Las semanas estan volando! Yo tengo mas que 5 meses en la mission ya! If there were one word to describe this week it would be SUCCESSFUL! Yesterday was the highlight because Patricia got baptized!
It was so awesome and sweet. The service went great. As she was standing in the water about to be baptized, she was crying and there was a strong spirit. When she came out she was balling and smiling. Her life has really changed. It is unbelievable the change that can take place in someone’s heart in such a short period of time. We met her about 4 weeks ago. It was a miracle that we found her and an answer to her prayers. She had been praying for a long time for guidance in her life and help for her family. She said the day we came into the house and asked if Patricia was home was the answer she was looking for from God. After that day we taught her all of the lessons and she accepted all of them and committed to keep all of the commandments. God prepared her to meet us. It was a miracle how it all worked out. No one who knows the whole story about what happened could deny that it was a miracle from God. It worked out too perfectly. The changes in her in the course of 4 weeks were huge. After the baptism we went to her house to talk with her about the experience. That was the happiest that we have ever seen her. It was amazing. This experience gives testimony to the fact that God is living and he loves us and that there is a spiritual reality to our lives. The workings of the spirit are more real than we think.
Also, to the human eye it was just a short instant and she was immersed in water. But in the eyes of God and from an eternal perspective she performed a saving ordinance that will bless her every second of every day for the rest of all eternity. My companion and I have walked the streets under the hot sun for over 3 months, but the blessing we received from being a part of this was more than we deserved. It was an amazing experience!
But just as with all weeks here there are more stories! Last Monday, my companion and I went to a soccer court in our sector and started a “pick up soccer game” with some of the locals. It was so fun and cool! They obviously were really good. We played on this small asphalt court. I slipped and fell during the game going against this kid and hurt my tailbone and toe. Everyone was dying laughing. We also had a Family Home Evening and my companion brought the game “Jenga”. The Chilean people love Jenga. It was so fun!
My companion and I are still working hard trying to find people. We don’t have a lot of people to teach so we are trying every way possible to find new people! On Wednesday night, we were planning for the next day and we had nothing so we were just thinking about what to do. We read about some ideas for ways to find people from Preach my Gospel and other resources but they were not interesting and we had tried most of them. I then thought of what my parents might have done on their missions. The thought came into my mind of how missionaries used to stand on boxes in busy places and preach. Then I thought of all of the prophets from the scriptures and how they did it too. I told my companion about it and asked him why missionaries don’t do that anymore. He said he didn’t know. So after more thinking and debating we decided to put it in the plans for the next day.
The next day, we left to go to this metro station by our house that has a plaza around it and there are always tons of people. The plan was to go there and preach and try and get people to listen. As we walked over I learned why missionaries don’t preach on street corners anymore. It is the scariest thing ever! My stomach was going to explode with butterflies. I felt like I used to feel before football games or lacrosse games. When you really decide to do it, you realize how hard it is. Basically, you are going to stand in the middle of a ton of people who are in a hurry going to and from work and then start talking about the gospel in another language to nobody and hope somebody stops to listen, not to mention the possibility of people yelling back at you and maybe throwing things at you. It is pretty scary and a serious test of faith. The question really does come into your mind: “DO you really believe this is all true?” In the end we went and we stood up and preached. We talked to a lot of people and got rejected a ton. The awesome thing was that we found many people and opened up a lot of peoples’ minds to think about God and life after this life. My companion came up with a saying afterwards. (My companion is hilarious and always comes up with weird ideas) He said: “Ride the tiger”. I asked him what he meant and he explained it. The tiger is the king of the jungle. It doesn’t fear anything but everything fears it. The tiger can also represent our fears. We need to ride the tiger. We need to tame it and control it. If we can do that then we will have success in this jungle we call life. I was dying laughing when he told me that, but as cheesy as it is, it is true. So now we always say “ride the tiger” to each other before we do something new and different.
We met a guy when we were street preaching. He was from New Jersey and had a perfect New Jersey accent. He spoke perfect English. It was so shocking. He was also a little bit drunk. He was so funny. He talked to us and told us that he had a friend that was Mormon. He told us a little bit about his life and how he lived in Hollywood for a while in the same house as Frank Zappa. He had some crazy experiences! The other day my companion told me that contacts are like Christmas presents. You don’t know what you are going to get: rewrapped socks or a sweet squirt gun. You never know but that is the fun in making contact with new people everyday. I have really experienced that.
We went to the Bishops house two days ago to give him the keys to the church and when we went in we saw his family watching “Edward Scissorhands” in Spanish! I told them that my uncle helped create those hands. So, Uncle John, you are famous all around the world! My companion and I ate a squid, and oyster salad yesterday for lunch. It was slimy and chewy and gross, hahaha. Luckily we didn’t get sick because it was not really cooked at all.
Here is one last cool story. This new guy from Colombia moved into the ward. He lives in this apartment complex in the bottom of my sector. We went to go visit him because he said he had some references for us. We went over and asked him about the references and he said that the referral is for a lady and her son that live above him. They were from Taiwan. They speak Mandarin Chinese and a little Spanish, like very little Spanish. He said he is going to set up a time when we can go over and teach her. So soon we will have to try and teach this Taiwanese woman in Spanish! It will be a crazy experience! That’s a few of the experiences from the week! That’s all for now!