Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014 - Jumping in with both feet...Puddles and all.

Hola Mis Queridos!! 
So this has been one of those ¨learn to roll with the punches¨weeks. Not that there´s ever a ¨normal¨week, but this was one of those ¨how flexible are you?¨Midway through the week,
the weather decided to change drastically from the heat of the heat, to torrential rain. And I don´t just mean here and there. Like 5 days straight of downpour and flooded calles. 

You know me, I would never complain about thunderstorms. But I have to say, it does make the work a little difficult down here. We spent several days walking and walking and walking. No one was in the streets, appointments kept falling through, and I honestly can´t remember a time of being so wet and cold and soaked to the bone in my life. 
It got to the point where people yelled out the window ¨Chicas! Go home! You´re going to get sick!¨ And when we managed to find potential or antiguos investigadores at home, they wouldn´t let us in because we were so wet! 
We showed up to one antiguo, Neli. She came out, shrieked. gave us an umbrella, and a towel. We talked for a few minutes and then she said. ¨As a mother, I¨m telling you to go home to your pensión. You are going to get sick!! God has seen your sacrifice. Go home.¨ We thanked her for the umbrella, and walked out into the storm again. 
We had to take the keys to let some of the youth into the church, and when we showed up, the bishop had already let them in. The look on his face at first was shock...and then, a knowing, ¨i´ve been there as a missionary¨smile crossed his face. And as he handed me a towel, he said ¨These are the days you remember the most, you know.¨

Isaiah 55: 10-12
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 
For ye shall go out with joy , and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 

Rain has this great way of giving you a fresh perspective. I love the contrast...all the clouds, everything is gray...but it makes the ¨brilliant¨things just that much more prevalent. And the miracles just that much more meaningful.

*Early on in the week, we were walking down a street, and this little girl crossed, and came up and asked us for ¨Tarjetas de Jesús¨ Jesus cards. So I gave her one, and realizing that there wasn´t anyone else around, asked about her family. She told us she lived with her mom right around the corner ¨She´s pregnant,¨she told us ¨You should go visit her.¨ So we took down the address. 
We went that next day, and she welcomed us in. We got to know her. Super great, young mom. We explained a little bit about what we teach, and then we sang ¨Soy un hijo de Dios¨. When we finished she just looked lost for words. She sighed, and smiled and just said ¨That brought me more peace than I¨ve felt in a long time.¨
We started into how this is the root of our message, taught her alittle about the Plan de Salvación. She invited us to come back and teach her and her daughter. ¨This is what I¨m looking for for my family.¨

*Another day walking in the street. There was NO ONE. then we passed a man inside a store window. ¨Hola! Cómo anda?¨ I called as we passed. A few minutes later, we heard him behind us. ¨Ey!¨we turned around. we got to talking. and he told us that he felt like he needed to talk to us because we are ¨so happy and content even in the pouring rain!¨ We told him who we were, and he told us he´s looking to come closer to God. He´s had some trials, but really wants to know what God wants from him. We invited him to church, and took down his info. As we were saying goodbye, he said ¨Now I know why you´re so happy, because you are ANGELS, and it´s beceause you´re close to God. That´s what I¨m looking for!¨ 

*I got a letter from San Juan this week. Nicolas and Ivana got baptized! and are so Happy!!!! Viviana Sesma is teaching in Relief Society now, and their family is flourishing! 
Then, we went to a ¨last minute¨meeting in Mendoza, and we walked in and I found myself enveloped in a giant hug! 8 or 9 of the Young Women from my ward in San Juan were there for the youth fireside. I was so happy to see them, and they one by one told me all that was going on in San Juan. I left a big part of my heart there, and they will always be part of my life!

*Magalí has been meeting with the bishop this week, and she just started mission prep and is now preparing her papers to leave in December. The changes are miraculous!

*Mauricio. Is reading his scriptures and praying every day. We haven´t been able to see him because he started working doubles, is never home, and hasn´t been able to come to church either. But we went last night to see them, and justo, he and Ivana were there drinking maté. So we had a lesson about what we learned in Relief Society, ¨The small and simple things that strengthen the family.¨and we read the Proclamation..... THEN. They told us that they´re in the process of paperwork to finally get MARRIED. and then he can be baptized. find a new job to come to church as a family.Help Magalí prepare for her mission. and THEN  He wants to baptize their younger daughter Milena!!! 
It´s a process, and will happen over time. But the desire is there, the plans are there, and the Lord is working miracles in the lives of this family! 
I love them so much!!

This week I was reminded of how great it is to be a part of this work. It is hard. And there are days when I wonder the same as the people ¨What on earth are we doing out here in the pouring rain??¨ But then I look around, and realize how blessed I am to be here. 
I know that the Lord loves me. He knows where I am. He does see my sacrifice. but in the end, the sacrifice¨i give is nothing in comparison with what he´s given me. This is what missionaries do. Scorching heat or torrential floods. Wading in mud or dripping in sweat. 
It´s what makes us who we are. We´re strange in their eyes, we´re different, 
 but the message we have is just THAT important. 
And so we JUMP IN WITH BOTH FEETpuddles and all

xoxo Your Hermana C

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