Wheww. I think the whole entire world is having crazy weather. Here it has rained about every 2 days, and when I say rain, it is like literally 2 or 3 feet of water EVERYWHERE. I wouldn't really mind it, but all of the people throw their trash in the water and just let it flow away...yuck.
I want to say thanks to the Robinson family for the Christmas in March! That was such a fun surprise! I hope everything is going well for your family!
We did a lot of service this week, and funny enough, that had a huge effect, more than contacting or teaching. We had the opportunity to help an inactive family clean their house after the rain. They live in a little one room shack up against a wall, with a cement base, 3 walls from plywood and the cement wall as the other wall. They live right next to a little stream, and when it rains, even for like ten minutes, the river water raises up to 10 feet. Friday night at about 11 a huge storm started, and all we could think about was this family. We went to their house the next day to clean up and it had been so bad that a neighbor came to take their daughters out of the house through a hole in the wall so that if the house collapsed, it would only take the parents. It was so sad, and we were there for a couple of hours cleaning out their house. They were SOOO much more receptive to us afterwards, and we had a really good, Spirit packed lesson afterwards. I don't remember who said this, but I think it is awesome. "I would much rather see a sermon than hear one." It is SO true, and interestingly enough, as missionaries and especially Americans, people watch you REALLY closely. So, the moral of the story is that even if you think people aren't paying attention, you need to have the integrity to do the right thing, because you never know who you could influence.
Anyways, on Sunday we had a really good day. It was testimony meeting, and even though there weren't any investigators, there were a couple of inactives that came for the first time in years.
This week we received transfers....AAAANNNNDNNNDDDDD....nada. We are still here, Hermana Betancourth and I, and we decided to make it the best change that Palma Loma has ever had. We were kind of like...UGGG...another 6 weeks here...everything the exact same...but then we decided to change our attitudes and work. We made several goals for the next 5 weeks, and we hope to be able to build on the progress that we and the ward have made over the last 12 weeks.
This week on Sunday, we had such a wonderful experience. And what was even better was that it wasn't even from our work. It was from the members and their visits. We really tried hard to work with members this last week, and have lessons with members, and it WORKED!! Shocker. The inactive mom of a recent convert came, and had a great experience. Another miracle was that a young man came, Miguel Ayala. He was offended by the bishop about...2 years back, and has refused to meet with the missionaries. But almost every week for the past year, a recent convert has stopped by his house EVERY Sunday to invite him to church. And finally, he came. Not only did he come, but he gave a wonderful testimony that spoke volumes about true friends and how even when we feel that someone really has NO potential, and they just outright reject us, we have to press forward, and trust that the Lord knows who is prepared to receive us as members. NOT missionaries, MEMBERS. We now have a lot more members who are willing to work, thanks to the immediate results of their efforts.
One of the biggest things that I am learning in my mission is this process of "refinement". It is a life long process (dangit) and something that has to happen little by little. This process of refinement has really taught me to be humble, and again, like you said, come what may, be it criticism, health problems, whatever, we have to be humble and learn to submit our will to the Father, because luckily for us, He knows our weaknesses perfectly. There is a quote from a talk called, "The Fourth Missionary", that says, "God can make us into masterpieces. We will make of ourselves only a smudge. We can make of ourselves an ordinary man; He will make of us a GOD." I read that and was like.....wow. We have to be humble enough to put ourselves into the hands of the Lord, and then let Him make us into something rather extraordinary.
I love being able to share the gospel, and I am so grateful for the opportunity that Heavenly Father has given me to learn, make mistakes, and grow like I never have in my life.
This week is more or less 7 months...how crazy...the time is going by SOOO fast!
I love you all and hope that you have a good week!
|Cutting grass with machetes|
|Valentine's Day Pizza|