Wow. SO MUCH to tell. Yet... no matter how fast or furious I end up tying.... I still won´t be able to sufficiently express how incredibly happy I am.
Having three nurses in a companionship kind of makes for crazy driven obsessive army......but I think it´s totally working. When we sat down at the beginging to make our goals for this change a companionship... we really felt inspired to set some pretty loft goals..... especially in comparison with how this area has been doing in the last few years. Yet... as we prayed and fasted about it.... we felt so clearly and strongly that they would be achieved as long as we were purely obedient and dilligent. So... we didn´t know exactly how it was all going to fold out... only that we were to follow in faith the direction we had received. The beginging of the Lord´s hands in His plan for us started to become much more clear when we received a call from the APs monday morning with the news that in the office was awaiting a companion...for me! We showed up to find this darling 18 year old girl from the same stake that I had just served en (in Santa Ana)- and though at first I was just a little nervous to have a such a young and new convert in such an important transfer.... I had to quickly repent... as I realized how incredibly blessed I am to be with Hermana Guevara. She hunted down her Stake President a few weeks ago and requested that she be able to be a Mini-missionary (as I´ve gotten to know her... I really believe that she HUNTED him down- she is SO my style.)- and now here she is!! She told me last night... that she had seen me in the stake a month ago and felt something so special... and it confirmed her desire to get out here... and so when we met in the office... she said it was really special for her.... and every day this week I have receieved so many sweet confirmations that this sweet girl is such a tender mercy from the Lord from me. Hermana Guevara is the second child of 7 kids and the only member in her family. She was baptized a few years ago...but the rest of her family are VERY evangelistic. Her family is so poor... that she has not been able to go to high school yet... but she was just accepted into a program for such cases that help fund high school (high schools aren´t funded by the government here) and she hopes to start in June. Yet... this girl LOVES to read... and has spent the last few years ABSORBING the scriptures... and has such a ridiculously radiant and shameless testimony. We don´t know the area... so as we´ve been trying to find houses according to the maps that Hna Woods draws on stickynotes (ya...and we all know my lack of sense of direction..in the STATES... it´s ridiculous here.)... we have been finding SO many people to teach. I always feel the Spirit so strong with her... we´ve been having some really special experiences together.
On sunday... we were knocking doors to invite people to church... when Hna Woods headed for the door of a convert family...but very active. I wondered to myself... why are we stopping here if they are so destined to come to church? Yet... Hna Woods was SO clearly inspired. When they opened the door, we found Sandra, a sister has been inactive, but now her husband and kids are taking the discussions and have been working towards baptism. Before I got here... they had meeting with this family very often in their house... until the President told them they couldn´t... because the father had been in a gang in the past and in visiting them... they could make enemies with another gang and it was too dangerous. Yet.... the father had made some really big changes in his life and in his family... and wants to be baptized. For a motnh or so, he had been working so hard on turning his life around... and it was so hard for them to understand why the missionaries couldn´t visit them... if he was destined to be a gang member all his life. Yet... this morning... we found Sandra crying because the night before he had given up... and had come home drunk and had said some very hard things. It was so evident that she wanted so badly that her family could be eternal. We knelt and prayed together... and the Spirit was so strong. It was so beautiful to see this convert family, the family Vasquez, bear such beautiful testimonies of the Atonement, as they told about their yelling matches,... how they almost gave up on their family of 7 kids... how awful their relationship was..... until they learned about the gospel. To hear about some of the mistakes that Hermano Vasquez had made.... but how different their life is.... and then he was able to give Sandra a blessing. I just sobbed with awe at the Spirit to hear such beautiful words of comfort... and eternal promises to Sandra. She gathered her kids together and was at church early and ready to press forward with strength. -------the father finally came to an appointment last night... and will be continueing to progress towards baptism- no matter the process required... they will be eternal. The kids are getting baptized tomorrow!!
When we got to the church... I saw this tall elderly man that was very gringo... and was so confused until I shook his hand and realized he was Elder Clark- the general authority that everyone thinks I´m related to. They always ask me if I´m the family of ELDER CLARK... and I smile and proudly say, YEs I am! He´s doing so well in Argentina!! :)
In the family Vasquez... we´ve been visiting one of the 2 sons that aren´t baptized yet. After years of visits of missionaries to their house... Naum has never allowed the missionaries to talk to him... until now. It´s truly a miracle. He is very apprehensious and closed... and his family kind of takes over the lessons and it´s overwhelming pressure for him.... so we´ve really been praying to know how to help him progress. He studied english for 6 months a year ago... but hasn´t touched it since. Yet... he started speaking really broken english in the middle of a lesson so that his family couldn´t understand so that he could express himself with more trust. We have ended up talking a lot of english in his lessons... and it´s truly a miracle that he has understood. The Spirit was SO strong... we experienced such a clear gift of tongues with him..... and the Lord loves him SO MUCH.
Hermana Guevara and I had a really beautiful day yesterday. We were wandering around and around and around..... looking for a house in some street in some colonia.... of some family that HErmana Woods told us to visit. I was about to give up on finding the house... and didn´t even know where I was... but I kept feeling like we were being guided...but it didn´t make sense... because we still couldn´t find the stinkin´house!! Then... as we were walking... I felt something stop me in my tracks... and I looked to my side... and the Spirit washed over me. I saw a woman with 2 little kids at her legs.. as she was kissing goodbye to her supposed Spouse. I grabbed Hna G´s arm and said, WE HAVE TO TEACH THEM. We walked over there... and I didn´t know what else to say to her but.... Hermana... the Lord sent us to you to help your family eternal. Can we come in and teach you how? She was dumbfounded for a second... then snapped to and said, well... ya! Come in? .....I can´t describe how sweet that lesson was... what all was said and what all happened.... but we just told... the truth. Just like it is. That the Lord loves her, that he knows just what she needs to be happy.... and it´s the gospel. By the end... we were all sobbing... and her little boy said... I´ve never seen my mommy cry! She accepted a baptismal date for the 9th. When we knelt to pray... as I prayed... I justed cried and thanked the Lord for such a pathetic ugly map that Hna Woods drew...that we were so lost...but completely guided. She didn´t want us to go... and we didn´t want to go....but we had another baptismal date to make! - but we get to go back today... and I am SO excited!!! Her name is Elsy...and she is a miracle all set and ready for us.
After that.. we literally SPRINTED (Hna Geuvara likes to go fast!! yay!!) to our next appointment with Jorge. Hermana Vasquez (did I mention I LOVE the family Vasquez??) gave him the book of Mormon... and he´s read it TWICE. Yup... he was totally ready...and we signed him up for the 9th too. Yet... he´s not married and has a crazy job that calls him whenever they want to drive a bus... so we are just praying that he will be able to come to church... and that we can find and teach his girlfriend so they can be married and baptized too.
We came home last night and colapsed from exhaustion...............and bliss.
We are seeing that the goals that we made are SO possible. With the Lord.... everything is possible. I KNOW that the Lord is with us... and I have honestly never been happier in my life.
P.S. HEY!!! HOW COME NO ONE TOLD ME RYAN RAMSEY IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!?? That was my favorite part of the package!! What a beautiful surprise! It probably sounds like I cry a lot out her.... oh, ´cause I kinda do sometimes! It made me so happy. Ryan... I am praying for you. I will be thinking of you April 2nd. I am SO happy.