My dearest family,
Thank you for all of your love and support. Thank you for your prayers. For your letters. For the time you spend thinking of me and worrying about me and talking about the miracles. Thank you for using me as an excuse to share the gospel. Thank you for strengthening your faith as I am gone. Thank you for your examples and for every good thing that you do.
Easter here isn´t nearly as cool as Easter there. It´s just not a big deal for most. There were a number of neat Catholic celebrations but our church was relatively quiet. They do not sell pastic eggs but some particularly devoted moms start blowing the yokes out of eggs and saving the shell and drying it about a month before and then fill the egg shells with Chubys (basically the Chilean version of M&Ms ) and then paint them. I was going to do it for my companion but there just hasn´t been time! So we went without eggs and almost without chocolate. I didn´t get my fireside idea approved so I guess I´ve just got a cool fireside in Spanish for another year. The primary sang a song and our ward mission leader did a rockin a capella solo so that was cool but otherwise nothing out of the ordinary.
Anddd… Guess what? I´ve got some news. 🙂 I have been keeping it a secret because my mission president told me not to tell anyone but when I told my comp that you guys didn´t know she told me that I should tell you. So my companion is the mission nurse specialist. What does that mean? Basically when any missionary is sick, they call her and she gets to tell them how to get better. Sounds easy right? Well, not so much. She´s been getting some out of this world phone calls. We had an appendix out, potential major surgery, a swollen eye that was swollen on the WHITE part (which basically never happens), and lots of crazy allergic reactions to all sorts of things. It´s been really interesting and a little stressful. We´ve had to travel to other cities a few times to see missionaries that were really bad. But hey, there´s never a dull moment!
This week we had a beautiful miracle. 🙂 We were in centro last week at a ciber so that my companion could enter in her med notes and while I waited I began to talk to a gentleman nearby. At first the conversation was just a simple getting to know you sort of a thing and then I of course started to talk to him about the fact that we´re missionaries and what all we do. He got really excited and we ended up talking for a solid 40 minutes while his internet time was running. I taught him breifly about the restoration and then all of the sudden he interrupted me and asked ´´Can I give you my phone number or something and we can get together sometime and talk more?´´ Yeah, I think we could do that for ya. 🙂 So I took down his phone number and address, bummed that he didn´t live in our sector, and invited him to the special Easter Sacrament Meeting we were going to have.
When I called the Comisario to pass the reference along with a number of others, I made sure to note that he was a ´´golden contact´´. About a half hour later the comisario called me back. ´I´ve got bad news, this guy that you contacted… Well, I know that sector and he lives quite a ways out from the city. It´s a 20 minute bus ride from their sector so I´m not sure if they´ll actually make it out to see him.´ No! This contact had been so great! So I started trying to defend him and convince him to convince the missioanries over there to go. ´´ He let his internet time run for 40 minutes while we were talking and he said he´d love to go to church!´ I said. ´Whoa whoa whoa, I didn´t know THAT. That´s definitely going in the notes.´ Ýeah,´I continued ´And HE asked ME if he could give me his information to learn more!´ ´Oh wow, yeah. That´s great. Actually, what you can do is if you have his number you can go ahead and call and invite him to church and if he actually goes then it´s almost guaranteed that the missionaries will visit because someone that just goes to church out of the blue like that is definitely interested.´
So we took his advice and called the contact. The gentleman was REALLY excited to talk to us and eager to meet up. He asked if we could even meet up that same day. So we made arrangements for him to come to our sector so we could teach him. The lesson we had was AMAZING. Despite being in a grocery store´s restaurant section, the spirit was SO strong. He started in by asking us what made our church different from other churches. Oh yeah, and did I mention that he speaks English? Hna Gollehon has been improving a ton in her Spanish but she still hasn´t been here long enough to aquire all the vocabulary and grammer that you want to really teach and testify. But speaking in English she was able to contribute fully to the whole lesson and bear a powerful testimony. And he GOT IT! He understood the great apostasy and the need for the restoration and EVERYTHING. And he was just amazing and excited to read the convincing evidence that it was true – to do the test – READ THE BOOK OF MORMON. ´´ I´m going to read this every night and write down questiosn and then the next time we meet up I´ll ask them, is that okay?´´ ABSOLUTELY. He noted himself about the struggles he´s had in his life and how before he really didn´t have his mindset all right. He said since about 4 years back or so some things happened and now he´s really had a huge change of heart. ´´ If you would have met me like 10 years ago, I wouldn´t have even WANTED to listen to you, let alone read this book, but now I just feel so prepared.´ I cannot explain how incredibly strong the spirit was.
Even though things are a little complicated and our numbers aren´t the best, we ARE working hard and the Lord IS blessing us tremendously because He knows our hearts. 🙂
Anywho, love y´all lots!