This week an AWESOME MIRACLE happened! We did our first exchange of the transfer and I was able to go with Sis. Jones (not the one that was my companion in the past, but a newer one in the mission)! I love her a lot and right away realized that she reminds me a lot of Sis. Heacock, the missionary who finished training me. I soon learned that this was pretty funny because precisely a year ago Sis. Heacock and I were in Killian together, which happens to be the area Sis. Jones just came from. I also learned that Sis. Jones and her companion there had been teaching a former investigator named Manny, the very same one that Sis. Heacock and I found a year ago! Unfortunately we had to drop him then because it wasn’t the right time for him, but Sis. Jones informed me that he is preparing to be baptized this month!!!! It was a beautiful moment. My testimony of the importance of record-keeping was strengthened. NO EFFORT IS WASTED! God’s timing is perfect. #prayforManny
We’ve been struggling a bit with our ward here to receive the support we need, and after a week of trying tons of new ideas to help the members share the Gospel with others, we were blessed to receive two very surprising referrals! One is the boyfriend of a less active member, who also happens to be in a part-member family, that we met for the first time completely randomly. It was a member that we hadn’t yet met but for some reason felt prompted to visit even though it was a 5-mile bike trip out of the way. It was definitely worth it! #followingtheSpiritforthewin The other referral was a complete miracle. A member who feeds us often but never has someone for us to go visit despite us trying to ask in different ways every time walked up to us right after Sacrament meeting and told us, “Hermanas, we’re visiting my neighbor this week to share the Gospel with her. She needs it. She doesn’t speak any Spanish.” We were shocked and pleasantly surprised! Even though she will need to be taught by other missionaries in English, we were ecstatic to see the members making the effort on their own! Two small steps for hermanas, one giant leap for Rio Vista! #prayfortheward
Funny moment: we surprise-visited our less-active friend Alvaro again this week. Our visits with him are always funny because they usually only happen when everything falls through when we are in Lehigh Acres and it’s around 8:30pm, so there’s not much time to really share a lot and be home in time. This was one such occasion. This time, Isabel, the Mexican woman who lives in the other half of the house with her husband, fed us delicious nopales (cactus) – she feeds us every time we go – and asked us how we liked it. Between bites, I commented “It’s delicious! I love it!”, her response was, “Que bien! Se ve muy bonita comiendo!” (That’s great! You look beautiful eating!), but for some reason I thought she said, “Miren a la gordita comiendo!” (Look at the little fatty eating!). Everyone looked at me and smiled after she said that, so I just chuckled awkwardly and tried to convince myself that it wasn’t something offensive to say in Mexico. After we left, I asked Hna. Alcazar if that was really what she said and she died laughing and informed me of what she actually said. It’s a blessing to have a Latin companion with good hearing. 🙂
We had two really fabulous lessons with Hilda and Cristiano this week! The Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ, the necessity of the authority from God and prophets, the role of the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ was so clear to them and they were really some beautiful spiritual experiences. Though the elect are like needles in a haystack, they are there, waiting for the truth, kept from it only because they know not where to find it.
Hna. Alcazar and I keep finding Brasilians and have thus begun the quest to learn how to communicate in Portuguese! We both have such spanish accents when we try to speak it and are probably driving people crazy – every time we meet or speak to someone from Brasil we ask them to teach us a word or phrase – but it’s pretty fun and pretty useful. I definitely will not be able to learn how to speak it before my mission ends, but we’re finding joy in trying. #comewhatmayandloveit
We are tired. Really tired. All the time. So tired, in fact, that after a lesson we got into the car at about 7:00pm and looked down to realize that Hna. Alcazar was wearing two different shoes of two totally different styles and colors. We still don’t really know when it happened, but the moral of the story is even if you’re tired…. I just tried really hard to think of a moral to that story, but I’m too tired.. Don’t worry, it’s the good kind of tired. 2 Timothy 2:10 kind of tired.
I found a little gem while studying 2 Timothy this morning. I love Paul’s tender words to his son: “…When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also” (2 Tim. 1:5) I am so grateful for the examples of righteous women I have in my life, just as Timothy had! Paul recognized that that was the root of his son’s faith, the unfeigned faith of his grandmother and mother and knew, as Elder Nelson and Elder Holland recently expressed, that the power of a righteous woman is great.
So go give your mom a hug.