So it's been another quick and action-packed week here in Honduras! No baptisms this week, unfortunately. But we have a lot of people who are accepting the invitation to come unto Christ and that is the important part!
We've been working a lot this week with the fam Mancia Garcia. Hro Jose is still struggling with tobacco (Nooooo!!!) but we are holding on to the hope that little by little he will be strong enough to decide that the Gospel is more important than his cigarettes. And he's got Denia and Jose Jr. to help him out, so I'm sure it will all turn out just fine. The Lord has already wrought a great change in this family and the other day he told us "So Denia and I were talking last night, and she said, I really want to be baptized, so I said, Ok, we'll get baptized. What do we need to do before we can be baptized?" That is a pretty sweet conversation to be a part of as a missionary. That moment is kind of like, "Um, ok, great! Just stop smoking and keep coming to church and you're set!" So if anyone wants to put in a prayer for Jose that he can kick those cigarettes to the curb, we'd appreciate it.
We've been putting a lot of emphasis on the member here, that they can help us out with missionary work. We have these things called VAP for Visitas de Amor y Poder (that's visits of love and power), which signify any lesson taught specifically to a member, and we had 10 of those this week, which is more than I've had in all of my 11 weeks in Campana. But it's seriously true that the members can be such a powerful influence in the teaching process and that EVERY member is a missionary! The senior companions of Campana, sisters Bahr, Cifuentes, y Escalante gave talks in sacrament meeting and they all spoke about how members can be more involved in missionary work, and Hra Bahr shared this really epic quote from George Albert Smith: He said that our entrance to the kingdom of God is dependent upon our sharing the Gospel (that is a paraphrase, btw). Wow! It really is not enough just to live the gospel. If we want to receive the blessings of exaltation, we have to share the Gospel! I really hope that helps motivate the members here to work a little more strongly and excitedly to help us out in the mission effort! I am so glad when I receive letters from home and I hear about all of you being missionaries. I know the Lord is glad about that, too!
So we've got about 30 investigators that we're working with right now frequently, and aside from the fam. Mancia Garcia, we've got about three who are realistically coming up on their baptisms. The cool part is that they are all references from the fam Urquia, whose baptism was just three weeks ago. Talk about member missionaries! The first is Heydi, a young woman who is 16 years old and kind of quiet but really ready to accept the Gospel and full of faith! We are also teaching her cousin, Angi, who is probably in her late 20s and has two very sweet little girls. She definitely is not quiet, but she has a lot of good things to say about the Gospel and the scriptures, so it's fine! She's moving pretty quickly toward being baptized, but the wrench in the gears is that her husband currently lives in the States, and he doesn't really have any plans of coming back, so she could be baptized without being married to him (sorry, by husband I meant...the father of her children? Or boyfriend? We call them husbands here, despite the fact that they aren't married, and I can't think of just one word that effectively translates the idea). But we're worried that if he does come back, she'd be chill with just living with him, despite the fact that that would be breaking the law of chastity. Tough spot. And the third is a kid named Ever, who is Maria Luisa de Urquia's son. He says he hasn't received an answer to his prayers yet, but we can tell that he already thinks he's going to be baptized. I think he's got a word of wisdom problem we need to work through, but after that we're fine! He's a really good kid and I'm so glad he wants to follow his family's example and be baptized!
Now, I know what you're all thinking. This is great, but what does it have to do with Hot Chocolate? (or flying an airplane) Good question. Let's set the context for that. So it appears that the "winter" has begun, and the winter here just means that it cools down maybe 10 degrees, maybe 15, and every afternoon through the night it rains and rains and rains. So the first day of this was Friday, when we spent the day with one of the members of the ward, Osiris, teaching in a part of our area called Las Palmas. There was a stake activity that night (we couldn't go--sad) and Osiris was going to leave straight from teaching with us to the activity, so she already had gotten all pretty, and part of that was straightening her hair. So when it started to rain and I was the only one of the three of us with an umbrella, the missionary code of selflessness lent that umbrella to Osiris. And my companion and I got very, very wet. As in standing in a torrential, break-up scene in a movie worthy rainstorm. I've taken showers with less water pressure than that rainstorm. So after about four hours of that, we sent Osiris to the activity and came back to our neighborhood to teach two lessons before dinner. And as we were walking to the second one (with Ever, actually), we were talking about what we needed to bounce back from the rain. And I was saying, "I just want hot chocolate right now. That's really all." And then a minute later, due to the wet and my own exhaustion/slight infirmity, I fell down in the mud and got dirty and scratched up. And it was one of those moments that you just want to sit down and cry, you know? But we are women and missionaries, so I handled it and was fabulous anyway (Mom, do you remember that I planned on using that quote a lot?) and we taught our lesson. But in the following two afternoons of rain, I just kept thinking, I really want hot chocolate.
So, now that the stage is set, here's the story. Sunday afternoon, didn't have my umbrella, starting to get pretty wet and cold. We went to visit one of our investigators, Diana, who came to church for the first time and her husband, who has never showed any interest in listening to us, came with her. So we're sitting with Diana talking about the plan of salvation, and we're feeling pretty great because she's glowing with growing testimony ("In all my life I've never learnt about this before, but of course it's true! Why haven't I heard this before?) and her husband, who has been in the other room taking care of their baby girl, comes in. And what does he have for us? Hot chocolate. Hot chocolate! And it was SO DELICIOUS! I was seriously ready to cry, it was so good. And more than being good, it tasted like home. I have been looking for something that tasted like home for four months! It was such a tender moment to see how, with such love, the Lord notices us and cares for us. And sometimes, something that is so inconsequential, like a mug of hot chocolate, can be a really big deal. So if anybody is worried about me, stop worrying. The Lord is taking care of me, because He knows me perfectly and He loves me perfectly. And I can see that love not only in my life, but in the lives of all of our investigators.
I love this gospel. I love this work. I love my Heavenly Father and I stand all amazed at the love that He has for me. I know that I am where He wants me to be and doing what He wants me to be doing. I know that I am not quite who He wants me to be yet, but every day I am learning and changing and I already am becoming different. And I'm so grateful that I have such a remarkable chance to change! This really is the best job in the world, and I am so grateful to be here.
I love all of you. I am confident that you are all fine because I am confident that the Lord is taking care of you for me. So much love!