Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 24, 2014 - MMMMMMMMMMM-Miracles

It´s that time again, transfers... Hermana Lawrence is headed to Valle de Uco. Where I started. I will be staying in Dorrego and my new comp is the lovely Hermana Enos :) I have officially been comps with all but ONE of the hermanas that were in the MTC with me. She was also in Seattle with me, so I am super excited!! 

This week was one of those patience-trying weeks. It got off to a really slow start as we worked and worked. Trying to find new people, searching through the area book, talking with everyone. there was one day where we must have knocked on 20 or more ¨Super promising potentials¨and they wanted NOTHING to do with us. A lot of the people we´d found weren´t home. That´s a common problem here. The work and living schedules are insane, and so we find the greatest people, and then they just disappear! 
We´ve really been focusing on relations with the leaders in the ward this week. Really working WITH them. Not them and us. It´s been good. We had a great correlation and now have a full list of people to come out and work with us. Perseverance pays off! On a side note... Hermano Luxardo. an hermano whose family is just starting to come back after being menos activo for a while, but whose family has a special place in my heart now, they´re great. Told me that I am never going to get married. ¨Because you are already one of those girls who knows what you want, and being a sister missionary just makes that worse. más exigente¨ Ha his wife is a return missionary, too. and she had a thing or two to say about that. 

This week I was reading Jacob 5. Throughout the chapter, the Lord of the vineyard says he´s ¨grieved¨because, well, the vineyard, despite all of his hard work, just isn´t becoming what he had in mind. There are several times where he is about to just chop down the trees, starting all over. ¨What more could I have done for my vineyard??¨ The patient servant says ¨Wait, just a little longer. There´s still SOME good here. Let us labor diligently, and with great care, and see what happens.¨ (not those words exactly, but you get it)  
I have to admit, there have been a lot of times when I´ve felt that way... there´s always more to be done, but I´ve just felt ¨What AREN´T we doing right??¨ But there was always that thought: ¨don´t lose hope, just keep working diligently, there are good things coming.¨ So we kept on keeping on.
Saturday was a really good day.

*Started off going to visit a few more of our ALBs. As we were walking, we crossed paths with this super spunky old lady. As she saw us coming, she clutched her heart and pointed at me ¨¿De dónde sos? la LUNA??¨ or ¨Where are YOU from? The moon??¨ What? ha I chuckled, and walked over to her. ¨You look like you could be from the moon!¨She said to me. I introduced us and we talked for a few minutes. Estér is her name. She told us that she´d always passed the church but there was never anyone there. So we told her we could do a tour with her. She was thrilled. She´s like 85, but full of life and attitude. Love her.

*Daniel. Is the friend of a menos activa. He originally was interested in our English class. we passed by to give him a flyer, and he invited us to see his ¨creations¨. He is a dumpster diver, and makes THE most beautiful things out of garbage. Seriously impressive. He sat there and talked all about how The Lord is the one that gives us these talents, and rather than squander them by drinking in the plaza, we should put them to use. He´s a bit of an odd ball, but full of pure intent. He made my day.

*After lunch, we started a district fast. the work´s been a little slow in all parts as of late.

*Celeste y Gabriela. Sisters. We met Celeste and her novio Ariel in the street, and they were just superstars. we had been trying to track on them, but couldn´t find them. So we decided to knock doors in the general area and found Gabriela. They are awesome. Super faithful, super trusting, and just ready to listen.

*Raquel. FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH!! every week when we have lessons with her she always says ¨Now, i´m still not ready to come to church. I´m not going to promise you I´ll read...¨ We were beginning to worry, and went to have a make it or break it lesson on Saturday. But she answered and said ¨I can´t right now, I have to shower and then we´re leaving.¨ a little discouraged, we said ¨Well, what about church tomorrow?¨ ¨Yeah, maybe. what time again?¨ yes! ¨How about we pass by to get you at about 10:30.¨ ¨Bueno.¨ and she came! And as she left, she kissed us and said ¨I´ll see you Tuesday night at 6:30. And I promise I´m going to read before then.¨  THE CHURCH IS TRUE!

Perhaps the biggest miracle of this week was yesterday. 
After church, in the middle of our lunch, the elders from our district called and said ¨hermanas, are you busy?¨ ¨Not really, what´s up?¨ ¨Would you like a new investigator... A golden one? Meet us in the plaza in 10 minutes!¨ 
So of course, we ran to meet up with them. And there we met Elsie. She had shown up to their meetings and wanted to learn more.....But just wait... that´s not even the best part.
Elsie is from Columbia, and she moved to our area just 20 days ago. She had a lot of family problems, and came here wanting a change in her life, a new start. After a few weeks, she couldn´t find work, and it seemed like her ¨inspired plan¨wasn´t working. So she went to buy a bus ticket to start back to Columbia. While she was waiting, she went to buy ice cream and got talking to the ice cream man. He told her of a friend of his, an older lady, who needed someone to care for her and her house. So she went to work for her, and now lives here. 
THEN. She told us she´s been reading the Bible a lot to get closer to God, because ¨He´s always had all the answers.¨ and she said she just has had this overwhelming desire to serve him. ¨He brought me here,¨she said. ¨and if he wants me to go somewhere else, I will. But the elders told me you can teach me, guide me.¨Her kids are all grown up and she´s here sola. She told us she wants to do what we do :)
So the other day, she was eating ice cream again... ha woman after my own heart... she went walking to the plaza. Where there are 4 different churches. But she stopped in front of ours, saw the ¨Visitors Welcome¨sign, and said ¨This Sunday I´m coming back.¨
She LOVED church, we walked with her to where she lived, and then she said she had to go to work. ¨When can you come back? TOMORROW?¨Yes, tomorrow. ¨What time??¨ So we set up an appointment for tonight. ¨Okay, what are you going to leave me?¨We smiled at each other. For real? We briefly explained el Libro de Mormón. She took it and said, ¨I´m going to read this, to understand it, and when you come back, you can teach me more!¨ QUE MILAGRO! 

Towards the end of Jacob 5, it talks about the results of the labor. It´s a really long chapter, and sometimes the days and the labor seem never ending. BUT if we hold on, there is a great promise...

 75 And it came to pass that when the aLord of the vineyard saw that his fruit was good, and that his vineyard was no more corrupt, he called up his servants, and said unto them: Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard; and thou beholdest that I have done according to my will; and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. Andbblessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the cnatural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall havedjoy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.

I know that the Lord knows His children. He knows where they are, and he is preparing the way and the WHEN for each of them. I´m grateful for his plan, and for the way that he uses time, work, love and patience to grow ¨the fruit¨as well as His laborers. This work is great. God lives, and Jesus is the living Christ.

I love you all, 
Hasta pronto.
xoxo Your Hermana C

*learning how to make
¨REAL¨empanadas con la Hermana Pagés

*my wall. there´s a little something from all of you included.

 * so ARGENTINE. hey granmom... like my accessories?? love you!
* our oven doesn´t shut. Handyman style...??

* not the prettiest... but GLUTEN FREE!!!  
This is my rainy day-everyday hair style!

                  *a FEW of my cute girls from San Juan.

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