Hmmm… Where do I even start? February 3, 2014

This week was EPIC! They just keep getting better and better. First of all, two weeks back, I wrote Julia a story of a funny lesson we had and she gave me permission to copy and paste it. Hahah.

 
Yesterday we had the absolute funniest lesson ever. I am not sure if words could do it justice. We went to visit this guy we´d met in the street a few days before, named Ivan. He seemed really nice and invited us to come back and teach him. Just before we went we were trying to find a member to go with us because we were only one lesson short of meeting our Lessons with Members goal for the week but we couldn´t find anyone so we just went anyway. When we went, his friend Juan, who was also the Godfather of Ivan´s daughter was there. Of course, we always teach everyone who will listen so we invited both to listen. We asked Juan if he had ever shared with missionaries before and he said no. Cool. So we start talking and of course we have to start with the most basic which is to see if they believe in God and if so, who they believe God is. So Juan starts going off on this whole SPEEL about who knows what and then all of the sudden he stops and he´s like, ´OKay, I lied. I HAVE met with missionaries before.But it was a fraud.´ Whaaaaa? So then of course we ask why. Turns out, 10 years ago he was meeting with the missionaries. He loved it. He had really made lots of changes, quit smoking, the whole deal. He was ready to be baptized. And then one day the bishop and him were talking and the bishop asked if he was going to go to some activity the next day and Juan said no because he had to cut his lawn because it was way tall and he couldn´t see his dog when it was playing out back because the grass was so high. So the bishop was like, don´t worry about it. We´ll take care of it. They planned to cut his lawn while Juan was at work. Juan told the bishop, do whatever you want with my lawn just don´t cut the tree. Welp, as I´m sure your scary movie moniter says, they cut the tree. Which was actually the neighbor´s tree. AND they lost his dog… Gu-reat. So when the missionaries showed up he was like, ´Dude, what happened to my dog and to the tree? ´ And the missionaries (two guys from the US who probably didn´t speak spanish that well) said, ´Ah don´t worry about it, Give thanks to God.´ Well, that was the last straw for Juan and he told them to get lost and never come back. Those poor missionaries! Juan told us the whole story in great detail and it looked like it was first time he had shared it since it happened 10 years ago. Hahahaha. A dog and a tree. Hahahahaha. And when he ends his HOUR LONG story, his friend Ivan was like, ´Okay, so what we get from that story is that Juan has nothing against you guys and that really he just needs to see a psychologist.´ HAHAHA. We were dying laughing.
 
So then we´re teaching the whole Restoration in detail and Juan is asking all these questions and Ivan rolling his eyes every now and then whenever Juan buts in. And then all of the sudden in walks the brother of Juan RIGHT at the climax when we explain Joseph Smith and the first vision. Here they always say hello by giving you a kiss on the cheek but as missionaries we can´t kiss men on the cheek so I was like, dang, here we ago with the awkward ´we can´t ´ explanation and then to my surprise the brother shakes my hand and says ´hola hermanas.´ Ummm… Cool. Didn´t ask because we had already been there so long that we didn´t want to go back and explain the whole thing again so we just were like, ´Hi nice to meet you, sorry you´re jumping in at the end but you´re welcome to listen.´ So the brother plops down and after we explain the whole first vision the brother says to Ivan ´Did you get that?´ and Ivan goes, ´No, they´re explaining it to Juan,´ because by this point we had basically put all of our attention on him even though he technically wasn´t the one we had come to see. And the brother goes, ´Dude, listen. This is really important. I actually love this religion. I got baptized and everything.{ Dun, dun, DUN! And Ivan was all in shock like, ´What? What?´ and the brother is like ´Uh like 10 years ago.´ (then we hear the wife of Ivan in the kitchen with the wife of the brother asking all worried if she had been baptized too and the wife of the brother responds ´no, don´t worry.´) Oh gosh. It was insane. I can´t even tell you how surprising it was. And then the brother goes off on this amazing explanation of all these reasons why the mormon church is better than the catholic church with temples and tithing and all sorts of things. I died. Last night after all was said and done my comp and I stayed up laughing our heads off for over an hour talking about all the details of that lesson. 🙂
 
 
Last week I didn´t have time to write about Alex, this less active we found. Last week for our weekly planning we decidedto take the time to use the ward list we have and divide it between our sector and the elders´ sector and then deivide the people in our sector into zones and then organize them all so we can find all the less actives that we don´t know (or find out if they actually live there anymore). So that afternoon we had the whole list and we decided to go look for some of the people on the list when one of our appointments fell through. After not finding a few or having nobody come to the door we came to one house and knocked the door. To our surprise a member that we recognized came to the door. She was just as shocked as we were. She said they were constructing some things and it made her embarrassed to let us in. I think my companion didn´t quite get that and just went in anyway so I followed! The sister who is a little elderly invited us to the humble back room where their make shift kitchen is and invited us to sit down. We really had no idea who she was or even what her name was so we sat down and started asking her about herself and with time it came out that her son was less active and had had some really sad things happen with his wife and daughter and now the two, she and her son, were living there alone. After a bit, her son came home from work and was equally surprised to see us. He was really shy and we had to ask a gazillion questions to get him talking. We invtied him to go find his Book of Mormon at the end of the visit and then we prayed with them and left. A few short days later we decided to stop by again to get to know the son better. 
 
