Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bitter Sweet

haha... what a week!! As ALWAYS... I have no clue where to start. chronological order.

Monday we had such a beautiful family home evening with the Martinez family... wow I will miss them SO SO MUCH. They were so excited to have us for the family home evening... and reported that they had one the previous week totally independently... but weren´t sure if they did it right. Berta reported that her husband read out of the Gospel Principles book for 2 hours... and it was a little bit long… but they loved it!! I couldn´t help but think to myself… ¨if I ever try to find an axcuse not to have family home evening… I will forever remember the family Martinez¨. Rigoberto leaves every morning at 4 in the morning to pick cafĂ© or frijoles all day… and doesn´t get back until 7 at night… the before he even eats… they light their oil lamp and pull out their scriptures.. and study together. I will never find a valid excuse. Nor will I ever seek to find one. They LOVED LOVED LOVED the glowsticks… and totally dug the correlation with the scripture ¨let your light so shine¨. This family is on fire and temple bound.

Then.. Tuesday… we were finishing a lesson with a not so positive investigator… when my companion asked her if she knew anyone that we could teach. I was totally shocked and dumbfounded…because although we need to be asking that to EVERYONE… I´m usually the one to do it. This woman quickly responded and gave us directions to a family down the hill. When we met the family… it became all begame clear. It the middle of nowhere… in this little sheetmetal house… lives the family Batron- almost all members. They were baptized years ago in another part of the country…but when they had to move out there… they couldn´t find a church. They were SO excited to have us there… and the mother nearly wept when we sang from her little old hymn book. Hermana Fuentes admits to receiving an overwhelming impression and inspiration to ask that investigator for a reference… and I am SO grateful she followed it. Totally random to find a family out there…but not surprising. Anything is possible.

On the way back on Tuesday… our bus was stopped by the migration.. and started asking everyone for their identification. When I showed them my ¨ohsoimportant WA license¨... they weren´t too impressed. They asked for my passport, and when I batted my eyes and explained that I was a missionary and that the church had everything…they moved on.

BUT… on wedensday I did not have so much luck. When they stopped the bus again... Hermana Salizar from Honduras and I had nothing. SO... all four of us sisters were hauled into the police truck... and shipped up to the border of Guatamala for investigation!! We laughed and giggled all the way up...because we really were a sight. All the Guatamalans and Salvadoranians were SO thrilled to have a gringo in such trouble. As they passed me I heard for 3 hours jokes and comments like... ¨Ha... how does it feel to be an undocumented illegal?¨... or ¨Your turn to get deported!!¨... and when they really were mad at me for not having my passport or any identification for residency... I kinda stopped laughing. I guess it´s important to have evidence of legality in a foreign country... but they don´t allow us to have our passports- mine is in San Salvador in the office- so I assumed it was all ok! Of course I had to mess up my spanish and stay something like, ¨Well..can we figure this out? I´d really like to get out of the country.¨- when I definately meant to say ¨I´d really like to STAY in the country¨. SO... all morning at the border... they finally figured out that my residency is still in process... and they let me go.

The next day we went to Santa Ana for our district meeting.. and as my companion and I were waiting an hour and a half in the middle of nowhere on the side of the highway for the bus for Pajonal to pass... my compy had a little bit of a break down. I didn´t know whether to laugh or cry to hear such anger and desperation to leave the area that I love so dearly... as I´ve been trying to cling on to my faith and hope with our calling and opportunity to work miracles... my partner worked so hard to crush all aspirations. The whole scene was quite dramatic... yelling in the middle of dry-nothingness.. it was classic... but over. As the bus came...the tantrum left... and we got to work.

This change has been so different... it really is a unique situation up there from a missionary perspective... but I still love LOVE LOVE Pajonal and like it says in... Alma 37?.. that by the small and simple things, great things come to pass. We didn´t have the most baptisms...but we had 2 strong ones. We didn´t have the most investigators at church... but we have 4 that are waking up at 4 in the morning to milk their cows and get ready.... walking 30 minutes waiting for the bus...and then traveling for an hour at great financial expense for them... all because they have faith and dedication to the Lord... and are experiencing the blessings of living the gospel. It´s been such a blessing to have the oportunidad to have such a test of patience and hope... and I have really felt my own faith growing as we have been watching the seeds of the faith of others grow too. We have a number of people that are reading and relishing the Book of Mormon and have sincere desires to come to church. Sandra: she has read a TON in the Book of Mormon and marks it UP and loves to share with us what she has learned from certain verses and how she is applying it in her life. She anxiously asks us every time when we´re coming back- because she says that she is SO much happier since she has started reading the book of Mormon. Her son is super sick right now and there isn´t any one else to take care of him. She dreams of being able to asist a meeting up there. Enio: I gave him a pamplet in the street, and when he saw me in the bus he asked me anxiously where he could BUY a Book of Mormon. I gave him my book and told him to read the intro before our appointment in the afternoon. When we came, he had read the intro, testimony of Joseph Smith, and the first 4 chapters of Nephi.... and LOVES it. Yet... all of his left leg is in a cast and he can´t travel. His goal is to read all of it in the next month before they take off his cast. Dora: Cousin of the family Axume. We taught her the first lesson..and she understood it all. She reads the bible and is so ready. We didnt have a book of mormon left to give her that day.. but when we returned the next time... she said that she had read the pamplet various times... and had been praying dilligently to know if it was true. She said that she had the same clear dream 2 nights in a row and has felt SUCH HAPPINESS every time she read the pamplet.. that she knows it´s true and wants to come to church.

Despite the obstacles and negativity I´ve experienced this transfer... the Lord has granted me such sweet tender mercies... that I KNOW that I was supposed to be in Pajonal...and I know that there is a great purpose there. I am grateful every day for the chance to do what we do. It´s truly such an honor. I had a dream of training a new missionary full of fire, naivite, and enthusiam... so that we could literally run door to door and work ourselves dead... to relish every precious moment that we have in our area... and to give EVERYTHING I HAVE. Yet... the Lord has a different plan. Though I was just ever so sure that I would stay in Pajonal for one more change.......... I´ve been transfered to San Salvador to train as the nurse.
I already love Hermana Woods and I KNOW we´ll work great and HARD HARD HARD together...but it´s so hard to leave Candelaria and Pajonal. Also... I think if I train with her this change... then the NEXT change I will be THE NURSE... but the mission is change it´s boundries completely... and the nurse during that time has to find all the new doctors and hospitals, pharmacies...and EVERYTHING. AHHHHHHHH. I am just trying to block out the imagery of me trying to do it all... and in spanish..alone...but like Moroni 7:33 clearly says.. .that I can do all things that are expidient in the Lord. So... here we go!!

On a better note... we had the baptism of Neri this sunday... and it was SO sweet. Though we had dreamed of the WHOLE family coming and have such a great experience... it was hampered when they received a visit from family the day before.. and not all could come. Yet... one new brother came... stayed for all church...loved it... and I know he´ll be baptized. The whole family will make it there... and they´ll probably be THE BRANCH to start up there! :)

Speaking of the Axume family... I´ve attached pictures of them.. and their orchard. We finally made time for allow them to show us their well where they get water... and their BEAUTIFUL orchards of lemons, oranges, mangos... and lots of other new fruits that I don´t remember how they´re called. I could live up there. Easy.

So... I´m leaving the humble world of the dearest people.... to the city with money, more pride...but LOTS of people ready for the gospel.. and ready to be found. I am so ready to hit the ground RUNNING as fast and furious as I want! :)

Love you all!
Hermana Clark

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