Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 28, 2015 - Trial of our Faith (still in Aguas Buenas)

Por fin! Yesterday and this morning have been absolutely crazy so I'm sorry for no email yesterday, but here it is! Yesterday, we had a zone activity for p-day which ended up taking us a lot longer than we had expected. We cleaned the Caguas chapel and then went bowling! It was so fun! Our mini missionary that had been with us this week went home on Sunday but then came back to go bowling with us and her mom insisted on taking us out to lunch after bowling so we didn't get home until 5:30 and then had family night with members at 6:30 so that's why we couldn't email. But it was seriously so much fun! I love my district and I love being a missionary! :) 

Having a mini missionary this past week was awesome! She was so super sweet and already such a great missionary! I learned so much from her. And right after she left on Sunday, we got a text from President Boucher asking if we would be ok to have another mini missionary next week! Of course we said yes, so I'm super excited for that!

Update on A and J: They didn't come to church and they were going to come with us to the family night but they bailed last minute so that was slightly disappointing. I still have complete faith in them though that they will be baptized in the next couple weeks. Our last lesson with them we taught them the law of chastity and told them that they needed to get married before they could get baptized and I think that shook them a bit, but I guess everyone needs a trial of their faith and I'm certain that they will be fine in the next couple of days.

Miraculously we also found two other couples that seem to be pretty interested. M and A are super sweet and have tons of questions and we're meeting with them today so I hope that goes well. And then we watched Meet the Mormons with J and J and they were both crying at the end and the Spirit was so strong and they have lots of questions too, so I'm excited to see where it goes with them. 

Also, this week was definitely a trial of our faith. Basically every cita we had planned this week fell through so we did lots of walking and finding. It was a bit rough, but we kept on going and promised that no matter how hard it was we were going to be exactly obediant and do the best we could do. Because of this, Heavenly Father blessed us with an amazing opportunity on Saturday. We were walking down this street and there was a man sitting there waiting for someone. As we passed he said, "you guys have something different..... I think it's the Spirit." After we had talked to him a bit about the Spirit and the blessings of the restored gospel, he said with tears in his eyes "What do I need to do? I'm hungry for the word of God." It was the sweetest experience! Heavenly Father had tested us all this week to see if we would still work hard and be obedient when nothing was working out and because we did our best, he blessed us with this experience. It was incredible! He was so humble and so ready. The Lord truly does prepare His children to hear the word of God. 

So we've been struggling a bit to get member participation in this work. It's a very small branch and everyone keeps to themselves so we're trying to find ways to strengthen the branch and help them have a desire to help us and help in this work. The branch is very dependent on the missionaries and I know it's not supposed to be that way... I want to see if you guys have any suggestions as to how we can help the branch and help them be more dependent on each other and not the missionaries. What do you think?

This week Satan was hammering me with thoughts like "I'm not the missionary I want to be right now, but if I were speaking English I would be able to be that missionary". It was pretty frustrating. But I talked to Hermana Stevens about it and she said something that I will never forget. She said, "If you already knew Spanish, yes, you may be able to be the missionary that you want to be, but you wouldn't be able to be the missionary that God wants you to be." That was exactly what I needed to hear. Yes, it's difficult learning a new language, but the things I'm learning as I practice Spanish are much more valuable and are things that the Lord needs me to learn. The Lord wouldn't ask me to speak Spanish if He didn't think I could do it. I know it's going to be a process, but I know this experience is shaping me into the missionary that the Lord wants and needs me to be. There's been an incredible difference in my teaching with this new perspective and this new attitude and now I'm so grateful for this opportunity to learn Spanish! 

Aguas Buenas isn't a tourist place so there's nothing to see or do on p-days. We see it all throughout the week so we just use p-days for other things at our house. And it's basically all Spanish here because it's all campo. The city is where people speak English. But A and J (our investigators) prefer English so they are the only ones that I can speak English with... it's nice to have the break every now and then :)

We find new people basically just by talking to everyone we pass. But sometimes we schedule an hour or two for contacting and we pick an area and then pray about that specific area and then walk through the area and gritar at the houses that we feel impressed we should stop at. (that's something I don't think I've explained yet. In Puerto Rico, everyone's house is surrounded by a gate, so we can't go knocking on doors. So basically we have to stand outside their gates and yell "Buenos Dias" or something like that until someone comes outside. It's pretty exciting. :)) And you mentioned something about if there are many people that we are "actively" teaching... that's not really a thing in Aguas Buenas right now. This area is really slow and if anyone is progressing, they progress really slowly. No one keeps commitments or citas so it's very difficult to be constantly teaching someone. We're working on that though! :)

Well, once again I can't send pictures because they got a new computer that doesn't read my memory card anymore.... so we'll try to work something out so that I can send pics, but for now, sorry!

Anyways, everything is fabulous and I'm absolutely loving missionary life! Love you all so so very much and I hope everything is going well! Les Amo!!!!!

~Hermana Allan

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