Woah!! WOAH! A week of miracles!
Tuesday night we had Herardo and Carolina over to the home of the Family of Silba for family home evening. We basically told Hermano Silba nothing of the situation with Herardo and Carolina... but they were completely inspired in everything that they said. The family Silba are converts of 3 years... but are now sealed in the temple. They had their own doubts and struggles to marry and be baptized... but are now sealed in the temple, Hno Silba is the 2nd counselor in the ward, and they are so happy. SOoo... we watched ¨Together Forever¨... and the Silbas shared their testimonies and experiences... and said things that were SO applicable to Herardo and Carolina- but they didn´t know- the Silbas were just going off the Spirit! It was SO powerful.... and the Silbas invited them to enjoy the blessings that the Lord is waiting to give them... through their obedience to the commandments. Carolina and Herardo were really touched... they both want to be baptized-- and they are really progressing towards marriage. We are seeing miracles with them. I attached a picture of them and the Family Silba. (and some really REALLY adorable and eternally devoted Elderly people in the ward. Oh gosh I love them!- are they not just the sweetest?)
Elder Jay Jensen visited El Salvador, and our mission had a conference with him. It was SO cool to be with a General Authority... and of course, he was so inspired with everything he taught and the Spirit really hit me hard. We returned to our area even more fired up about the work that we have... and we´re running to do it all!
We continue to work with Gudiel... but he´s hardly home... and is probably moving to San Salvador this week- the week that we were shooting for to have his baptism. We´re hoping to meet with him today... and we´ll see what happens! I feel very sure that he continue to progress and do what he definately knows is right. Even if we´re not with him every step... he´ll get there!
In the week of drunks... we met a man named Oscar. As people in drunken states generally are.... Oscar was a bit odd and overwhemling. Between his evangelical blessings on our heads for 10 minutes when we simply asked him to pray.... and his slurred fusion of spanish and english (he lived in the states for 26 years but... had problems with the law.. and is here now. ) that only I could understand...... he gave us quite the challenge. Yet... despite all theatrics and seemingly hopeless odds... something really touched me about him... and the Spirit whispered to me and reminded me that...... if the Lord is endlessly patient with ME...and has hope and aspirations for even ME..... I can hope and believe in him... and have patience with him. So... we´ve been passing by and giving him some tough love..... and even with beer in his hands he tells us, Ï want to change¨... I believed him. So.. the last 3 weeks we´ve been praying for him... visiting him when we can.... and.... the last 2 weeks he has come to church totally on his own... and has been sober the last few times we´ve passed by. We should be as shocked as we are.... but we kind of are. The Atonement is real. He is changing.
We found an inactive member the other day... and as we were visiting her and were making tortillas... I saw a man in the house next to her. So... as I was patting my tortillas... I poked my head in and started talking with him. It was NOT what I expected. He told me, ¨yes, I´ve talked with missionaries before. Funny that you should show up... because I´m reading the Book of Mormon. I´m almost into Jacob... and even though I´ve visited TONS of churches and experienced all this religious confusion here... since I´ve been reading this book they gave me forever ago.... my perspective is really changing. ¨- WOAH. All I could say was... ¨BE BAPTIZED¨. - He couldn´t go to church yesterday... but assured me he´d come this sunday. He said that he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Yet... he´s been with his woman for 18 years... but does NOT want to get married. --WHAT IS THE PROBLEM!!! No one wants to get married! - yet! :) - We have great hopes for our new friend Freddy.
Speaking of marriage.... we continue to work with the family Salizar- Javier and his parents Berta and Rigoberto. Javier wants to be baptized... and after we taught the second lesson... he was practically jumping out of his skin to do it! Yet... Berta still struggled with accepting the invitation... because she didn´t want to get married. Rigoberto wants to be baptized too... but Berta didn´t want to be married- despite their 10 years together. Yet... we had had some really sweet experiences with them this week... making tortillas and singing together... teaching and praying in their little house at night with a little candle.... moments that I can´t really describe in any language... but really special experiences that I will never forget. We have had so much hope and excitement for them this week.. and were SO excited to see them at church! Yet... when Hna B passed by sunday morning... their door was bolted. When I finally sprinted into the chapel that morning... my heart sunk and broke to see Hna B...but not the family. We wandered all day what happened... if we had put on too much pressure last lesson... what happened! That night.. we were walking down the street talking about how we could find them and what we needed to teach them... when we turned the corner... and saw 5 muddy, coffee stained and exhausted bodies marching towards us. We were right next to the Family Silba´s home... so we just... led them on in... and had another powerful lesson from the Silbas. They testified of the blessings of the temple... and the reality of Eternal Families. It wasn´t quick... it wasn´t easy... but by the end.. it was sure- that we´re going to have a marriage the 28th and a baptism for Javier, Berta, and Rigoberto the 30th!!!!!!!!! We were ALL so happy and in peace by the end... happy happy happy. :)
We have a goal of visiting Pajonal at least once a week- but it really takes all day... because... it´s far.. and buses hardly go in and out of there. Yet... we visited on Tuesday.... and it´s still so magical for me. We get into ever door we touch... and people are SO kind and happy... I LOVE it!! We were stopped in the road by these two guys on their horses and they said, ¨what are you doing here?¨... and when we said ¨The Lord´s work!¨.... they said, ¨Well... you can come work at our casa!¨.... ya ok! So... we visited... and it was such a dream. It was the classic latino set up... with all these little houses with a little courtyard... so that the WHOLE family of 6 kids live together... all their lives! So.. as we taught 1... as we were singing... more and more came out of their houses and gathered. We found ourselves teaching 7 adults... and they were so attentive... and really understood what we were saying! One of them said, ¨Why didn´t we know before that we have a prophet today?¨- well we´re telling you NOW! They weren´t too sure about getting to church... because they live even further away than Juan Carlos... so... we´re gonna keep visiting them and building their faith so that they will want to do what it necessary to get there! At the end, they said, ¨when are you coming back?! Tomorrow??¨ :)
We are just running (umm...it´s often more of a FROLICK...)... to get it all done, find the families, and baptiz´m!
Holy cow this gospel is true! The Atonement is REAL!! I will NEVER deny it. We just have to... APPLY IT!!