Andd as missionaries we get to enjoy the last one of those :) But it`s all good because I have now come to understand what Isaiah meant by the ¨furnace of affliction¨, haha.
One day this week we were walking in La Legua at about(picture the Survivor show sahara desert edition) and we were literally the only human beings outside within a square mile. By about I had finished my water bottle...so we were walking to our next appt and I was calculating in my head how much it`s going to cost to buy a cold water bottle every afternoon for the rest of the summer here, and then as we sat down to teach Jefferson, HERMANO MIGUEL GAVE US COLD WATER BOTTLES! This is the family that has trouble paying for the bus to come to church and their dad went to buy us cold water! It was the best tender mercy ever :)
The same day I read this more than appropriate scripture in 1 Nephi:
¨ They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.¨
This week we had intercambios with the Enace hermanas! I was with Hna Gutierrez from Buenos Aires! My fav moment of the day was that night when we taught a recent convert family of 6 kids under the age of 12. I have never seen happiness radiate so brightly from a family. It`s incredible to see the gospel bless the lives of others!
While there, Hna Christianson w/ Hna Atencio (from my CCM group!) had a breakthrough with one of our investigators AND pensionista, Hna Miriam! Her husband was murdered about 10 years ago and she has raised her kids completely solo. Her daughter Cecilia was baptized this year and we finally figured out why she has been holding off on baptism (her other son Sebastian is super Catholic so she doesn`t want to ¨pick between her kids¨so to speak, and she feels like she hasn`t received her answer yet). Miriam is one of my favorite people here and we`re excited to continue helping her to increase her faith.
This week I gained a testimony of REFERENCES as well as fasting:
- On Sunday last week we fasted and prayed to find a prepared (& married!) family.our prayers were answered! We visited la fam. Sosa Campos with Hna Gloria Chizan (who gave us the reference...they are neighbors). This family is seriously the greatest! 1. they are married, 2. they are SO unified and just such GOOD people, and 3. they `don``t go to any church and are excited to learn about the gospel! We were so so happy! They have 3 kids ages 12, 9, and 4.
- We are now teaching Jefferson`s aunt Martha (his aunt but she is younger than him....haha it`s not that uncommon here) She`s 16 and quite but very genuine. Her mom has been less active for years and she has never really learned about the church until now. She came to church and our youth did a great job fellowshipping her! Yay references!
- And last but not least, la familia Cordoba Bartollini is on a ROLL with missionary work! They hold a noche de hogar EVERYnight and invite non member friends. We are now teaching one of their friends, Hans who`s 19.
With this new area and calling I`ve had the opportunity to learn more about the organization and leadership in the church with respect to missionary work. Hna C and I were invited to a meeting with the stake president, zone leaders, and Pres Rasmussen this week. We analyzed the stake`s efforts last year and set goals for the coming year. Thenwe were invited to another mtg with our high priest counselor and a member of the stake presidency and our ward mission leader...which was mostly to burn our WML and get him to magnify his calling, but also to put our ward mission plan into action. Something the counselor in the stake presidency said really hit me:
¨The 3 most important people in a ward are the bishop, the ward mission leader, and the secretary. In that order.¨
Whoa. But isn`t that so true?? Missionary work is not just a side-dish on a ward`s plate of responsibilities and activities. It IS the plate. (that`s my own analogy, haha)
I love what Joseph Smith said: ¨After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel.¨
I am so grateful to be a part of this great and MARVELOUS work to share the gospel!