This week, I've been working with Hermana Wright, a 22 year old OHIOAN with 15 months in the mission (vieja!!). She is a hard worker and I adored her from day one. Our area has been dead for a while now, with barely any baptisms and few recpetive people. But she has been here for a month, and now I'm here and we are both determined to revive our area. With faith, prayers and hard work, we're gonna find people prepared for the gospel. I know it.
Tuesday, we searched and searched and searched for some old investigators. Got lost a number of times. I stood there clueless while my companion flipped the map around. It was a rough day with little success, but we didn't let that get to us. On Wednesday, we witnessed miracles happen. We found two families to teach, both with single mothers. We visited a family that has been inactive for 30 years, and they attacked us. No joke. they listed all of the things that they didn't like about the Church and all the bad experiences they've had with members. Family, a miracle happened. This scripture came to life:
Neither take ye thought beforehand awhat ye shall say; butbtreasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be cgiven you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.
An inteligent, logical lawyer attacked our religious beliefs and I remained completely calm as the Spirit filled my mouth, and spoke through me. I learned principles about the gospel as I spoke, because the Spirit of the Lord spoke to that man, through me. I addressed his doubts and calmly explained the gospel principles that can help him attain happiness in this life.
On Thursday, we found Mercedes, a sweet and kind hearted 60 year-old lady. We taught her the Plan of Salvation, and tears filled her eyes as we explained that the gospel of Jesus Christ can convert her sadness to joy and her pain to relief. Immediately, I lifted myself from my chair and hugged her. I caressed her head in my arms. She cried as she opened up about the trials she is experiencing, about being a grandmother caring for her two grandkids, one a baby with Down's Syndrome. It is amazing how easily people open up to us. They can feel the power and authority we hold as servants of the Lord, because it is very real. She accepted a baptismal date then and there.
On Friday, I was on cloud nine. We ate lunch with the sassy and popular 84 year-old America. She was baptized about two months ago, and is going strong. She prepared a HUGE lunch for us missionaries. We had big bowls of vegetable soup to start, then a buffet of potatoes, chicken with naranjilla sauce and rice (can't forget that part), and blackberry juice and then a GIGANTIC slice of fruitcake. As in...I could feed three children with this slice of cake. And we had to EAT. IT. ALL. I thanked her for the meal and she just bursted with love and touched her forehead with mine. It was such a tender moment for me.
We had coconut juice on the way to one of our lessons.
I cannot explain how heavenly it was.
Fruit in Ecuador really is divine.
Also, we visited a less active in a time of need. We had planned to see her Tuesday, but couldn´t make the lesson, then we passed by Wednesday and she wasn´t there. Naturally, we both felt really bad since she had saved part of her birthday cake for us. Then we dropped by on suprise on Thursday and shared the Plan of Salvation with her (its amazing how we all need refreshers of the basics--it always strengthens our tesitmonies). she explained how we dropped by in the perfect moment, when she needed us most. Another miracle. God guided us to her house in the precise moment.
I love being a missionary.
My birthday has been SO WONDERFUL! And I feel so loved! I thank all of you for your letters and emails and love and prayers. They mean so much to this missionary in Ecuador. I would love to share some of the things I've learned from the scriptures this week, but time is up and I've got to go!
I'll close with this:
He loves you.
Christ is the ONLY way back to our Father in Heaven.
And He lives, as well.
And I love the gospel of Jesus Christ more than life itself.