I want to share the story of Rosa Maria. It's a super cool story.
So when I first got to the area, I was freaking out because we had literally no body to teach. Whitewashing the area pretty much. So while in the process of doing everything I could to find more people to teach and serve, I searched our house and found a super old area book. ( An area book is a big binder filled with information of people past missionaries have found, taught, contacted, baptized, ect...) The area book we had and were using was super outdated and not kept up with. So I dug through the other area book. I ended up finding a paper with the name of Rosa Maria. I don't remember why exactly, but it interested me a lot and I felt that we should find her again. So I took the paper with me and asked a bunch of different people how to find her, where she lived, who she was. Everything. After like two weeks of this, I ended up on a long dirt road out in he middle of nowhere of my area where we had never been. No idea how we got there or why were were in that area. I just remember all the sudden realizing I had no clue where we were. I felt to walk down the dirt road a little more. (Again, no clue why.) Then we eventually came across a house. I went up to it and shouted, "Saludos!" Out walked an old lady. I asked for Rosa Maria (not knowing why I was asking her because I had no idea where we were or where this Rosa lady lived. Plus there are like a million Rosa maria's) The lady said that it was her daughter!! So we had a quick lesson with the lady and then scheduled a time to come back. When we came back the next time, Rosa Maria was there and instantly invited us to sit and talk with her. She was so happy we came back and found her again. She said other missionaries had visited with her a few times, but one day jut never came back and she didn't know why but really wanted us to come back. We literally found her in the exact, perfect time. She was super ready to accept the gospel and willing to change. She started coming to church with us and she loved it. We made a big effort to find her husband because she told us they were married. Like really, actually married by the law!! Which is like almost impossible to find here! So eventually we found Juan there at a good time and started sharing with them both. They had many different problems within their marriage, but I saw them grow so much! Rosa's two daughters were always present aswell and love us. One of the daughters, Nicole, is like 12 and pretty set on being Catholic with her grandma, but Yokida who is 8, was all for going to church every Sunday and being baptized! I loved teaching them so much! It was always a great time. I was so sad when I had to leave. And they were too. I remember when I went to their house to tell them that I was leaving and say goodbye. They all cried their eyes out and it was pretty emotional. But I can call them from time to time so that is nice. They were super happy I got to go visit then the last time and that I could go back for their baptism as well. The Lord literally led me to them. I had no idea where I was going nor how I even got there. But the Lord led me. The coolest and trippiest part to me is that when I went back to write more info on the paper that I had originally found that led me to her in the first place, it was nowhere to be found. I searched and searched. But I never again found that paper. Makes me wonder if there really ever was a paper in the first place ;) The Lord is awesome! And works in super cool ways.
I'm super happy and content with everything in Salcedo. I am really greatful for the missionaries there working hard and taking care of my people! I love Salcedo and am so happy that it is being pored on with success! To think that it was such a dead area just 5 months ago to what it is now is crazy! It's awesome what just hard work and dedication can do in such little time.