So another week has come and gone. Some days seem SO LONG, but the week seems to go by quick. So we dont have that many investigators to teach, but we are really working with the members and teaching lots of less actives.
We are working in one area called Tumbes, this tiny little fishing town outside of Talcahuano, and we found Fernando who is less active and was actually baptized a few years ago by good friend of Elder Catròns from Argentina. CRAZY, but we had lots of lessons with less actives that we challenged them to come to church and just hoped and prayed they would read the chapter in the Book of Mormon that we assigned them, and come to church.
Yesterday we went to go pick up Milta (investigator) for church, we walked about 20 minutes up this huge hill called Buena Vista (like half of Suncrest probably) to get her, and she said she had company and couldn't come anymore... we were kind of bummed and while we were walking to the church this big white van stopped and opened their sliding door like in the movies, and we saw the Bishop in the back with a family of 4 who we taught who were all less actives. They gave us a ride to church, and at church we saw that SEVEN of the less actives were there.... so we were seriouisly so happy! It was pay day for that week! There were like 55 or 60 people in sacrament meeting. like 20 more than last week. I sat next to a less active who came, she is a smoker... but she was at church (smelling like smoke of course) so I tried not to let it bother me, and it didn't because I was so happy she was there with her son and grandson.
Sitting there in sacrament meeting... a scripture came to my mind Luke 15:7 you guys should READ IT. It talks about the joy in heaven when one sinner repents! WOW. I just really felt that joy seeing these people make the first big step in returning back to church and the gospel. IT was a happy day!
So.... I think it was, we had lunch at Hermana Berta`s house. She is a legend in this area for making a HUGE AMOUNT of food. and its really rude and inappropriate to leave any food on your plate. because they dish up the food and give it to you, and you basically have to eat it all. Her food was delicious, but the most gargantuen proportions you can imagine. We were all in pain after the meal, and it was hard to get it all down. Elder Ospina couldn't finish his ice cream, and I think she was kind of irritated. It's weird because I don't know how they think we can eat all that food, but its funny anyways.
Uh, we had zone conference last monday and it was great! Also my comp and I did a role play one morning,... and he just made up the role of an investigator and their needs, and the need was someone who was less active but didn't want to come to church because they felt rejected and that people were judging them from things they had done.... NOT EVEN JOKING, later that evening we taught Mauricio.... who is in the EXACT same situation. It's crazy, we were able to help him and we practiced the same thing that morning. The spirit can really inspire even your role play practices. He came to church with his son, and participated in class and the discussions... and I think had a good time! (His mom was the smoker next to me)
My comp spoke in church, and gave an analogy of the movie Lion King to our lives... we are Simba, and Mufasa is Heavenly Father. He gave his life as a sacrifice in the movie (or his son Jesus Christ) and Scar is Satan, and we have to overcome Satan and eventually achieve all that our father has (or be king). It sounds silly... but I think it was a great analogy... especially for the less actives coming back to church.
So, overall it was a great week. Hard?... YES. Long?... YES. Overwelming at times?.... YES but was it all worth it to see 7 people come back to church?....YES!!!
Doctrine and Covenants 18 The worth of souls is great in the sight of God. I cannot stress this enough, I have learned this and felt this so much being here... where every person is equal in the sight of God. He favors the righteous... but loves everyone the same! This is my testimony, that God lives. and we are his children. I also testify of prayer, what an incredible gift it is to talk with our Father in Heaven whenever we want. dont take it for granted! TELL HIM EVERYTHING THATS GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE. HE CARES AND WANTS US TO TALK WITH HIM :)
Our goal by the time we leave this sector... is just simple, that we leave it better than we found it! Whether that is bringing less actives back, retaining the members, or baptizing more people (we need to do all of that actully) as missionaries... we really just need to build up the church where ever we go. "How great is our calling!"
Until next week everyone... I love you all, and you are all in my prayers. Please pray for the members of the church all around the world, and for the missionary work to progress :)