The mom answered the door again but this time was really excited to see us. She and her son were just sitting down to eat the last meal of the day, once, which consists of tea or coffee, with bread and some sort of topping. So we sat down and this time as we talked, the son opened up a lot more, telling us of the heartbreaking things that had happened that led him to inactivity. We naturally transitioned into teaching about the difference between a testimony and a conversion and the lesson slash conversation was really spiritually charged. When we finished the son hung his head a bit and then said he got it. Then he suddenly gets up from the table and leaves the room. Confused, we kept talking to the mom and then the son returned with a stack of books in his hands. It was all of his scritpures! He said that he had looked for them as we had asked and had started reading again! We closed the lesson by singing Más Cerca Dios de Ti (Nearer My God to Thee) and the room just FILLED with the Spirit. Then we said a humble prayer. When we all said Amen and lifted our heads both gave us sincere thanks. The mom admitted that nobody visits them .She said ONCE a sister had come to visit her but then said it was depressing and never came back. Then the son thanked us as well. ´I really appreciated your visits. I have learned a lot and I hope you have learned too. They´ve really benefitted me. And I hope… I hope you can continue coming over.´ When we left that lesson our hearts were bursting with joy and gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who had put them in our path. If we had known this sister´s name or known that she lived there we probably woudn´t have stopped by. But Heavenly Father is so wise. 🙂
 
That was really cool to hear about the stake fast. I LOVE that McCord took his umbrella to church. Faith is ACTION. I am learning that more and more because I am just surrounded by missionaries (sisters and elders alike) that are incredibly examples of faith.  Our district leader and his companion, for example have been tremendous examples for us. Their ward really should be a branch and it´s been slowly dying off for years. When they came there was an assistance of 20 people and almost all elderly. The youngest couple was 50 something. Our District Leader´s companion came and his first Sunday they announced that they were going to close the ward and sell the chapel if they couldn´t get their assistance up. Talk about opposition! But they have been working and working and praying and fasting. And we have been too! Last week they had some really amazing investigators come out of the works. One of our focuses as a District has been sharing the miracles and this week we LOVED the miracles they shared! Thursday they had had a SOLID day of teaching, perhaps a record for their sector, and they were going to close with one of their principle investigators that they´re trying to prepare for baptism. But when they went he wasn´t there. They called and he said he was still at work and wouldn´t get home until really late and that they´d have to have their lesson another day. They were really bummed and one said to the other, ´Why would Heavenly Father ruin a wonderful day right at the end? That was our best appointment! To close off the day with a bang!´ to which the other responded, ´Unless Heavenly Father simply has something better for us.´ They decided to visit a member that lived nearby and it just so happened that this member´s sister was visiting and was VERY sick. The day before she had been praying that the Lord send her the Elders because she didn´t know how to contact them and she really needed a Priesthood Blessing. They looked at each other in that moment and KNEW that THIS was where the Lord had preferred for them to be.
 
I sent a picture of Maria who is a less active member that we visit every week. She s a single mother with two severely handicapped children which makes it very hard for her to attend church but we are reading the Book of Mormon with her. She has trouble understanding sometimes and it´s hard for her to read but she has a big heart for her Heavenly Father. She´s almost finished with 2 Nephi! We put her with this goal and told her to mark every time it says God, Jesus Christ, or Lord and she´s been doing it! we´re so happy for her!
 
All of the families that we´ve been teaching have really been progressing. With some amazing surprises. One investigator at the end of the lesson about the restoration was like, ´So this isn´t the church of Mormon it´s like… I don´t know how to say it…. The church of Jesus Christ?´ Yeah! Another family put the goal to read their scriptures and pray every night together and they told us that their marriage has been WAY better. They have more patience with their kids, they sleep better at night, it´s all just better! This week they accepted a baptismal date for March. 🙂 Another couple of eternal investigators started reading the Book of Mormon for the first time. Last night we had a family home evening with them in which we watched the very last part of the movie the Testaments when Christ comes to the Americas. We asked ´If you knew that Christ was coming next week, what would you do?´ to which the dad responded, ´We would get married and I´d get baptized immediately.´ We all laughed and then the wife said, ´Actually, I think it´s time. We´re going to go and request a date to get married THIS week and when we do, we´ll set a date for Angel to get baptized.´´ WOW. Perhaps the greatest miracle of all was when the daughter of a less active family we´ve been teaching got the permission to be baptized in two weeks! (that´s a story that´ll have to wait til next week – it´s worth the wait). 
 
I love every second of my time here in Patagonia. Seriously. I feel like I´m completely completing with my purpose as a missionary here. Working with the ward and finding new investigators and inviting people to come unto Christ. Transfers are next week and people are already writing me off as a goner…. I sure hope not I would love to see all of these wonderful people get baptized. But if Heavenly Father needs me in another place, I´ll go. Besides, M. Russell Ballard is visiting so if I get transferred to any other place besides Chiloe I´ll get to see him. 🙂 Hahaha.
 
Love you all lots! Remember miracles are real!
 
-Hna Lethco
 
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