Well First of all, I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!! It was so fun to see everyone and to hear that Noelle is going to dar luz in just a few days and I didn't even know she was preggers and to see Hallie not know who the heck I am. Oh wait. I'm Nally. Laaaaame! But it was really fun. I thoroughly enjoyed every slightly awkward minute of it. I wanted more time too mom. But 40 minutes is the mission rule and I think it's wise. Our president is really wise. Great guy.
Well My Christmas was different but all the same really good. And that's because, first, in the Noche Buena, well the day of that is, we were in a lesson with a new investigator named Rosemary. She's Fredi's cousin, the guy we're going to baptize in just a few weeks. Well she's 17 and we were a little bummed about that because it's not like we don't want to ask permission for her to baptized... it's just more complicated. But everything kinda worked out really well. First, we asked her if she had the desire to learn about the gospel. She came to a ward activity we had the past week and she just looooved it. She was having a ball. So based on that we were pretty confident that she was going to be all gun-ho about learning. And so she responded to us, Yeah I really want to join your group. That's what I want. To join! So we were all excited about that! And then I asked her again, well how old are you, just to make sure I heard right. And she said 17. So little bit of a disanimar again. But then I asked her when she turned 18. And she said "oh the 2nd of January!" And we were all "Yay!" because that's this week. So that was good news number one. And then we challenged her to be baptized. And she said "Yeah that's where I see this going too. So Yeah I do want to be baptized. But I want to wait some time." Bummer number 2. And we asked, "Well, how much time?" expecting the worse. But then she just said "Yeah I want to wait until.... the end of January. Yeah fines de enero and I'll be ready!" Good news/miracle number 2! And then she said "But I want to talk to my mom first." And we were obviously understanding of that. I mean she has to talk to her mom. But it also scared us a little bit. But then she said after "But I know that whether or not I get baptized depends on me. Only me. Not my mom." That is exactly what she said, translated in English of course. But wow what a roller coaster because it was like "yeah no she's not going to accept" to "Yeah she'll get baptized" and back to "oh I don't know again!". But every time she just said something new and it really testified to me that yeah, the Lord really is preparing the hearts of people. Who are ready. And who will progress. And who will do what it is that they have to do in order to follow Jesus Christ. It's amazing. Every doubt I had in that lesson was immediately resolved. And it was because we had found one of the prepared. One of the softened hearts that God had prepared for us. It was a really cool experience and now we're waiting for her to get back from Juli to tell us how things went with her mom and if her mom is as well going to start with the lessons. We have an appointment tomorrow and I am really excited about it. So that was kind of the cool experience for this week.
But something really sad also happened this week. We have an investigator named Luighi. He's the son of another investigator named Julio. Luighi has been progressing really rapidly these past couple weeks. We started teaching him week 6 of the last cambio and then he came to church that same Sunday, stayed for all 3 hours, and then the next Sunday he came as well, this time bringing Julio too. And they both stayed for the 3 hours. And then in our lessons, he just was always asking really good questions and just really seemed like he wanted to learn. I just saw a lot of potential and real intent in Luighi, and it made me really excited because I knew that if Luighi could progress, then he could really help his dad out to progress as well. But in one of our lessons, Luighi confided in us that his relationship with his dad was... well basically non existent. They didn't really have much to do with each other. And so we decided to start working with them both, Julio even more. But in one lesson, which I just thought was going so well, we had read with him the testimony of Joseph Smith and I felt the spirit and I thought I saw Luighi feeling the spirit, and we were about to challenge him to be baptized the 23 of January, but he looks at us and says "Hermanas hold on a minute. I think we just need to stop here. I haven't gotten my sign yet and so I think it might be a good idea to just stop our visits for now because I don't want you to lose your time and I don't want to waste your time. I want you guys to be able to teach people that have gotten their sign. So I'll call you when I get it, but until then, I think this is enough." I literally felt my jaw hit the floor. It's not what I was expecting at all. Then he said "Really I just started taking these lessons so that you could help my dad. And he's already gotten his answer (Julio had a dream about Jesus Christ) and so maybe it's better if you just focus on him." My heart was on the verge of breaking. I couldn't believe that he was asking to stop our visits. I mean I was happy that he thought we could help Julio, but I didn't want to lose him in the process. I felt like Elder Moreno in THe District when Jynx called and told them "The Mormons not for me". And the same thing was going through my head "We can't lose him! I don't want to lose him!" So I tried to do what they did. I tried to testify to him of the Book of Mormon and it's power to answer prayers, because he too wasn't reading the book of Mormon. I told him he couldn't give up on us yet. That if he wanted to help his dad, he too needed to be on this same path. And finally we came to a conclusion. We asked him to read the first chapter of Nephi and then to pray. And we promised him that if he did it, with all the faith he has, that si o si, he would receive an answer. He said he would do it and that we could have one more visit with him to see if he got an answer. That visit is scheduled for this week. So we'll see what happened. Hermana Rodriguez and I fasted yesterday especially for him. And now we're just waiting. I hope everything goes right. I'll keep you posted for next week.
This week really has been an emotional roller coaster a bit. I think that partially has to do with Christmas. Well I know it has to do with that. But also last Monday we had a zone Conference in which the Zone Leaders shared a story about an Elder who was in a lesson and his companion or someone testified of the First Vision and the Investigator started to cry and excepted baptism and all that. And the Elder thought "You know, I say the same exact things, and I never get that reaction" And it really bothered him. So he talked to his mission president about it and his president said to him "Elder, what do you think when pretty girls walk by? Have you ever responded to your junior companion with sarcasm or belittlement? Do you wake up at 6:30 every morning? This is the difference. I want you to go home an start a fast. Start with a prayer and then when you finish your prayer, sit down and start a list of all the things that you do right now that keep you from being able to feel and testify with the spirit. and then do a 40 day fast from all these things. After this purification process, you'll see that not only do you feel better, but you will be able to teach with the power and authority of God." And then said some more stuff along those lines. And that was our Zone... "Project" This week. We all started a fast, together, and wrote these lists. And it was something really cool. Because When I was writing my own list, things came to my mind that I did that I didn't even realize were keeping me from feeling and teaching with the spirit. And it was this that I tried to fix this past week. And It worked. Really well. . But this fast really opened my eyes to all the faults I still have to fix. The potential I still have to become. And it was a really cool, growing experience. And that's what I learned this week. That hey, I'm not a picnic by any means and that if I want things to change, I need to change.
And now we'll switch from super serious to light and fluffy topics!
First, Christmas Eve here is nuts! They all stay up until midnight and then eat dinner and then open presents. So that's fun. But we obviously can'´t do that because 10:30 curfew and stuff. So we were sleeping normal. But the second the clock struck midnight, Puno exploded! I was sound asleep dreaming about sugar plums or something, but my sweet sugar plum fairy dreams turned into world war 3 as I started dreaming about bombs going off and I just kinda freaked out only to wake up and actually hear what I thought were bombs right outside my window! So I run to the window just to see that, from everyone's roof tops, there are fireworks going off! EVERYONE'S ROOFTOPS!! and puno is just really jammed packed with houses and there isn't much space in between the houses so it was kind of really scary. Puno was literally exploding. It freaked me out and then it was kind of cool. Just really unexpected. So that was fun. Also my Pensionista, Hermana Elli, who you guys met on skype, she called us at 12:15 just to wish us a feliz navidad. It was really Sweet. I love her.
I love you all. Send my love to everyone! Thanks for the prayers and the love!
And My subject line has no point, I just love Jericho Road.