Hola mi Querida Familia!
Sak pase? That’s Creole. I don’t speak Creole.
What a week, what a week, where to begin?
Transfers! My new companion (please forgive us for the lack of picture…) is Hermana Alcazar, an hna. from Tijuana, Mexico that came into the mission field with me! We haven’t gotten the chance to serve much around each other until now, but let me tell you, she is an answer to prayer. I love her a lot and am so very, very grateful for yet another opportunity to work with yet another companion whose first language is Spanish! Good things are coming.
After a series of interesting events, Sis. Ferrari and I, just before she headed back to Argentina, made the decision to stop working in the ghetto. Too many problems. So ever since then, Sis. Alcazar and I have been biking the days away, praying more fervently, and talking to absolutely everyone we see to try and find Spanish-speaking people that live outside of our Latin ghetto. It’s not an easy task. But, my goodness, have we been blessed for it.
We re-found a new little community that I had always wanted to knock doors in but never had for various reasons and proceeded to knock all of the doors – turns out that it’s a mainly Brasilian community! Looks like I need to brush up on my Portuguese skills (which I don’t have either)! BUT, we had prayed specifically to find a family with three people that will be baptized that had previously heard about the church and were searching for answers. And that’s exactly what we found. Enter Cristiano and Raidabel, a brasilero married to a puertorriqena. Raidabel had been taught by sister missionaries in Puerto Rico and was enthralled with the message that families have the potential to be together forever. Cristiano realized while we were there that he, too, had met missionaries from our church and had often spoken to them while in Brazil! And they live with their 19 year-old daughter. They’ve been searching for truth for a long time and have been so very prepared to receive it. Specific prayers receive specific answers. IT WAS AWESOME!
We also had a miracle at church! After our miles and miles of biking, after doors and doors and doors knocked, after planning some nights until 10:28pm to try and find new ways to find people to teach, it was Saturday night, 10:15pm, and we had no one committed to come to church. A few less active and part member families had said they would try to come, but we were stressed. Big time. And so, we prayed for a miracle and sent out a text message to everyone in our phone who had ever been taught by missionaries in that area inviting them to church. And went to sleep. We got to church the following morning only to find that the only unfamiliar faces there were the Elders’ investigators. We felt bummed, to put it lightly. And then, just a few minutes late, walks in familia Diaz…. with their nonmember sister-in-law and her two children! We later found out that she had been one of the people we texted and felt like she needed to come. What makes matters even more interesting is that we found out that her husband has strong desires to be baptized but she had been the one to drag her feet. We are excited to begin working with them! We also learned that one of the part-member families came earlier to the English ward! ‘Twas a day of much rejoicing. We are so very, very, VERY grateful that our prayers were answered. God is a God of miracles.
You know you’ve been in an area a long time when you begin knocking a street that you’ve never knocked before and the people inside two houses in a row say, “Whoa, have we met before?”. And then you realize that yes, you indeed have met before. And prayed with them before. Just in different places. Yup. #threetransferswag #smalltownlehighacresswag
We also had an awesome party called La Fiesta de la Hispanidad – the…Hispanity Party? I’m not really sure what that translates to, but hopefully you get me. Basically, the members correlated and set up tables from the countries that they are from – Nicaragua, Guatemala, Brasil, you name it, we probably had it – with food and things from their country more food and more members forcing food upon you. ‘Twas a jolly good time – many members did traditional dances from their countries and we had lots of people bring non-member family and friends! Some less active families we’ve been working with came and loved it! We also had some former investigators show up that we have been trying to get in contact with since I got here!! It was miraculous. We had to interrupt their…intense…Latin dancing to get their phone number and to say hello before we had to leave to make our curfew, but fortunately, it wasn’t too awkward, even when Issac, the boyfriend, started dancing around his girlfriend while she wrote their address and phone numbers down in our planner. Every church activity should be planned by Latins.
My studies have been recently focused on faith – a principle I am striving to understand on a deeper level. I found a lot of clarity in the definition of faith in the Bible Dictionary. Some of my favorite parts were:
*Faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith (Rom. 10:14–17)
*”…strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ; in other words, faith comes by righteousness…”
* “…true faith always moves its possessor to some kind of physical and mental action; it carries an assurance of the fulfillment of the things hoped for.”
*Where there is true faith there are miracles, visions, dreams, healings, and all the gifts of God that He gives to His saints
Read the whole definition for a full-scope of the awesomeness of faith.
At the transfer meeting, one of the missionaries who finished his mission stated, “If you are doing everything you can and you still aren’t happy it is because you are not grateful.” That hit me pretty forcefully and I have since made the goal to write down five things a day for which I am grateful to more fully recognize the banquet of blessings I get to enjoy every day.
I love you more than you know!
1 John 3:21