English is getting more awkward for me... but my spanish, though moderately faster... I doubt is remarkably better. So... I am constantly asking for patience!
Speaking of patience...
I´m seeing... and hearing... that I have none! Haha... I love Hermana Bautista... and it´s such a blessing to be with her... for many reasons- she has such a stellar testimony and knowledge of the scriptures.. and love for the people- and that is always such a priviledge to witness every day. Yet... there are such cultural differences... which... I have always loved differences in cultures throughout my life... but sometimes it affects the work... and it´s hard to find common ground for how to work... with such different mentalities.... and then with...women. This week I´ve been having very similar experiences to Joel´s story of his companion sitting him down and telling him that he expects too much. Many times durng the day... every day... I am lovingly reminded by Hna B- to calm down. I am never aware that I am ¨stressed¨- because I feel like this is the most consistent and stable my life has been in... maybe ever! - but... from the latino perspective... the Clark ethic and drive......... is totally balistic. I´m constantly confused! arooooooo!!! I am here to work with all my might, mind, and strength... and I have always imagined my mission as busy and exhausting.... and so when it is... I am so happy. Yet... Hna B told me the other day that she wonders if I love my mission just because it´s such hard work.... and... I have to think about that a lot. I really feel like I love my mision because I love the people SO much- apparently more than I can express. I am now constantly questioning if these people can truly feel of my love for them... and if I´m helping them to understand the Lord´s love for them.... because that truly is more important than being a work horse- I know... but am I demonstrating that knowledge? arooooo.... Can a missionary be too intense... as I am claimed to be? How can I ¨calm down¨... without calming down the work that I am here to do!??
Enough of my self doubt and selfish rambling....
We have 2 dates for bautismo! ¨Pablo¨ that I had previously mentioned........ we were advised by others to leave him and move on... but through fasting and prayers... we really felt like he did have a desire to change... and with that.. the Lord works miracles. So.... we continued to love him... and boldly help him to see the situation as the Lord sees it.... and....... there was a moment very tender and intense... when we basically asked him if he wants eternal life or not... segun a scripture..... and.... after a while of silence... I felt prompted to offer him another date... for the 18th of this month. He smiled.... and ACCEPTED!!!!! woohooo!! ¨Victor¨... his son... will be doing it. This sunday... Victor´s mom and siblings... all attended sacrament meeting... where Victor gave such a powerful and humble testimony- I can´t express how much I admire and see in Victor... it is such an honor to witness these miracles and changes in his family.
The other fecha is such a miracle too. As I think I had mentioned before... in our moments of frustration.... I kept feeling SO distinctly... that the promises in D&C 111- that there are people here for me....were very vivid here... and that we were to prepare to meet that person that was VERY ready to recieve the fulness of truth. So... it happened. Juan Carlos- 25 yrs old- showed up to sacrament meeting last week... and it was his 2nd time of independently coming- but had never talked with the missionaries. He read the assigned parts and more in the book of mormon... prayed about it... had AWESOME questions.... and was so ready to accept and follow his answer from the Lord. We... have hardly done anything! He happily accepted the date for THIS SUNDAY- his only obstacle is cafe. He has dranken coffee since he was a child... but he has such incredible faith and is eager to keep the commandments- and sincerely believes the promises of the Lord with the commandments. HE GETS IT!!!!!! We went to his house this week- an hour bus ride.... (playing sardines like crazy in the bus... sometimes hanging out of the bus while it´s going backwards up a revine- super fun)... and then a 30 minute walk up a mountain- and I am so excited to do it again. He is SO ready.
We working with the wonderful Hernandez family. The mother, Norma, is an inactive member (for right now)... and I think it´s because her husband is a devoted catholic. So... we´ve been talking with him... and he is a VERY intelligent man and strong father and leader of the family- and has tremendous faith and knowledge of the bible. - HOW PERFECT!?? SO... we´ve been working with him... and the first lesson, we showed the DVD of the restoration... and he had many wonderful questions... and was open to more information.... and by the end... the Spirit was so strong and thick... I felt like I could reach out and touch something tangible. Hna B and I walked out of that appointment and again- cried. - but this time for VERY different reasons. Purely from gratitude. We had another lesson with him last night........ and he gets it....almost- he just.... hasn´t PRAYED about it yet! We can read all the prophecies in the bible and rationlize it all day.... but until he prays sincerely and recieves that confirmation- he can´t know. Yet... everytime I think about the Family Hernandez... my heart wants to explode with excitement... because all I can imagine is... then in white in the temple. They are ready... and almost there!
The other day... we were teaching the parents of 2 boys 12 and 17 that are members... but the parents are not. It was SO touching to listen to the 12 year old who only has 1 yr in the church... teach his father about faith, Joseph Smith and the Restoration... and in the end.... he taught his father how to pray. I almost lost it when this sweet, pure, and valient 12 year old prayed so sincerely to our Heavenly Father... that his parents would be married so that they could be baptised and an eternal family. Woah Woah Woah.
Gotta go! Love you all! We´re having a girl party today with all the sisters in the mission. I´m struggling to rationalize 2.5 hr bus ride each way to play soccer when we have clothes to wash....butta..... I´m trying to learn to ¨chill out¨- if not for me... for the sake of my darling companion!!