his brethren. ¨Their souls are precious!¨ he says. These people are family, our brothers and sisters. They all have their stories, their struggles, setbacks, ¨stumbling blocks¨. Some have just one or two, others have ten. But they are all desperately lost, and they need what we have. Boyd K. Packer said ¨The study of the doctrines of the gospel will change behavior quicker than the study of behavior will change behavior.¨ It´s true. I know it. It just makes sense! In Jesus the Christ, it talks about how our Heavenly Father has a foreknowledge of everything that would happen in all the lives of his children. But that we should not assume that just because he knew what would be determined that such must be. His work and His glory IS to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. ¨provided that the transgressor would elect to avail himself thereof.¨
Our merciful, and JUST Heavenly Father has given us EVERY means of returning to Him. including the choice of whether or not to accept it. Agency is a tricky thing. But it´s necessary. ¨Oh how great the plan of our God!¨(2 Nephi 9:13).
I love you all. I love this work. It´s not easy, but every moment is worth it! ¡Bien Vale La Pena!
until next week.
xoxox Your Hermana C