|Baleadas and Divisiones--fun times with Hna Ugarte!|
|Judith and Jonathon Fernandez Alvarado--cutest family ever|
|On top of the world!|
|Got caught in another rainstorm--called to serve, aún en las tormentas!|
This week started out with a district meeting on the importance of short lessons, so we've been doing that a lot. Gospel sharing tip: ever felt self concious or awkward in a long conversation about the gospel? In our experience on the mission, spiritual potency lasts about 15-30 minutes max, and that is helped greatly if the conversation is shared, rather than dominated by one person. Hence, we try to teach brief but powerful lessons, taking short turns between the compañeras and asking lots of inspiried questions. Try that sometime, it works great! So this week, teaching short lessons, we got LOTS done! And the best part is that the members in this branch are really excited about participating in the work, so we were backed up by a lot of powerful testimonies. I love that. Always go teaching with the missionary. It's a blessings-blessings-blessings situation (think win-win-win, but in a gospel circumstance).
We have been teaching a woman lately named Walquidia, and her oldest son, Axel. She's pretty funny. She has been absolutely inactive for a long time, but since the day we found them she is down to business, 100%, family history active. It's awesome. The problem now is that her records have been lost, so she might have to be baptized again. She's game for that. So she and her son have baptismal dates on the 6th, if necessary. I like her. We've also been visiting a kid named Byron, who has a lot of friends in the church, and he came on Sunday (we were totally not expecting that). He had a legitimately good reason not to come, and he came anyway! That never happens! so we're pretty pleased with him. I'll keep you posted.
We've been working a lot with fam. Fernandez this week (last week I called them fam. Hernandez. That's my bad, we definitely heard them incorrectly). On Wednesday we had divisions with the Sister Leader Trainers, so Hermana Davila and Hermana Ugarte went to the first half of our lesson/baleada night with them and Hermana Porter and I (Porter/Pickett reunite AGAIN!) finished it up. The husband is having his mighty change of heart, little by little. On Friday we went to see how Judith was doing, because she had been feeling a little sick on Wednesday. When we got there, she was sick with a fever and head ache, and couldn't eat or drink anything without throwning up. To top it off, the poor thing had a two year old climbing all over her. (Shoutout to motherhood--moms are my heroes). We asked her and Marvin if they would like us to call someone so that she could receive a blessing, and they said yes. So our DL and his comp came, explained a little more about the priesthood and blessings, and blessed her to heal. When we visited the next morning, she was out of bed and energetic, telling us how she had already felt much better the night before. Her husband had said, very similar to the words of the closing prayer he had offered (for the first time!) that of course she would heal, because she had been anointed and blessed by brethren with authority from God. MIRACLE! When we invited them to be baptized on Sunday, he didn't bring up his previous worry about being rebaptized, and I am quite sure that that is because he has had first hand experience with where authority from God really lies. He's a little doubtful about the two of them being able to get married in the near future...but that's okay, we'll get there.
Speaking of miracles received through priesthood blessings, we visited a family of relatively new investigators this week, and they couldn't sit down for a lesson because their two year old daughter was very sick with a high fever. We were with a young man who is preparing for his mission, Johnny. We asked if he felt comfortable giving a blessing, and he said that he hadn't ever done that before but if he could read the words out of the mission handbook, it would be fine. When we went back, Oneda, the child's mother, told us her baby had fallen asleep and slept peacefully all through the night after we left, and now has no trace of her fever. The whole family, including Oneda's husband (who has never heard us talk about the gospel) recognized that it was the blessing that made the difference. I am so grateful for the portion of His power and authority that God has granted unto us, and that if we have the faith and obedience necessary, we can expect miracles in our lives.
Hermana Davila and I went on an adventure to a new pueblo called San Vincente this week, and we loved that quaint little town! (Yes, I am applying quaint to a town here. It's appropriate) We're hoping to have a lot of interested people there. We had sopa de mondongo again (always an adventure) and had more frustrations with the lights going out before we are ready to come in for the night. We are helping the presidencies of the Yong Men and Young Women's organizations to plan a "Mini CCM", and we think that's going to be really cool. It's not happening until September, but it's going to be really cool. We played ultimate frisbee today and I, like Chad, fell down (hence the subject line). I think I jammed my ankle...and that hurts a lot. But I'm sure I'll be able to walk without wanting to cry soon, so that's fine! What really gets me is that I'll probably have to take a break from running for two weeks or so. I really like running. So more doing silly things on P-day, like falling down.
I am so glad to be a missionary! I love it. It is the best work I can do. There is a fair share of hard moments, and weird moments, like the fact that I haven't had an appetite for anything but chocolate milk this week (Shoutout to Hermana Hickman) (Parents, I consummed more than chocolate milk. Worry not.) But I love it. I love knowing that I am doing what God wants me to be doing. There's no better feeling than that. I hope we can all share in that this week.
I love you all!