Monday, March 16, 2015
Hello Friends and Family!!
Ahhhhh!! I have so much to tell you all and so little time!! Have I told you about Madeline and Gonzalo before?!?! I'm sure I have but I'll explain who they are again just in case!! Madeline is a less-active member of the church that Hermana Jenkins and her companion before me found knocking doors and she told them they could come back another time! When they went to visit her again she had fallen and broken her leg! Then they had transfers so when I got here Madeline had just had surgery on her leg so she has two huge metal plates in her leg now. So obviously she was in need of lots of help which meant that Hermana Jenkins and I could come over LOT to help them with things around the house that she couldn't do anymore and her husband, Gonzalo, just didn't have time for. So we started sharing with them VERY often, just scriptures and prayers and service at first and Gonzalo would always leave the room when we were going to share a message but we continued teaching Madeline. Little by little her husband started being more and more open to talking with us.
We came to find out, little by little, that Gonzalo was pretty sure that he believed in God but didn't believe in religion. He believed that all of the churches are just there to gain money and that he didn't have to be part of a religion to worship God. Little by little we started teaching him about our message of the restoration of the gospel and we began to see him changing!! Friends and family... I just want you to know that this is the best thing in the ENTIRE WORLD!! To be able to see the change that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings to the hearts and minds and lives of the people!! He began to soften his heart! He began to smile! He began to laugh! He began to share his feelings and desires with us! He began to pray! He began to read the scriptures! He is now a completely different man from the one that we met 2 months ago!!
Well... now that you understand the background... Gonzalo told us this Monday that he has decided that he wants to be baptized!!!!! AHHHHH!!! I am soo happy for him and for his family!! They also have a son named Vicente and I just know that this decision that he has made is going to bless his little family in ways that he does not even understand right now!! The only problem now is that they, like the grand majority of the Chilean population, are not married. soooooo he has a baptismal date for April 11th and we are planning their WEDDING!!! How fuuunn!!!! They want to get married in the chapel!!! :))) I am so happy that I get to be part of this huge moment in their lives!! And even more, I am soooooo thankful for the wonderful ward that I am in right now that helps us in soo many many ways!!! Ahhhh you have no idea how freaking happy I am right now!!!!!! :DDDD
AANNND we had an awesome missionary activity this week!! (the missionaries plan an activity each month) and it went sooo well!! We were trying to help the members understand how the recent converts and investigators feel when they come to church for the first time so we had a couple of games that they were playing and we explained really badly how to play (one elder was even explaining in English... hahaha) and expecting them to be able to just figure it out themselves and we gave them a recipe to make Rice Krispy Treats which was super brief and in Spanglish and left them to it in the kitchen with all sorts of things in their that they didn't really need! it was super fun! But the best part was that we had one of our zone leaders dress up like a hobo and come in and just sit in the room where we were to try to see what the reaction of the ward would be. Guys... You have to know that my ward is the BEST!! haha The members treated him sooo well! Included him in all of the activities and helped him to feel comfortable, offered him coats and other clothing items that they didn't need. Our bishop and first counselor even gave him an interview and found him a place to stay for the night and were making plans for the future for him!!! It was sooo amazing!! When we were ending the activity, one of the Elders in our ward was explaining that the same way that they felt when they were doing these activities is how the new members feel when they come into the church. And then he said that his friend, Elder Gomez (the "homeless man") wanted to say a few words. As he spoke, there were multiple women (almost all of them) crying because the spirit was so strong as he was talking and others laughing because we had completely tricked them. It was sooo great!!! Then... the next day in church they talked about the activity in EVERY meeting!! haha the bishop even spoke in sacrament meeting and half of his talk was about the activity!! haha we, as missionaries, felt really good about this activity!! :)
I love this work!!! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!!!!!
And I love you guys too!! :) so much!!!