Well this week was fun. And sad. Hermana Borja left for home, and so did President Harbertson. But it's ok. I only cry at night now.
But we strangely had a lot of success this week. I want to tell you about Brenda!
Brenda Huessenberg is her name, and yes she is Peruvian. I don't know where she got a German last name, and she doesn't even say it right, but she was one of our new investigators last night. We contacted her the Sunday before and it was kind of a weird contact because we stopped her in the street and offered to give her a card, to which she responded with a slightly blank stare and then said "Uhmmmm, yeah. I need to go to the pharmacy, but wait for me I'll be right back." And then crossed the street and entered the pharmacy. Well Hermana Borja and I were a little confused... we just kinda looked at each other with a "should we wait" look, and then with out words, decided that we would wait. We waited like 5 minutes, and she came back and told us that now we could give her the card. She told us that she had heard of the Mormon church through documentaries that she had seen. When we heard that we just thought oh no that can't be good, so we set an appointment to tell her the TRUTH about the Mormon church. She accepted and then yesterday was our appointment.
She started like suuuuper cold. Like she didn't really say anything when we walked into her house and it was painfully awkward. She we started with a prayer, and then we just asked her what it was that she already knew, or thought she knew about the church. Now I thought that I had heard some weird rumors about the Mormons, but I had never heard these. Like weird reasons for being excommunicated and requirements for getting baptized. Just some weird stuff that we couldn't help but laugh. And that's how we broke the ice. We were laughing, she was laughing saying "yeah when I heard that I thought it sounded a little strange." And just laughter. Then we explained to her in what we really believe. And she really liked it. I mean go figure, because the things that she heard were awful. And we invited her to church, and she said that she would love to and now she's going to come with her children, and it was just a suuuuuuper cool appointment. We also met her sister in law, who has attended the church like 5 times in Puerto Maldonado and wants to learn more and it was kind of just the perfect appointment. And so what started out as a weird contact became one of the most golden investigators that I've found on the street. Goes to show that we should always trust in God and that in one way or the other, he's going to present us with the prepared.
And there's something else that I've kind of learned from this, and that it's that no effort is wasted. In missionary work, I think that's the most common misconception, that if I don't talk to such and such person, it won't matter because it's just a quick contact in the street or in a store. What difference does it make right? But it makes all the difference. Even if they completely reject you! Because there's a cool metaphor that I want to share. People are like fields, right? You need to plant the seed in order to receive the fruits right? And we always expect to see the fruits of the seeds that we plant. Well sometimes folks, that just doesn't happen. You aren't always going to see the fruits, the results of your efforts. And you know what, sometimes, you're not even going to plant the seed! There are people who have soooo much anger, or sin, or misconceptions of the church that there literally cannot be a seed planted in their heart, or in their field. But sometimes what we do when we share the gospel with people is that we are clearing the field of all the weeds. We are tilling the ground, preparing the earth so that when the time comes, a seed can be planted. Sometimes, that is our part. We don't plant the seed, we just clear away some of the bad stuff so that the seed has room to grow. And how cool is that! It literally defines that no effort is EVER wasted. So your efforts will not be wasted either. So share the gospel. Do it fearlessly. Because the worst that can happen is that you'll be pulling a weed or clearing the field. Don't expect to see the fruits right away, just trust that the will come.
So that's what I have learned this week. I meet Presidente Herrera today... Ahhh I'm nervous! But I've only heard lovely things about him, so I'm also excited.
That's all for this week, I'm heading out!
In honor of the fourth of July, we ate dunk and donuts (just the donut part, worry not) and Papa Johns. Cusco is very americanized.
This week, Hermana Conde braided my hair like a big beautiful black lady.
Here are the results! I was Alexa Seely for the day.
Dog with a serious underbite.
Sister missionaries with equally serious underbites.