Friday, March 21, 2014

Monday March 3, 2014 - ¨Don´t you worry, don´t you worry, child...¨‏

I can´t believe it´s only been one week since I last wrote. Seriously so much has happened. This week has been one of, if not THE, busiest weeks thus far. en serio.
I laughed, I got an email from Jaden saying ¨coming up on the year mark, my body seems to be saying ¨what are you doing to me??¨. I think that every morning as I wake up. I feel destroyed. But the results we´ve been seeing are bien vale la pena. 
*This week we had consejo, and several other leadership meetings. It´s crazy the things that are happening in this mission, well, the whole world. The Lord really is hastening His work, and we have to do EVERYTHING in our power to keep up! 
*We hit a serious high this week. Hermana Enos got here, and things were crazy, but she was so willing to just jump in with me and run around crazy. We´ve been working so hard, that we´re honestly exhausted, but super satisfechas with everything that´s happened.
*Miracles. We set a goal as a companionship to have 4 baptisms in the month of March, and it pleases me to tell you, that I believe we are going to hit that mark! 
*Elsie. Silena. Yamila. for sure. then we have Celeste, and Pablo that are progressing as well. And we have Claudia, and then good old Mauricio that need to get married first. JUST GET MARRIED!!! 
*Elsie. Oh boy, has that been a tilt-a-whirl of a ride.
Monday- We went by to have our first lesson with her. She informed us that she´d read the folleto de la Restauración, and several pages of the Libro de Mormón. She told us ¨First, I want to explain what I´ve understood, and then, if I´m wrong, you can  help me.¨ So she explained the restoration, basically perfect, told us that she´d prayed, and she already knew that the book was true. Then she said ¨But i have a few doubts....¨  okay.... ¨What are all of these DyC´s at the bottoms of all the pages (Doctrine and Covenants). HA. We explained, and she says excitedly, ¨you mean there´s another book I get to read after I finish this one??¨ 
Stop. she told us she wanted to meet the bishop asap, and get baptized. We set a fecha for 8 de Marzo. and she then said ¨how long after that do i have to wait to go on a mission?¨ we told her a year, and she said ¨oh, perfect, that will give me time to prepare.¨
We set up a return appt for Thursday. prayed, and left.
So needless to say, when Hermana Enos and I were about to go to teach her, I had told her all about how amazing this lady was. 
We show up, and she says ¨Good thing you came, I have A LOT of doubts.¨ Oh dear...
She told us she´d met this man, and mentioned that she was investigating our church... he then told her that all of our bishops are extremely corrupt, that we all practice polygamy, that if she got baptized it would be in the name of Joseph Smith, and that she´d have to give her daughter to the bishop as a wife... well, we obviously put those doubts to rest. And she was happy. ¨This is why i was so anxious to see you. I was praying all of that wasn´t true. What do you have to teach me today??¨ So we had an awesome lesson about the plan of Salvation, and she was super happy.
THEN. there was a knock at the door. guess who?? THE MAN.
turns out he is an apostate member, was baptized 20 years ago. He came in and immediately started yelling at us about how wrong we are and how awful the church is.
We were backed up against a wall in a very tiny room. After some long minutes, and some silent prayers, we bore testimony that what he was saying wasn´t doctrine, and that they both could learn for themselves. I´ve never had such a mixture of anger and the spirit in my life...can those things mix?? 
 but he wouldn´t have it. wouldn´t let us talk. But several times, Elsie interrupted him and said ¨You were baptized? and then you left because of some mistakes of another MAN? That has nothing to do with the church!¨ but he kept arguing. When he finally stopped to breathe, I testified again, that as missionaries we teach the truth, we don´t force our opinions on anyone, but that each person can learn for themselves. and then it was quiet for a minute. Elsie spoke up. 
¨We´re going to pray.¨She said to all of us. then, looking at him, ¨This Sunday, I´m going to church with the hermanas. I´m going to meet the bishop. And I´m going to keep preparing to get baptized. The Lord has led me to this church. I know that it´s true.¨
We prayed, and we left.
Friday: we went by the next day just to make sure everything was okay. She told us sorry he´d come over, and that she´d been praying that he wouldn´t come back... because ¨He´s from the devil to confuse her.¨ She´s smart, that Elsie. We had a short lesson, and told her we´d be by to pick her up on Sunday morning for church.
Sunday: We went by to get Elsie. She wasn´t there! Confused, we just went to the church. We walked into Relief Society and there was a big group of Hermanas in the front talking... they sat down, and there was ELSIE! She looked at me with a big grin and said ¨Sorry, hermanita. I woke up early this morning, and I was just too anxious to come to church...¨ alright.
¨But guess who else came to church??¨THE MAN. Sergio is his name. and he came to church. and he loved it.... apparently.....
we have another lesson with her tonight.. .and he said ¨I´ll be there!¨ But this time we´re bringing back up. Magalí! and Alan, our ward mission leader. I´ll keep you all posted! 

Okay, so sorry, that was a novel about Elsie, but it has been one of those expect the unexpected¨ rides with her.

*This week we met our goals of investigators progressing, finding prepared people who are willing to really stick with it, and our prayers have been answered. 
But even then, there are those random setbacks, and moments where you really have to analyze your progress.
There were several moments throughout the week that I thought ¨How am I supposed to do this?¨ Our schedules have been insane. We´ve been slammed with a bunch of changes in the mission, more things to do with leadership, and more hermanas in the area. But I´ve never been so happy to be dead-on my feet exhausted. 
There´s been this constant feeling of stress, the unknown, frustration and exhaustion... but it lasts a brief moment and then is over-rided by this feeling of peace, calm, and ¨don´t worry, I´ve got this.¨ That song played in the supermercado the other day, and i just smiled as it seemed to confirm the need to just rely on the ¨plan that heaven has for me.¨ (I´m sure Davis and Ryan will know what song I´m referring to.) 

This week, and really my goal for this transfer, is to recognize more my dependence on the Lord. Work harder and smarter, in the way that HE wants me to work. Develop more LOVE for everyone that I come in contact with. Submit, willingly and completely, to His work, and count the blessings and miracles that happen every day.
I´m SO grateful for the time the Lord has given me to serve Him. It´s not easy. But nothing worthwhile ever is. He knows exactly what I need, now and in the future, and every day the things I see, hear, and experience are contributing to the knowledge he wants me to have, the lessons I need to learn, and ultimately the person he knows I can become.

I love you all. My heart breaks when I have to receive news of the setbacks that Davis, and all of us faced this week. But you are all such an inspiration and a strength to me. Parents, you are my hero's...but really in every sense of the word. I couldn´t do this without you. Davis is inspiring. Patient, strong, and hopeful against all odds. I love that kid. Ryan, Emmi and Ben, you are all such good supporters, I love your letters, thoughts, and the people that you are becoming. (Although I wish you´d slow down a bit!) I´m thankful for each of you every day. And as hard as it is to be so far away, mission you and wanting to be there to help, I´m comforted with a knowledge that the Lord has you in His hands. He´s caring for you, and guiding you. He´s reminded me of that on several occasions. Know that I love you, I pray for you always, and I so appreciate the strength, love, and support that I can feel even here halfway round the world.

I hope everything goes well this week. Here´s to moving forward with faith, hope, and the reassurance of the wisdom of the Lord.
¨No te preocupes!¨ 
I love you all. 
xoxox Your Hermana C
*reunited at last! 

*last district picture. literally every picture. so we copied her.

*ciao hermana Lawrence. she makes this pose in EVERY picture.

*new comp!!! sorry, another selfie, 
we did it on the way to cyber...

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