Wow, what a week! But, before I start, I just want to say happy bday to my birthday month buddy! I hope you had a good one Benson! I wrote that it was your birthday in my agenda, but I couldn't call you and tell you happy birthday or anything like that, but I was thinking about you!
Wow, crazy bear story! CRAZY AWESOME! Well, I'm glad that no one died or anything, cause that would really have been a bummer. Also, its good to hear that Harrison is doing great. He sent me an email and sounds wonderful. He said the language is coming .. . well, he thinks its coming . .jajaja. I lived in Mexico for 4 months, and I still couldn't speak or understand much when I got here. But, the good thing about Portuguese is that they have the same grammar set up that we have, and they talk back in the throat like us, so he won't have problems with the accent or mixing up his nouns and adjectives like all us Spanish learners.
Anyway, back to my busy week! Man, we come home every night casi muertos! But I love it!! Well, most of the time. Well, in the moment I don't love it, but at the same time I do. Hard to explain.
Serving a mission is like throwing a sponge into a pool and telling it to soak in all the water. CAN'T BE DONE!!! Every day I think "man, how will I remember this all?" And you just can't. So instead of worrying about soaking in all the water, I'm just going to go for a swim!! Cause the water is warm, and the sun is shining.
So, the week started out kinda slow. We didn't teach much and our numbers were kinda low. Plus it was super hot!! And we were just dying of heat every day cause we still have to wear all our winter stuff cause at night it gets cold. But Chilean climate is another story. Anyways, on Friday, the zone leaders called us cause they had a referencia for us, which was good, then they said, and I quote (well, I guess it is more like translate), "Hermanas, tomorrow all the zone leaders and district leaders in our stake our going to llay llay for the activity "missionary attack" and since you two are super bacan we want you to come with us."
You see llay llay is a branch right now and there used to be 2 wards there. So the stake planned an activity where the district leaders, zone leaders and sister leaders would go to llay llay the Saturday before ward conference to visit less active member and invite them to ward conference the next day. It was super awesome that we got invited, cause the activity was just for the leaders, but we told them that our numbers were pretty low for the week, and that we needed to be in our sector on Saturday to invite people to church and stuff. But we made a deal with them and said that if that day (Friday) sacamos la mulgre, then we would go to llay llay the next day.
Now, I bet you are waiting on pins and needles to know what happened. Well, we did more than sacar la mulgre. We killed it that day. Doors opened left and right. We practically doubled our numbers in one afternoon. It was incredible, and we knew the Lord was telling us that He needed us in llay llay the next day.
So on Saturday, all the district leaders, zone leaders and sister leaders met up . . . and US!!! It was way sweet. We loaded up into cars and headed off for llay llay. It was a way cool feeling. It was like when Alma, in the scriptures, gathered together his dream team of missionaries to go preach the word: The sons of Mosiah, his two sons, Zeezrom and Amulek. I felt like part of a powerful army going out to preach the word! A very cool experience.
We got back from the activity at like that night, and only had 3.5 hours to do all our work before Saturday. But it was an amazing 3.5 hours! Like incredible!!
So, the first thing we did was visit D*, but she wasn't there. Sad. So we went to go contact a reference. We had received this reference a few days ago. Hermana Peralta contacted a woman in the streets, E**, and she ended up being a menos activo. We asked if we could come visit her and her husband, who isn't a member. She didn't really want us to come, but we squeezed a cita out of her anyway. She stopped going to church when she was little and doesn't really remember much. We showed up at her house and her husband was there, Jo** sae llama. At first I thought that they wouldn't invite us in. . . but they did! I can't really describe the lesson in words, but it was incredible!
