Wow I feel like I blinked and this week started and ended! I am not even sure where to start!
So this week started off with some hard news. We called our friend Virginia, the mom of Christian and Brian, the cute little family from Bolivia, and she said that the older man that she lives with and takes care of doesn't want to her to meet with us. He doesn't like being left alone, and he is very Catholic, so if she wants to go to church she will go there. These disappointments can be so difficult, because we have done everything, EVERYTHING in our power to teach them and help them accept the gospel and be blessed but there are just some things we cannot control, the only solution is to pray. Their time may come sooner or later, but it will surely come, it is just hard to see them progress, and then not be able to continue, they are so golden!
Hermana Burgos and I have been trying to look for more and more opportunities to serve and love people, and God is blessing us with so many opportunities! We called up a lady named Ines who was fairly recently baptized, and she said she didn't have time to meet because she is fixing up a room and painting it in her apartment, we told her OF COURSE that we would love to come and help her! She giggled and thought we were weird for being so enthusiastic, and said we can help. I have struggled my whole mission to know if truly I am working hard enough, getting good numbers, and making others feel of Our Heavenly Father's love every day. With how much I have been studying about Charity and Service, I realize how much I lack, and how I really need more of this Christ-like attribute. I try to think a little bit more every day about others, not about how well I might be able to explain the doctrine, or hope that my words come out okay in Spanish or find the right scripture, but truly LISTENING and letting the Lord speak through me so that I know what to say. This can make us feel very vulnerable. I find myself thinking all the time on the street or in church or in lessons wondering too much what others think of me or if I am making a big enough difference, but the truth is, I think of the Savior and what he would do, and all that he did had NOTHING to do with himself. I cannot picture him wondering about what to say or what others thought of him, he simply served and loved. So that is what I have really enjoyed about these past couple of weeks, as we spend our time and energy trying our best to make others feel loved, and then we see that the Lord blesses us so much with just enough time in the day to accomplish our goals. It truly is amazing.
I think I also told you last week about a man named Juan, who we met as we passed a member on the street last week. She was encouraging him to learn more about the gospel, and we have met with him a few times this week, he has been so prepared :) I love his sincerity, we teach and he nods and says "okay, okay, okay" the entire time. He really applies himself to learn in English classes, too. We also invited him to baptism and he is very excited to take this step in his life and to continue learning more! I will tell you more about him next week! I sent a picture of him in our English classes. He is from Columbia and loves baseball, and his dream is to come to New York, hehe.
We also had another experience that really touched my heart. A man who has been a bit inactive in the church lately called us the other day and said he wanted us to do a family home evening in his house. That night we went and found out that he and his wife (both members in the ward) are in the process of being divorced (they have struggled for the past 5 years). He really just opened up to us about how he feels so much pain, but knows he needs to get back on the right path, especially for his 6 kids. It softened my heart to see his humility and trust in us. We felt the spirit very strong as we read about holding onto the Iron Rod and did an activity to demonstrate holding on to the rod. It continues to amaze me the way people open up to us as missionaries and servants of the Lord, I love it, and love feeling like we can help them. I do not know what will happen to this family and it makes my heart hurt to think about it, but I know that the gospel heals hearts and brings family closer, because I have seen that in my life. He and his daughter are also studying Preach My Gospel and want to help us teach people!
Okay, I am out of time, but just wanted to share a funny story. Ha, one of our investigators, Luis (little bit of an odd duck, but we sure love him) came to the baptism that the Elders had this weekend. After, I was talking to him, seeing if he liked it, or had questions, and he said that he had already been baptized... in the Catholic church, normal stuff. But THEN, hehe, he told me he was baptized again. One day he just went to the ocean and decided to start a new life, and he submerged himself in the water, himself. Ha. We will have to touch up on baptism this week.
I hope you have a great week!!!! I CANNOT WAIT TO TALK TO YOU!!!
Love, Hermana Mather
p.s. You should watch the video "Because of Him" if you haven´t seen it. IT IS BEAUTIFUL. I cry every time I see it!
|Near the ocean with Ani Flores, an incredible member here,|
she served a mission in Venezuela and lots to come do visits with us when she can.
She reminds me a lot of Danae Carlson, very inspired and just FUN.
We ate Cachupas with her, yum :)
|All squished in the car to eat at a member´s house. Hehe.|
|I love my companion!!!|
|The view from a member´s home.|
|A Little bit more of what our area looks like!|
Still lots of city, with ocean view :) the beaches here have black sand!
|Our district (family) after district meeting.|
We each brought salad, bread, and drinks to eat together in the church.
How fun :)
Magnolia. Ha what a cute member.
Investigated the church for 20 YEARS. Wow.
Gave me a picture she painted!
|Mari, our Venezuelan grandmother :) She makes the BEST sandwiches.|
A recent convert of Elder Argyle, she has the biggest heart I have every seen.
All of the Hermanas came to our piso and we made quesadillas together after zone meeting.
Love these Hermanas!!
|Hehehe. Helping one of the less-actives in our ward paint.|
We were sooo excited to be able to serve her!! How fun!
|English classes with Arepas from Columbia!|
On the right is Juan, an incredible man who will be baptized in two weeks!
|Making cookies for Mom´s in the ward.|
Mothers Day is one week before, and they love American cookies, hehe.
|Its getting really hot here. haha|