This week has been incredible for me and I really hope that I will be able to get everything down here! If I mess up some times...pardon me, because my english is horrible now! But I wanted to tell you all of the amazing spiritual experiences that I`m having here in the grand desert of Sechura Piura Peru!
So the first person I have to tell you about is Ana. She is the mother of our recent convert, Felix. She`s been fairly open to our message, mostly for her son. However, she`s never really expressed desire to listen or anything, even when I have offered to come over and teach her. However, that changed over the course of a few weeks!
On Tuesday night we watched a small Mormon Message with her, and at the end I had the impression to be super direct with her and invite her to read the Book of Mormon and take the discussions. Well, after simply bearing a bold testimony, she asked me what she needed to do! It was like music to my ears...having someone finally ask what they needed to do. I pointed to the BOM as the first step...tomorrow we find out if she took it!
The other miracle in my life is Claudia. She is only 14...and I do think that part of the reason she listens to us is because she`s a snake. However! She is really receptive and is following through with committments. This Sunday she even came to church for the first time, a big step!
So last week we had a lesson with her on the Plan of Salvation. We felt impressed to teach that before we even showed up, but when we got there we found out why! A super close family friend, they call her their `aunt` just died. She began to cry as she told us that. Well, as the lesson went on, and I began explaining the power of the Atonement in our lives, we both could feel the spirit super strong. I shared Alma 7:11-12 with her, and she couldn`t finish because she was crying. I felt the spirit so strong in that moment.
In the next lesson, she related to us that she felt something super warm come over her...and that she even felt a hand on her shoulder comforting her! I felt the spirit witness to me that it really did happen. She is recognizing the spirit little by little, and I have faith that she will receive and recognize the answer from God that this is the true church.
Sunday was quite an experience as well with Claudia. She was SUPER nervous to go, it was the first time she had attended any church other than the Catholic church. She knew two or three members, but none were really her friends. During sacrament meeting, I sat next to her, and I could see and feel the tension, stress, and fear in her. I said many silent prayers that she would be able to relax and feel the spirit.
Unfortunately, two of the loudest members sat directly behind us. One of them had his cellphone on, and it went of FIVE times during the meeting! Even after the Branch President clearly asked that everyone turn off their phones, it went off. He also began an argument with another member, and it ended up that Claudia and I weren`t able to listen to a single talk because they were so distracting. Claudia even began crying, just a 14 year old girl, and said that she wouldn`t come back again. It practically broke my heart because of these two 20 year olds acting like they were 6. I was a little upset, to say the least.
She did end up staying for the classes, even though I could tell she felt uncomfortable the entire time. I prayed super hard that God would comfort her and that she would be able to feel the spirit there in the church. I felt the spirit whisper to me that I can trust in God. I know that to be true, and even if one Sunday is a horrible experience, God can overcome that and still convey His message to Claudia.
After church we talked with her quite a bit, and I could tell that she was upset about the way things went, but also she was accepting. She understands that there are people that are loud and interruptive. She really is quite understanding for a 14 year old, which is why she makes such a great investigator! She reads and understands the Book of Mormon 10 times faster than many of the adults we teach. We just have to get her to apply and have desires to know the truth.
I am praying for a miracle with her. She is deeply rooted in her Catholic beliefs, and also in her Saints. However, I know that if we can just get her to read and pray every day, everything else is going to fall off her and she`ll have an increased faith in Jesus Christ and His restored church.
It`s really tough to believe that this week marked 9 months in Peru! I am starting to feel like I`ve been away a long time from the states. Especially right now when I`m writing...I know that the grammer is absolutely horrendous, but the problem is, I honestly don`t know how to fix it anymore. It sounds wrong even as I write it...but I don`t know what it is that is wrong...my brain is gone I tell you!
Anyway, I hope you all are enjoying the Olympics! I`m fighting hard to NOT watch them! Not going to lie...I got a peek on Sunday of some swimming and weights. We`ve got one USA fan here in Sechura at least! Go USA! Gold all the way!
Well, remember that I love you all! Remember to do the most important things first: read the scriptures and pray. Your relationship with Heavenly Father is more important than any other thing in eternity. Always remember that!