Jo**, at the beginning of the lesson expressed a desire to change his life. He wanted more unity in his family and more patience. We taught him about the restored gospel and how he could find this unity by following the guidelines of living prophets. We also told him that when he was baptized he would receive the priesthood and could use it to bless his family. There was a part in the lesson where I felt like I needed to testify that he was a son of God, and that through Jesus Christ he could change, and he could be forgiven. I knew that if I said that it would break the flow of the lesson, but when that thought came to my head I knew it was satan. So I opened my mouth and I testified that he was a son of God, and the spirit filled the room. I know for a fact he felt it. It was so strong. We put him with fetcha, and he said that they would come to church the next day. When we left that lesson I was on top of the world (looking down on creation, and the .. . jajaja . .. broma!) I just felt so full of the spirit.
We decided to go see if a part member family was home, but as we were walking to their house we passed the house of another part member family (well they're not really a family cause they are living together and have no kids). Hermana Peralta asked me what we should do, cause this family is usually never home, but we had a cita with the other family. I said, vamos. Ellos nos necesitan. So we went to visit the second family (the one we didn't have a cita with). Well, only Dan* was there, his "wife," was still at work. But we NEVER find Dan* at home, and we knew that we needed to teach him, so we asked him if we could keep the door open while we taught him. He said fine.
He is a member, but went inactive when he was 17 because they changed bishops in his ward and he didn't like the new bishop .. . pathetic! We entered the house and it smelled like cigarettes and beer. It hurt my heart to know that this man had made a covenant with God and was knowingly breaking it.
We said a pray and then just stared talking to him. He said that he knew he was breaking the commandments but that he didn't care. He could repent later. He said he didn't want to marry his girlfriend cause he knew that it wasn't going to work out, and that he wasn't really in love with her. I mostly just listen, and prayed to know what I should say to him. Hermana Peralta wasn't saying much, which I thought was odd cause she always has a scripture, or something. But I felt, and later found out the Hermana Peralta also felt that I was the one who needed to talk. But I had no idea what to say.
A million scriptures came to my mind, but none of them seemed right. There was a million things I could have said, but I knew I couldn't wait. I just had to open my mouth and talk. I started asking him questions, looking for the right thing to say, but nothing seemed right. Then Hermana Peralta said "Its terrible that you think you can live like this and just repent later." When she said that it hit me. I don't know why, but the story of Samuel the prophet came to my mind. When the Lord called him and he thought it was Eli. I knew I needed to share this scripture story with him. So I took out my bible. I knew the story was in the book of Samuel, but I didn't know if I could find it. Especially in my Spanish scriptures. But, I literally opened right to it.
I read him the story, and at the end of it I knew what I needed to say. I said "The Lord called Samuel 4 times until he finally listened. How many times has he called you? How many times have the missionaries knocked on your door? How many times have they invited you to repent? And how many times have you turned to the world for answers to your problems, like Samuel turned to Eli? The Lord is calling you again, and I don't know how many more times he will call you, but if I were you I would listen. It is not by chance that we knocked on your door this night. Repent of your sins and come back to church, cause the Lord might be getting sick of calling you."
Never in my life have I felt the spirit so strong. It was weird. I didn't really feel like I was talking, but I felt like someone else was talking through me. Those didn't feel like my words.
After I said that, the room was silent for a moment. No one had anything to say. Then, Hermana Peralta said "I know what my companion said is true. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.
And Amen it was.
Dan* didn't come to church the next day. And we passed by the house of Jo*. He tried to return the book of Mormon we had given him. He doesn't want to listen to us anymore. D** didn't come to church, Fe* didn't come to church, C* didn't come to church. Wow, what failures we are . . . NOT!! We cried repentance to the people. We invited them to come on to Christ. To find rest from their labors. To lay their sins at the feet of Jesus and be clean, but they never sent an RSVP. The invitation has been sent, and unlike Chilean mail, the spirit doesn't go on strike, these people just haven't opened their mail box. The answers are just sitting out their waiting, but I can't make them get off the couch, turn of the TV and go check the mail. That's something they have to do on their own.
So that's the week, well .. . kinda. Love you all, and hope you all have a wonderful week! Remember to follow the spirit!