Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Week 28

January 7 2014

Well, this week was pretty tough. I had a raging fever for 5 days, which is kind of cool because it made me feel like some stereotypical explorer who traveled to the jungle and got some weird disease. There is definitely some pretty crazy stuff down here. A few transfers ago, my companion got a fungus which ate the flesh off of the soles of his feet. Pretty intense.
Ok, not much happened this week, but I didn't have time to write a bunch from last week, so here it goes...
Baptism! We baptized a young man named Francisco. He's pilas. We really didn't have to do too much and so there's really not too much to say. It's a great blessing to see another person start on that path to eternal life. I hope he gets sent on a mission to Oregon.
As great as his baptismal service was, it wasn't my favorite experience of the week. Before I describe what happened, I'll start out with some background.

We have a recent convert family who is super, super poor. The husband, Mauricio, is pretty old and just had a major operation. They have several young kids and no fresh water and little food. He just sits in pain all day long in his swelteringly hot casa de lamina with blood oozing from the giant slice in his stomach (which I'm sure will soon be infected). The problem is that they don't really want anything with the church. He only listens to us to ask for money from the church. Anyway, on Sunday my companion and I were talking about what to do with them.  We really had no idea. We couldn't give up and drop the like we would if they were investigators, but when had yet to see any progress from our lessons. 
Anyway, we left to work not knowing what we would do. Later that day we visited another family in our area, the Alvisures Family. The wife is a recent convert and the husband is a non-member and they have 4 young children. They are also super poor. Right now they make and sell tortillas, earning less than 4 dollars each day. With that money, they can buy food for the next day. Basically, their entire family is living hand to mouth every day. I love this family so much. Their lives have been transformed by the gospel beyond anything I have ever seen on my mission. When we first started visiting them, they were having serious marital problems. The husband drank and was abusive. The wife was always crying. One lesson she asked us if it was a sin for her to ask for God to kill her. However, as they have begun to read the Book of Mormon and keep the commandments, they have become so much happier. I've never seen a change so dramatic. They are always so happy now. The husband and wife are like newlyweds. They're always holding hands and joking. They want to learn everything they can about the gospel. Sister Alvisures paid her tithing for the first time this Sunday.

When we arrived that day, the wife told us when we began the lesson that she had something to tell us. She said that she had a dream last night in which an old man, who refused to show her his face, told her that we (the missionaries) would come that day. He told her that near her house lived a family that was suffering a lot. They also were poor and didn't know what to do. He said they didn't want to listen to the missionaries anymore, but needed to hear her testimony and hear how she has been able to keep going despite her challenges. She asked us who this family was because she had never met them. I had goose bumps because she so perfectly described them and where they lived. Needless to say, we took her right away to visit Mauricio and his wife, despite the fact that they live in La Linea (the most dangerous part of our area) and it was night. We just left everything in their house except 10 quetzales and a Book of Mormon and left. Sister Alvisures shared an incredibly powerful testimony which I would say helped her even more than Mauricio. We haven't visited him since, so we don't know what the outcome will be, but it was a great testimony builder for me, that this really is God's work and that he knows me individually, as well as my investigators and converts and that He will help us move His work along.

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