So it all started on Monday at 6...normally elders choose to waste that time. Many of them don`t even leave their rooms until 7. However, Elder Woodburn and I have been really focusing on being 100 percent obedient. So, last weekend when we contacted a lady in her doorstep and she told us that she was busy and to come back (normally they say that because they don`t want anything to do with us) we told her we would be there Monday at six. We knocked that door and were astounded when she opened the door and just said, come in!
We got in the door and it looked like they were playing a game as a family! Something that I have NEVER seen here in Peru. However, they were just doing some homework. Still...it was suprising to see five people working together on something.
We sat all six of them down and began talking a bit. We found out hat 4 years ago one of their 4 daughters died in a car accident. You could tell that they were all torn up by it. They also told us that their granddaughter had been living with them for 3 years when their son in law decided out of the blue that he wanted his daughter back, so he abducted her as her aunt was walking her to school!! They`re now in the middle of a trail with him, hoping to get their granddaughter back because the father really isn`t a great guy.
Anyway...as I heard this story, I KNEW that we needed to teach the Plan of Salvation. The spirit told me clear as day. I also knew that we needed to teach a bit about the prophets as well. It was really cool because my companion had the same exact impression so we taught a really good lesson, and left there feeling the spirit.
When we went back on Wednesday, the Bayona Chunga family was waiting for us. :) The mother and two daughters had read the pamphlet! Not only had they read, they understood! Not only did they gain understanding, the spirit was STRONG in their house. It was really cool to walk in and just feel that cool breeze of the spirit enter into your heart. There was a feeling of love, hope, and peace that simply was not there before we had come.
We began teaching a bit more about the Plan of Salvation and talked more about Adam and Eve and the consequences of the fall. That`s a doctrine that the whole world has confused, and they loved how we taught that Christ had overcome the fall so that we could have eternal families. This time we commited the father to read the pamphlet and also left the video `Together Forever.`
I thought that was a super amazing lesson...but I was wrong! Friday we got there and instead of a cool breeze or more of a hint of the spirit, we walked into a WALL of pure power that only comes when God has entered into a home. It reminded me of the temple...honestly. They all immediately stopped what they were doing, turned the TV off, and before even having a lot of small talk they explained to us what they had read. The father had read and understood the whole Plan of Salvation! HE taught US!! It was super cool! The older daughter, who really hadn`t listened a lot before, said she was super moved by the video and by the possibility that she could see her sister Jaquelin again.
Pure JOY filled my soul as I just sat there and listened to how this family was already changing...the house had changed completely. They hadn`t painted or moved the furniture or even taken the huge image of the Saint off of their wall, but the spirit had done a very thorough job of cleaning out the sadness and giving them joy and hope.
We explained very little in this lesson, because the father had asked us about `who is your leader? or who gave you this knowledge of the plan?` They didn`t have time for us to explain so we simply left the pamphlet that talks about the prophets and Joseph Smith.
Saturday was the last time that we saw them, and we had another great mini lesson. They had all read the pamphlet about the Restoration and understood really well!! They were a bit confused because they had always heard that Peter left the keys to the Papa. (What`s he called in English? The leader of the catholic church...oh! Pope!!) However, they had some great questions! He even asked about the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchezidek! Obviously, he`s never heard of that before.
We could tell that there was some doubt there so we left the commitment to read some scriptures in the Bible that explain more about the apostacy and also to pray to God to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet.
I want to bear my testimony that I KNOW, without a single doubt in my mind, that this is God`s work. Elder Woodburn and I haven`t done anything more than follow the spirit with this family. We have entered into their home, two young men from a foreign nation, and taught them what we have learned. God is the one that is changing them. God has entered into their home and family in a way that they have probably never experienced Him before.
Of course, this wasn`t the only experience from this week...we have had some really amazing lessons together, Elder Woodburn and I. We`re very similar in how we teach. We both have a lot of desires to be here, which helps a lot! I`ve had some very...submissive, kind of go with the flow companions. They don`t take the initiative. However, Elder Woodburn does. He really does everything he can to be a great missionary and we`re both working super hard.
This week we also had our Zone Meeting where we train the elders in our zone. Well...it didn`t go very well! The elders just didn`t seem to understand...and I didn`t feel very good about my performance personally. That`s ok, because every training meeting can`t be perfect, but I hope that God will give me the chance to help this Zone get better. Our numbers are falling a bit, but I know that we`re all working super hard!
This week we had 2 baptisms!! I was able to baptise Felix, and i included a picture here of him and me. It was really cool to participate in his baptism, even though I hardly even knew him!
Well...I hope all of you are doing well there in the states! I can`t wait to see you this Sunday! It will be a very interesting phone call...seeing as that it`s my last. Wow. My last phone call? Didn`t I just make the first one last month? Honestly...time flies in the mission. I`m just glad that I`ve got a long time to go before I get on that plane. :) Not that I don`t miss you...I just love being part of this work. If you had been with the Bayona Chunga family this last week, you would understand too. :)
Love you all to tears! Keep working hard! Keep up your spirits! Don`t forget to do `the little things` like reading the scriptures, praying, going to church, and keeping the commandments. In the end, it`s really easier to do all of those things because if not, you`re left to yourself, without the spirit to help bouy you up and guide you. It really is a horrible life without the Holy Ghost to help you.
Love you all!
|1. Elder Cañete before he went home! He was the AP that I learned most from! Really a GREAT missionary that I will ALWAYS remember! too bad I never got to proselite with him. :(|
|2. Elder Chinchay (now Brother Chinchay) with his cowboy hat. Pretty good lookin pair, huh?|
|3. This is PROOF that my companion is cold!!! Elder Woodburn got out his blanket this morning. I was suprised!! However, it has been kind of chilly here lately...(i`m gonna die at USU!)|
|4. Elder Woodburn and I. It`s super fun to be two gringos together!|