A week filled with activities, working hard, challenges, fervent prayer, success, and miracles. I guess that´s what the mission is, huh? 🙂 Last Monday we had a stellar Family Home Evening planned with a great family in our ward and a family of investigators but last minute, the investigators bailed. We wanted to go to the Family Home Evening still and use it to our advantage so we called nearly all of our other investigators and visited those who we couldn´t call but nobody could! It was getting to be time when we had to go and so we said a humble prayer there in the street asking that we could find someone to bring with us to this Family Home Evening. As a last effort we went to ask one last investigator that we hadn´t seen in nearly 4 weeks. We went, knocked the door. Nothing. Discouraged we started heading our way to the FHE without a single investigator. We walked a few blocks and found a lady weeding in her front lawn. We had established the goal of offering service this week so right away we offerred to help and she accepted. As we helped we started talking and she invited us in. We sat down, still not exactly sure how we were going to meet with this woman and still get to our Family Home Evening on time. She offered us something to drink and instead of accepting we used the opportunity to tell her that we were on a way to an activity and invited her to come. And to our surprise, she accepted! And came! With her daughter and granddaughter! I won´t tell you look on the member´s face when he found out that we had just found these people and were going ot have our first lesson there in his house but…. Hahaha. The family had prepared to share the video of the Restoration which was just PERFECT. And at the end, the daughter shared that the lesson really touched her and had been given at the time and in the way that she needed.
This week I had the pleasure of meeting a sweet lady that didn´t know how to read when she first started investigating the church but she learned to read as she read the Book of Mormon. It´s a well worn book. Well worn and very well loved. We are so blessed in so many ways. I can´t even imagine not being able to read! I love her story because it shows her diligence and her great desire to overcome any barrier in order to know God and find out for herself if the Book of Mormon really is His word.
Working with less active members continues to be ever so incredibly rewarding. This week we had 8 less active members in Sacrament Meeting some of them with children or grandchildren. One of these is a Sister named Flor. Flor is setting goals to put her life back in order and has started assisting church regularly. Before the meeting started she found two other less active sisters that were returning too and invited them to sit by her. Once was lost, now is found. And now is followshipping others who are returning to the fold. 🙂
We actually got to know a new family, also less active but the father and children aren´t members (yet). It was a day surprisingly hot for Punta Arenas (we randomly had 2 days of 80 degree weather and everyone freaked out Hahaha). We were all seated at the table and as we shared I took off my shoes so they could get a little air. This family has a cute little puppy that´s only a few months old that was running around to and fro during the lesson. Well, we finally got the end of the lesson and I invited the family to pray together kneeling to finish but when I stood up my shoes weren´t there! Ah! So I had to awkwardly stand up and say, ´Um…. I think your dog took my shoes…´ They were all dying laughing. ´No wonder he was so quiet!´ ´hahaha! he took her shoes! hahaha!´ We all had a good laugh. Moral of the story, beware of the little ones… 😮 I swear those shoes were bigger than that puppy.
Thursday was the Day of the Dead. It´s a national holiday were everyone goes to the Cemetery to remember their loved ones that have passed away. They put flowers on their graves and just sit or stand for a bit to remember. Well, all of the missionaries went to the cemetary to sing for these people. We split up in small groups and went around offering to sing hymns to show our respect. It touched the hearts of many people including one lady who brought us from the grave of her cousin where we found her, to the grave of her parents, and then to the grave of her brother. We sang at all and were able to share with her the message and belief that we have that families can be together forever. She told us that she had been raised in a certain religion but never really believed. She barely believed in God. But that us singing, even though something very simple, was so beautiful and so perfect that it could only come from God. Don´t forget how your simple actions can bless the lives of others and help them remember the love of their Heavenly Father.
Saturday one of the wards in our stake had a missionary activity. All of the youth got to see what it was like to live a day in the life of a missionary. They slept in a different house (for some of them, for the first time). Got up early. Studied with us. Knocked doors. Taught lessons. Contacted people in the street or in colectivos. Everything we do in a normal day of missionary work. My companion and I got to be with the youngest of the Young Women. She´s actually not even in Young Women´s yet. She´s 11 years old but her birthday is in December so the bishop invted her to take part in the actiivty. Hermana Huerta was a kick to be with. So much faith. So much desire to share the gospel. And so excited to knock doors! Hahaa. It was a day complete with STRONG winds, rain, sun. The works. She was exhausted by 6 oclock from walking but we made it all the way to the end. At the end all of the youth had a devitional where they shared their experiences and their testimonies. All had distict experiences but all learned and all loved it. And we got to present them with a little diploma for completing.
Good stuff. We´re working hard and teaching a LOT of people. There are many people who are incredibly loving and receptive here. Our sights are set high for inviting people to come unto Christ and we are recieving many blessings.
Lots of love. Stay strong in the faith.