Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 18: Newsflash: God is preparing people A LOT (and I can kind of roll my r's now)

There were about 20 people sitting in the room that serves as kitchen, baptismal font room, and priesthood's Sunday meeting place. They were singing horribly, all of them, waiting for the two kids who had just been baptized to change clothes. I was directing the music.

Which gave me an excellent view of all of them. A baker, a single mom, some returned missionaries reminiscing, two investigators, a computer tech, a grandmother who makes up her own Pig Latin, my companion, some others and me, this really tall white girl who tries to smile a lot because people speaking any language can understand that.

I stood there conducting the music, watching the members who know all the hymns by heart sitting side by side with the investigator learning the hymns with her son on her lap, and the new member of two weeks singing so loud, and so off, but so proud... and I don't know what came over me. Well, yes, now I have the missionary words to describe it. It was the Spirit of God, and it was so strong, it added a very wavering voice to this mix, a horrible but oh so beautiful chorus of praise to our one true God and his restored gospel.

There have been a lot of moments like this, very distinct very different, very detailed moments of pure happiness. I love everything, and feel at home here.

Which makes me pretty sure I'm gonna get transferred on Wednesday. But it's okay, because I've already promised to love with all my soul my new area and the new people there, as I've learned to love here. A friend who's also on a mission wrote me that it doesn't matter if we're the beginning, middle, or end of the person's journey, we just do our part with all our heart and trust that God sees how the whole story goes together. This is so true, and it's something that really helps me to be happy here.

It means that nothing is the end of the world; if a person doesn't accept the gospel, it just wasn't their time yet, but I helped a little bit to prepare them. And if I go to another area and don't get to see them become part of the ward family after weeks of teaching them, it's okay, because I did my part, the middle, and the ward members get to enjoy the happily ever happy, and help with every challenge that passes along that road.

Really, every single one of us is part of a great big web and only God sees how it all works together. So the safest bet is to consecrate our actions to him and trust.. and doing that automatically means we can be happy, really happy, and hopeful, forever, because God is so good.

I'd like to tell you about a few of the people we're teaching.

First miracle: A mom was waiting in the park one day with her two little boys. We contacted her and it turns out they'd moved to the area a week earlier and didn't have any friends yet and were looking for a church. They live literally two blocks from the church. We met with them and then arranged to come back two days later and walk with them to the ward activity (in which I played David and my companion Goliath), and I can not tell you how wonderful it was to get there and see them happy to see us and already ready to go. The mom then went to both the baptisms on Saturday, of her own free will, she just showed up, she got there before us, and then teased us about her not thinking we were going to come, and church on Sunday, and loved that there's Primary and Nursery for her kids. Then we did a family home evening with them with another family in the ward Sunday night. She can't read, but the church has free classes to teach people, and I think she's going to start going. The only problem is that the husband works every Sunday morning. But we're going to see if we can't just teach about faith and sacrifice and the love of God. She's Soila and he's Moises, and they're wonderful.

Hereberto, we found on accident, looking for his daughter (turns out we taught his exwife a few times too). He started drinking a while ago and now really wants to stop and change his life. He's got 10 days and counting of not drinking and is working toward his baptism. He couldn't go to church this week but went to the aforementioned ward activity on Friday (the first day we met him) and played Joseph Smith in his group's skit.

Sandra, who stopped going to the Catholic church 18 years ago when her sister and mom died. She invited herself to church and is coming with us to the Relief Society activity on Tuesday. She has 8 cats, 3 birds, a sheep, two dogs, and... I can't remember what all. But she's so cool. I love her, and was only slightly distracted when all during the lesson a black kitten literally jumped and climbed up my companion's shirt like 7 times. Precious.

Jesus (his parents are named Joseph and Mary, but in Spanish, and he was apparently born on the side of the road becuase they didn't get to the hospital in time) is 17 and a mechanic slash performing clown. His magic shows help teach kids to avoid doing drugs and he's searching for the true church. We go tonight to find out what he felt when he prayed about the restoration story.

There are more but I'm out of time (haha, that sentence echoes my diary entry like every night) and I haven't even gotten to tell about some of the cultural adventures we had this week. BUT it's okay, because you all have a bunch of stuff to do too! I leave the counsel to simplify your life and serve others. I love everything so much, including all of you! Thank you for the letters =)

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