IT WAS A MIRACLE WEEK.
Really every day is full of miracles, it just takes the right eyes to see them, but this week they were gushing out from the windows of heaven and we’re extremely visible to the naked eye. So MANY!
Firstly, Hilda was baptized on Saturday, the 21st! Probably the greatest birthday weekend of my life! And definitely the most stressful and exhausting. We were really nervous to do a Saturday baptism because we were worried about attendance, but our ward miraculously pulled through and we had 22 people show up, not counting missionaries! AND Rene, our favorite less active/returning member came with his mom!! And we did a chapel tour with him this week! He hasn’t set foot inside a church in 21 years. TWENTY-ONE YEARS. It was a beautiful thing. We sat in the chapel with him and read from 3 Nephi 18, and he paused in the middle of a verse to say, “I don’t know why, but I just feel so much peace right now”. We couldn’t believe it. The family history center opened up right at the end of our tour and we discovered that he has a HUGE interest! He sat down with an amazing member of the Spanish ward for a good half hour setting up his account and learning about family history and temple work! It all came from a random invite to the English class we’re doing on Tuesday nights, even though he already speaks perfect English. Trying to get him to church has been like pulling toenails off (ew), but to our invitation he just said, “Ok. I’m on my way”. What! So, so good. He still hasn’t come to an actual Sunday service, but soon. He took three huge steps this week and we are so excited to see him keep progressing.
Anyway, the baptism came together amazingly, fit with cookies, programs, and the works. Her nonmember daughter and two grandsons came too, and we’re going to start teaching them this week! God is good.
We may have laid on the floor for fifteen minutes after everyone left and all was cleaned up.
And the following day the four of them marched on over to church together for her confirmation. It was a wonderful thing. After an exhausting hour of translating Sacrament meeting, a completely Spanglish Gospel Principles lesson, and some head-bobbing in Relief Society (don’t tell), we arrived home spiritually full and physically empty. It was the BEST!
I exchanged to YSA on Friday, too, which added to the fun and exhaustion. My entire mission, I have refused to accept the possibility of me ever serving in a YSA area. No thanks. We do a full exchange every transfer with our STLs (which have thusfar all been YSA areas), but I have stayed in my own area for four transfers straight. I was thinking that I was going to set some kind of record until I learned that in my fifth transfer my streak was to be broken. But what an amazing break it was! I got to spend the day with Sister Mahterian, just a transfer older than me, and it was basically a party! I got to see Elizabeth, the amazing RC who used to come out with us in Killian, who came out with us from about 2:30 to 9:00 – AWESOME. We saw so many miracles! After teaching a girl who was high but who loved the Plan of Salvation, we headed over to a “meal appointment” that was forgotten about by the member… awkward. But he quickly called his next-door neighbor and told him to come over for ten minutes to make up for it. Little did we know, we were about to meet the most elect individual of my life (except maybe Mayte). Enter Jonathan, the most spiritually hungry 20-something you could ever meet. There occurred the most spiritual Restoration lesson of my mission. We just had a great day, that’s all there is to it. I think I needed it for God to tell me, “Hey, YSA really isn’t as bad as you think”. I really don’t want to serve there still, but my heart is just a bit softer.
Yesterday we went to a less active’s house with a cool member, Bro. Santos. His NM mom let us inside and was so excited to see us. She called upstairs for him and we began to wait. And wait. Ten minutes passed by. And then we heard the shower turn on. This man was determined not to talk to us. So his mom suggested we call up the stairs to him. So began the yelling. It was one of the weirdest things ever, calling for a man who apparently hates the church in a house full of roaming cats with a member who had never gone out with us before. He never came down. Baby.
We also looked for another less active, just to find out that he died… fifteen years ago! It was really quite sad, because he only would’ve been 25 at his death, but were going back this weekend to teach his wife the Plan of Salvation.
Also, we forgot to sweep out the font before we started to fill it up, so guess who had to wade in the water picking out weird little dead flies (see picture attached).
And, mom, I finally followed through and bought Sister Chu a pie! We took it over last night and brought a little tear to her eye as we sliced up the lemon meringue and told her we loved her! That woman will be exalted on high.
I love you all! Thank you so much for your prayers and support to make all of these miracles come to pass! Sis. Mahterian stuck a post-it note in my planner and titled it “Milagros” (miracles). Now every time I see one, small or big, I write it back there. As you start to keep track, the more you notice, and the more you count the countless blessing you have. Try it.