Mi Querida Familia,
Ok first off, I just got off the phone with my mission president...turns out I'm getting transferred into a new area in two weeks! Kind of took me off guard, but I'm not the least bit worried. When President said where I was going, I had no doubt that it was what the Lord has in mind. I'm excited and can't wait....it also means I get to take the Defensive Driving course and get permission to drive! That's pretty exciting. I'm going to miss this area and my companions, but I think this new new change is going to motivate me to work a little harder these next few weeks.
this week has been very....wet. Saturday, it rained all day. It was like walking out into a waterfall at one point. And to make matters worse, elder Vance got a flat tire. since our truck is in the shop getting fixed, we had to walk from about 50th to 89th in the rain with our bikes on the side of the road. It was actually pretty fun. At one point we even broke out into singing "Army of Helaman". It was awesome. Except all our appointments fell through, but hey, that's norman:)
As for this past week...we've had some awesome experiences where we've definately felt the Sprit guide our lessons rather than our own intellect.
First off, we had two lessons with Juana this week. During both, we really focused on trying to invite her two baptism. Both times she backed down. As of now, she has not gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon and we are trying really hard to help her. She can't read and understand what she is reading very well, and The Book of Mormon as clear and simple it is with the Doctrine, is not quite Dr. Seuss. So we invited the children's story adaptation of the Book of Mormon along with the actual Book of Mormon. The children's version has pictures and will make it easier for her to understand. I pray she can find that inner desire to find out if the Church is true. We've met with her so many times and she herself has mentioned that she feels a certain power when we come into her home when we teach. I jsut want to yell at "It's the Spirit! Get Baptized!" and to an extent that is what we do minus the yelling part.
We found the perfect friend for Juana's daughter Tania. Last night we brough a member family to have a lesson with them and their little daughter Mayra is actually very similar to Tania's personality. It was so funny, when we were introducing eachother at the start of the lesson, both girls froze up and weren't willing to talk and introduce themselves. I felt the sudden prompting to play the Prophet activity with everyone. So before we started the lesson I said, "Ok we're going to play a game" I might have explained this activity before but if not, here it is: there is one person standing behind a group of people (this is God) and then there's one person standing in front of the group of people (the prophet) the point of the activity is that only the prophet can see God because everyone else is facing the prophet. The prophet then continues to mick whatever actions God does and the people have to "follow the prophet". It's an excellent MTC patented activity that really gets the point across.
Anyways the real magic the happened with the activity is that at one point Mayra and Tania played the parts or God and the prophet. The activity broke the ice between the two. And while my companions and I were having an intense discussion with the parents and Juana, the two little girls ran off and played together. INSTANT FRIENDSHIP! So cool! I love having members come to lessons with us.
And now for our incredibly instense lesson this week with Carlos. This man has been through soo much. I don't know how much to include because it's all incredibly personal. But basically, his 9-year old son who lives in El Salvador died this past week in a car accident while he was riding his bike. The irony and the karma was very apparent in his countenance when we came to visit Carlos. And this man has nothing...not even chairs to sit down in or a truck to drive to church. No job, no documents to travel to El Salvador, and no money to send to his family.
We went into the lesson planning to teach the Doctrine of Christ, but as we talked we all felt impressed to share something other than we had planned. I pulled out Alma 36 and talked about repentance and how the Atonement can replace our pain with exceedingly great joy. Elder Chapman shared the scripture in D&C when Joseph Smith was in Carthage jail. Elder Vance shared an experiance about when his mom died when he was kid. All three of us can testify that we did not go into that lesson planning on saying anything that we said that night. The spirit was there testifying, comforting and helping Carlos. He said very little, and we only taught for 30 minutes. But it was the most comforting 30minutes I've felt in a long time.
and then, the unthinkable. Carlos was still up and ready to attend church the next morning. He witnessed a great fast and testimony meeting and is excited for our lessons to continue. The branch is really jumping in to help find him a job and we're all excited to see him progress. It's a crazy situation, but whatever happens tonight, my companions and I all trust that the Spirit will let us know what to say and how to say it.
what a week. I could keep going with little spritual experiences I've had, but I've run out of time for today. all I can say is that I am witnessing a change of perspective with myself, a change of heart. I can't really explain it with words, but I am so glad I am on a mission right now.