Five months ago today I got on a plane to Mexico City. Five months! It definitely doesn't feel like I've been doing this for five months. If this were a normal year, I would have already passed another sememster at BYU and I'd be studying for my finals. I have to keep telling myself to have a perspective on the amount of time that is actually passing. But that's the only reason I bring it up, because this isn't an ordinary year. It's the most extraordinary year (and a half) ever!
So this week was a lesson in the miracle of something we call LPE. Those three magical letters stand for lecciones para encontrar and signify every time that, out of the blue, we just start talking to someone or serving someone or receive a reference. And this week we rocked LPE like a couple of bosses. The real goldmine of this experience was centered in a place here called Baracoa. We had two investigators there, but that's not really enough, because Baracoa is one of the furthest spots we stretch out to in our area. So as much as we'd just love to hang out there a lot, taking the risk of spending a great deal of time and 26 lempira each is a little chancey. But this week we went to Baracoa and, because our actual appointments had fallen through, we just contacted people in the street. And the first miraculous day went like this: we went to our appointment and a kid in the street (his name is Alan, and he's about 12) told us the people we were looking for weren't home, so we asked if we could come see his family instead. His mother wasn't there, but we set an appointment. Then, upon departing from Alan, a man who had heard us talking to him asked if he would come teach his family. He asked us to come (imagine a lot of stress on the words "asked us to come", because that's how I would say it if we were talking about this face to face). And THEN another person in the street overheard us talking and asked us to come teach him. ASKED US TO COME. (Imagine a lot of stress this time). And we walked away from that trifecta of awesome saying, "Okay, but really. What just happened?" And due to the simple magic of talking to everyone and inviting the whole family to our lessons, this week we found 22 new investigators. Twenty two! I had to type out the letters, that's much I wanted to stress that! I'm not trying to say that the number in and of itself matters but that is so many people who want to hear the gospel!! How awesome is that?! So those of you who are missionaries of the full time or member variety, talk to everyone! It's a miracle!
Also, this week, I have noticed how much I just adore the people here. Like really, I am just overcome with love for them. Every time we visit one of our investigators, I am just so happy to be there spending time with them. And when we visit our new converts, there is no limit to how happy it makes me that they are still solid in their testimonies and coming to church (Victor was ordained a priest yesterday! How cool is that?!) And every time we meet someone new, I can just see them in white at their baptism, and that image never goes away. I really think that that is how the Lord sees them, too--ready to make and keep sacred covenants, so that they can come back home to Him. We talked with Diana Buh about eternal marriage the other day and then with her and her husband about the Authority of the Priesthood last night, and my mind graduated from seeing them at their baptism to seeing them at the temple. So, with that image in mind, you may be able to imagine that I was a litte overcome with joy when they took each others' hands and said "Good news, Hermanas. We have decided that we are going to be baptized on the 28th." I was pretty close to crying, the Spirit was so strong in that moment. I had another minute like that when fam. Huezo showed up, plus a cousin and a friend, to the Christmas Devotional last night and each one told me how beautiful it was and how much they enjoyed it. (Devotionals from the first presidency are the best finding opportunities ever. Can we have more?) I am amazed daily by the humility and the gratitude and happiness that the people here live each day with, and I hope they can teach me how to do that before my work is finished.
I love these people and I love this gospel! I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father that He is trusting me with His children here and that He has made me worthy for this work. I hope that all of you are well and I'm worry this letter is so wimpy and short--longer letter next week!
¡Que todos pasen buena semana!