March 24, 2015
Well, it feels like I was just barely here, and this week that's actually true, since I wrote last Thursday. Anyway, the highlight was that, after fighting through an incredible amount of investigators who received their answer but haven't progressed, we finally had a baptism! On Sunday we had a very spiritual baptismal service for Janet Garcia. She was a miracle and another example of how much faster the Work will progress through members than through our own efforts (such as knocking doors). We met her for the first time a few Sundays ago when she attended church with a family of recent converts, la familia Lopez. They had invited her and after that we just had to teach her. In no time she was ready for baptism. Now she's super excited to bring the rest of her family to church and I'm confident that because of her example, they'll all be baptized in not too long. Janet is super pilas and was incredibly prepared. We put the fecha fija (I have no idea how to translate that, it's like the set date or something when we the investigator commits to a certain date to be baptized); anyway we put the fecha fija right in front of all her family. Her dad especially had not been very positive to us, but right in front of everyone we challenged her to baptism next Sunday and she accepted. Everyone was a little surprised, to say the least, but it was a cool trial of her faith.
That's about it for this week. My companion and I are having an awesome time and the zone is doing great. Lots of miracles this week. There’s even an elder from Oregon in the zone, Elder Myer. We're down to just 4 in the mission, in the unlikely case that anyone was interested.
Love you all!
March 31, 2015
This week was probably the fastest in all my mission. We had so little time to work in our area, it was kind of frustrating. It would seem that the Lord continues to teach me patience. Why is it that the only way to develop more patience is by being in situations that try it? I feel like this week was blessed with an increased number of those lovely moments when you start to fear that your eyes will bleed or some artery will rupture from all the stress and crazy things going on. Luckily though, I'm still here, so don't worry. My eyes and arteries will be better off because of it. Anyway, it was still a great week, some highlights:
- A baptism! It was of Hermana Vilma, a woman who the elders here had been teaching for quite some time but who, due to complications with her pregnancy, had been bedridden for a couple of months. She was very anxious to finally be baptized and it was a blessing to be able to help her in her eternal progression in our own small way. She's the third single mom that I've baptized in this area and the 6th woman. Not sure why we only teach women. The problem is that they really are more pilas than the men. We had a Family Home Evening yesterday with Hermana Janet, who got baptized last Sunday. It's so great to be able to see investigators be truly converted and then want to share the gospel with everyone else. I feel like desires to do missionary work is the crowning indicator of conversion. I'm confident that her family will be baptized in not too much longer.
- Also, I'm feeling pretty full of the Spirit right now, as we just came off of a really cool experience, a miracle really. There's a companionship of sisters in the zone that has been struggling with some little issues in obedience and diligence. I was very nervous to talk to them because it's always difficult to correct hermanas, they're so different from the elders. It's not their fault or anything, just for an elder to correct an hermana isn't as easy as just pulling an elder aside and saying "hey, what's going on with you guys?" However, knowing that it was our responsibility to do something, we pulled them aside and expressed to them our concerns. The Spirit was so strong and we could feel it guiding us and telling the Hermanas the things they needed to improve. They were very repentant and my worry about them has ceased. I guess I just can never get over how great a blessing the Spirit is. Feeling that guidance and the mantel of whatever calling we have is way worth the "sacrifices" we have to make in order to stay worthy of its companionship. It's such an amazing experience to feel that you-re being an instrument in the Lord's hands.
- Yesterday for P-day my companion needed to buy new shoes, but, being a size 14 there was nothing that fit him here. We got permission to leave the mission and a family took us to Miraflores, one of the nicest malls in Guatemala. Now, obviously, I'm not a mall person or anything, but it was cool just seeing how big and expensive everything was. I felt like I was sitting right in the middle of the great and spacious building. My favorite part was that in the parking garage they had little cameras above all of the parking spaces that were connected to a light on the ceiling. When a car was parked in the parking space, the light would change from green to red. Making it quick and easy to be able to find an empty space. You just had to scan around for a few seconds until you could see a green light. After looking at some shoes in the mall that cost 750 Quetzales ($100), we finally ended up going to a megapaca, (similar to Good Will) and buying a pair for 24 Quets, ($3).
- Lifesavers! I found a box of lifesavers that a person was selling in a tienda in our area. They were real Lifesavers and everything. I bought the entire box for 10 Quets. In other words, I paid 12.5 cents per roll of Lifesavers, each of which contains 14 Lifesavers. That's less than a penny a Lifesaver! Yeah, that was awesome.
- The rainy season has begun! At last! We got our first rain on Sunday and I was dancing with joy. It has been far too long.
Well, as you can see, life here is going well. Love you all!