The week finally picked up on Saturday when we finally got in our first lesson. I realized after that, that I was having such a long, stressful, unhappy week because I hadn't had the chance to teach any lessons. We also went around with one of the young men in our ward and he showed us and introduced us to a bunch of the inactive young men of the ward. It was great to meet them and talk with them and get them pumped up for activities and getting back to church. As we were walking on the street at 9:00pm, we passed this kid that is probably like 12. He was carrying a wooden shoe cleaner box going around just trying to make a few pesos. He asked me if I wanted him to clean my shoes. Then I started talking to him casually and it was just such a great feeling to talk to him and get to know him a bit. I told him my goals of having activities with a bunch of young men in the area and invited him to join us and to come to church the next day. Then we said goodbye and continued to walk. And then Sunday was amazing! We had planned and expected at least 3 less active and 1 investigator in church and even went around to pick them up, but they all ended up not coming and we were so disappointed. But then, right before sacrament started, I saw the shoe cleaner kid walk in with one of the less active boys we met the night before. I was so stoked! I jumped up and went over and shook his hand and talked for a sec. Then walk in another investigator and 3 less actives we are working with!! So it ended up being a more successful day than we expected! And if that wasn't good enough, the fast and testimony meeting was fantastic! The testimonies were all so great and spiritual. There were people crying. Our ward is two areas; Pueblo Nuevo (my area) and Rafey, an area that has been struggling for a while. Well, pretty much all of the people from Rafey got up to bare their testimonies and there were a few who were inactive and less actives for a while who said how they are so thankful to be back in the church and how the missionaries have helped them so much. There were 5 young adult men from Rafey who went up there together with the Rafey missionaries. It was so awesome and everyone really enjoyed what they all said. After, everyone was commenting about how great sacrament was. Then, if that wasn't enough, we had 4 really great lessons after church and we met a few more new people AND got two references!! I know the lessons we taught were filled with the spirit and if the people we taught weren't changed, I at least was. Yesterday just made me so incredibly thankful to be a missionary and have the opportunity to teach people with the power and authority of God and the spirit. And I realized that I just love to talk and interact with people. And as I do so with these young men I am working with, I realize that honestly, sometimes all kids need is love. Or attention they don't get at home. Someone to show them they matter and are important. So I am so blessed to be able to be that for these amazing kids.
The lady lesson we had was at the house of a lady with cancer who is a convert of my trainer, Elder Rodriguez. I remember almost a year ago elder Rodriguez and I went to her house to visit her because she was supposed to die soon. Well, she's still alive! We were there to talk and visit with her son, but she had just started to make dinner so we helped her. It was me, my companion, our ward mission leader, and one of the young men in our ward named O'Neil who is way awesome and helps us a ton. It was such an inspiring moment because this lady dying of cancer who has to use a walker to walk and can only use one of her legs, was just being so independent and not complaining. She loved our help. Then after we finished, we had a lesson with her son and then sang a bunch of songs with and for the mom with cancer. In that moment, I really payed attention to the words of the Hymns and realized how much I love to sing church hymns. I know this all sounds so cheesy and greeny-missionary like. But I am not at all ashamed. I love everything about being a missionary and being churchy and singing church hymns and being a follower of Christ. I definitely have a terribly embarrassing voice, but I will sing at the top of my lungs if I have to. This church is true. I am blessed. Amen.
haha. You may not all feel as passionate about these things as I, but you can and will if you just share and live the gospel with all your heart. So get on it!
These pics are from a while ago
|The ones on the rock are in Santo domingo when we went. (Sorry Sav, but Santiago is wayyyy better;))|
|The other pics are when I went back to Salcedo for the baptism and when I visited one of my converts from my first area|