Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Week 17: Hellooooo Family and Friends!

Hope you're all having a wonderful first week of June! I can't believe I've practically been a missionary for four months.

This week we had a really awesome experience. Well, basically it was the culmination of a month's worth of really awesome experiences, or, in other words, the miracle that is the conversion of a person.

There is this guy named Juan who works in a panederia that we pass every day; I mentioned him last week. Well, this week he got baptized, and received the Spirit and the Aaron Priesthood on Sunday. And bore his testimony. He cried during his baptism, and the look on his face when he got the Spirit was one of absolute peace. He was fasting and has his money to pay tithing in his pocket. The ward members are embracing him and his desire to choose the right, and he's already part of this ward family. It's cool because he's not quite entirely all there, really really close, but just a little different, and lots of people in the neighborhood think of him kind of as this comical character. But he's so earnest, so real, such a precious son of God and now well on his way to becoming a respected member of the church. I love him so much and am so grateful to God for showing me how he really does prepare people to receive the gospel, and for letting me watch how the atonement applied in a person's life can change and improve them so much.

This week we also did service for a family that we're teaching. They'd just moved to a different house and we helped them clear the yard. The house had been vacant for a time so it had tons of trash and weeds and really random things, including a ceramic sheep. We got to wear jeans and get so dirty and I loved it. The elders came with us as well as some YSA from the ward and I showed them all up shotputting a rock. So I have officially thrown in two countries! (How on earth did I miss out on my chance to discus something in London?)

We're teaching the family and it's cool because the dad is really interested (and interesting - he's the dark, gardener, professor type, Guatemalan style) and the mom is actually a member; she got baptized when she was 15. They have two really cute little boys, including a very articulate 5-year-old named Cri, who always demands that we sing a lot of hymns. They're going to come to the ward activity on Friday! It will be awesome... as soon as we plan what we're going to do. As missionaries, we're in charge of it this time around.

I've been trying to do a better job of listening to the Spirit during lessons, and not just forging ahead with whatever I want to say when I want to say it. And now I would write more but I used up some time sending every picture I've taken up til now, so please do enjoy the photos of the waterfall and the baptism of Juan and my companion, who I sware is enamored with the pet bird our neighbors have, and a little old (really strong) woman named Alejandra (every time I hear that name I still think of the Lady Gaga song) who is taking very good care of us and would be your best friend, Grandma. Except maybe not, because today we walked in and she was listening to a sassy pop song on the radio and danced a little for us. She said she can't read, but said when she's alone in the house and said she gets a lot of strength from opening the Book of Mormon on her lap and looking at the letters. We read her a passage and sang her a hymn and then watched with her head poking out the door until we had walked all the way down the street and turned the corner.

Love you all lots, and hope there's been as many blue skies there as there have been here!


Hermana Ison

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