Hola familia y amigos,
This week was good, but hard. I have continued to exercise my faith and really hope for good things to happen. Yet they have not happened the way I expected.
This week, James, an investigator from Barrio 2 got baptized. Remember James??? I found him, or he found me, while I was serving in Barrio 6. Me and Hermana Hansen then Hermana Munden started teaching him. When we unfortunately found out he was not in our area, we passed him on. When I learned that he had accepted to be baptized I was beyond excited. I really enjoyed teaching him and really felt a special connection as missionary and investigator with him. If ever there was a baptism I wanted to see it was this one. I was really excited to go to the baptism and bring one of our investigators who is getting baptized this week.
I called our investigator and everything was good to go. We were going to meet him in our area and then go to the baptism together. We went to our designated meeting spot and he was not around. Nor did he answer his phone. I believed so hard that I could go to this baptism and that James would want me there too, and our investigator would benefit from seeing one. I had faith that it would work out.
I suggested we pray and then I called him one more time. He answered and said he was on his way and close. How relieved I felt. He soon came and I was very pleased. We were going to the baptism! But then he told us that he couldn´t go all the way to Manuel Becerra. He did not have time. I tried to help him see that it would be good, but he really said he couldn´t. I finally backed down because I knew it was more important he go to church the next day then see the baptism. That was a hard thing to do.
I am trying so hard to have faith, and see miracles. I know things are happening for a reason. I know I am going to keep being faithful and doing the best I can, but I just don´t understand. I´m doing okay, but I cannot lie and say I am not a bit discouraged. Part of me doesn´t want to have faith anymore, because it just hurts so much. But I know blessings will and have come, and I know I will keep persevering. Other than this, it has been a wonderful week.
Dad, I really liked what you said in your email. That will really help me this week. And a lot of good things happened this week. I just need to focus on those!
We had 2 investigators at church that we were not expecting to come. Justino, the man we tried to baptize last weekend came, which is good because he hasn´t in a while and he hasn´t been able to meet with us in a while. I think he is working more during the week so he can come to church. I hope this will help him progress towards baptism.
We also had Miranda come to church. I called her about an hour before it started and I´m pretty sure I woke her up. She had an excuse that she didn´t have her bus pass. I don´t like excuses so I very politely asked if she could buy a ticket and she said she would see if she could use her mom´s bus pass. I kind of figured that was her making another excuse so when she walked into sacrament meeting with about 20 minutes left I was beyond feliz!
We have been receiving more and working really hard. I always find great joy in working hard and I really love the mission, even the hard parts. We have been going through our area phone numbers and just calling people who are listed as investigators to see if they want to meet again.
Last night we had a lesson with such a person. He is from Brazil and she is from Ecuador and they have a 3 year old boy. AND they are MARRIED! whoot whoot. He has read the Book of Mormon a bit, but he doesnt really believe in Churches. He talked about how they are super corrupt and prideful and all. Hopefully he will be open to listening about one that isnt.
Now I want to tell you all about Montes. He is getting baptized this Saturday and he is AMAZING. He is from Senegal and speaks his native language and French and as for Spanish mas o menos. So he is fun to teach. We had to teach repentance a good 7 times for him to understand. But he has a Muslim father and a Christian mother and he prefers the Christian belief.
I really don´t know if he understands everything, but he prayed and felt good and has such a desire to do what is right. He quit smoking cold turkey and when we told him he couldn´t wear his earring he just threw it at the wall. He always asks us if something is bad and really wants to do what is right. He is MOVING pisos becasue his Muslim friends don´t like that he is getting baptized.
We had a miracle with him this week. He did not come to church on Sunday and so we were questioning his baptism preparedness. He had only come to church twice and we thought the mission rule was 3 times but it is just several or various. So more than one. We had talked to the AP´s to see if they could help and they explained the church rule and basically said to pray. So we did and felt really good about Montes getting baptized this week. Then he called and explained why he wasnt at church and had a really good excuse. He was on his way and his Muslim friends stopped him. This is why he is moving.
We had zone conference on the 4th and got to sing the national anthem. That was fun.
We had the most legit food appointment. She took us to an all-you-can-eat asian buffet. Sushi, chinese bread, rice and really good food! It was for her birthday. I felt like I was back in Ogden. Members taking us out to eat. Never did I expect that in Spain. It was BEAUTIFUL!
My BIRTHDAY. I forgot about that one. It was SOOO good. THanks for the outfit mom/keith. I LOVE it! Everyone was really nice to me. Lots of different Hermanas called me. Hermana Hansen sang happy birthday to me in Norwegian. President and Hermana Jackson called. It was a good day.