A) blowing an incredible amount of mucus out of my nose.
B) Trying to speak clearly unsuccessfully from losing my voice.
C) Sneezing at 3-minute intervals.
Needless to say, it´s interesting having a head cold in the fiery furnace of Piura! But the work goes on.
One thing that´s cool about being in this area a long time is that I get to see my converts progress! Our stake paid for 6 converts from each ward to go to the Trujillo temple this week! (6 hours south). Lenin and María were able to go!!! Hermana María almost cried when we told her she would be able to go for free -- she said ¨I´m amazed that Heavenly Father is giving me this opportunity to go to His house.¨ The night before she told us that she didn´t have any money for food but that she would go fasting. We let the group know so that they could pay for her meals there. She is an inspiration... Lenin is doing well. He accompanies the Elders literally 7 days a week... which is great, but we´re also encouraging him to look for a job so he can be self-sufficient one of these days. Oh Lenin... he´s a character.
Our ward had a baptism ... Ronnie (18) was one the Elder´s eternal investigators that they had dropped like 7 times but I guess the Spirit worked on him and he made the decision! Pretty cool, Mark and Claudia attended the service! Hey, any suggestions on convincing a 9 year old that they in fact will NOT drown when they go under? Unfortunately Claudia still has that fear ... so we´re praying for her and hopefully she can overcome that fear by .. the poor thing is really shy but we love her!
God answers prayers -- whether that´s prompting us to put a certain name down from the directory as a back-up plan or finding a family to teach after praying in the middle of the street. Both happened this week! That name in the directory was Jorge Enrique. Finding him was a complete miracle. He´s been less-active for yeaaaars -- and the reason why is actually pretty interesting. About 15-20 years ago he was baptized in his 20´s and, to his surprise, was called to serve as the Elder´s Quroum president as a new convert! He said that one day he was sitting in their EQ meeting and looked at the other men there ... with a lot more time in the church and (in his opinion) much wiser, spiritual, financially stable, and capable. So he left....essentially quit. And dedicated himself to his work instead of the church. He has since married and had 2 kids and suffered from obesity ... his kids actually remember going to church when they were little and ask him when they can go back as a family, but Jorge has been so self-conscious about his weight and had so many health problems that he can´t bring himself to come back. That was a pretty spiritual lesson ... testifying about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power it has to heal us. Jorge committed to come to church and it looks like we´ll be able to start teaching their whole family this week! Miracles.
A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying ... The only person that tells us that we´re not good enough or should just give up is Satan himself. This entire gospel and this entire church has the goal to help individuals progress, improve, and become like our Savior. I have a quote from Elder Holland on my wall that says ¨the Lord blesses those who WANT to improve¨. Each day I try to measure myself -- did I try to contact a little more earnestly today? Was I able to teach with a little more love? Did I do something to serve my companion? Was I able to think more positively and be more grateful? If the answer is yes to any of those, then the Lord is pleased. If I tried to doeverything perfectly every day, I would´ve failed and gone home long ago. I´m grateful for the opportunity to be a little better every day through the mercy and patience of my Savior.
hermana kelley and I both have frizzy curly hair that would scare la gente if we left it natural but we´ve found the mission solution! Braids.