Was this week loco or what?! We’ve officially left Atahualpa and are in barrio Aeropuerto! The elders were looking for a room and pensionista for us just about all week when we received a call from President Williams telling us to “forget about the limit lines… just go find yourselves a room and pensionista and move ASAP!” So we spent pretty much all day Thursday searching in the pouring rain, found one, and moved in Friday! And here we are. Asi es. (And no, if you’re wondering, there are no “listings” in this country. You find a house by wandering around, looking for signs, and asking people—great contacting time!).
So here we are! Because we are opening this new area, we decided on Friday afternoon to start by going to meet some members and contact. Well let me just tell you, we experienced what is possibly the biggest miracle of my mission so far…
The first contact of our time proselytizing in our new area was this woman standing outside her door (typically we focus on just contacting families, but why not?). Frankly, this woman wasn’t very interested. BUT WAIT! Out walks another woman who we began to contact. Meet Erica. She first tells us that she has taken the missionary lessons before. Then she shows us her house around the corner and we ended up going inside to share our message. Well, as we began doing a bit of “como comenzar enseñar” (as PME says), we soon learned that her husband is a member who was baptized when he was little but has never been active. Then she told us she has three children and introduced us to them. We also learned she just moved from Trujillo about a week ago where she, her husband, and their three darling children had been taking the lessons, attending church, and planning to be baptized for over four months. The little girl is around seven or eight years of age and was basically begging us to help her get baptized. Apparently they LOVED church in Trujillo. Erica shad she has been looking for the church and missionaries here and hadn’t found it until us. :)
BASICALLY A DREAM! A part member, beautiful, complete family. I could die now. I’m sure the missionaries that lost them were extremely sad, but hey! Their prayers are being answered.
To make this rather short story even longer, we came back Saturday for a lesson and they blew us off. But they had said they would come to conference on Sunday. So Sunday morning came and we went to remind them/ pick them up. We stood there waiting for about 15 minutes and were hoping that AT LEAST Erica would come. Well, out from the other side of their house appeared this moto! And inside was Erica and all three of her children. They waved and motioned for us to hop in, so we did! We told the driver where the chapel was and off we went. Well about halfway through the drive, Erica introduced us to her husband, Michél, who was conveniently DRIVING THE MOTO! Mind blown. So after months in Atahualpa of doing everything possible to DRAG our investigators to church with little success, here we were our first Sunday after opening an area for two days with this beautiful COMPLETE family in the chapel. We got there a bit early so we could give them a tour of the chapel. When we got to this picture of the temple on the wall, both Erica and her husband Michel told us they wanted to go there and be sealed so they could be an eternal family. I JUST ABOUT DIED RIGHT THERE. It is ever so clear that we are simply instruments for the Lord! We did almost nothing but follow the spirit, and yet here we were as the hands of the Lord to help this beautiful family reach that goal.
What does it really matter that we had to move mid-transfer? What does it matter that our room and area maybe aren’t as nice as they were before? What does it matter that I have three weeks to learn this area before I have to run it? We have the spirit’s help and this sacred and amazing opportunity to be His instruments to bring people like Erica, Michél, Joan, Olenca, y Maria onto the path that leads to la vida eternal junta como familia.
I love my calling! I love the Lord. I love General Conference and the beautiful messages of our prophets and apostles. I can’t even pick favorites. They were just so perfect. Conference is different as a missionary. You see more clearly the basic and beautiful principles of the gospel and get to constantly focus on the needs of others around you. I LOVE IT! It really was just like Christmas!!! As Elder Packer told us in this beautiful conference, “The Lord is no stranger to His servants.” I pray with all my heart that I will learn to know, serve, and follow the Savior better and better each day. I know I’ve got a long way to go, but as I “ponder the path of my feet” (as President Monson advised us—see Proverbs 4:26), I know I can get there and help others get there, too.
So long beloved family and friends. I’ll hear from you soon.
Much Love Forever,