Nobody fear...I'm still in Pradera. I have a feeling I am going to die here. But I am excited that I get to spend Christmas and my birthday here because the members love giving us cake!
This week was good but we had some disappointments, too. Welcome to the mission.
On Tuesday, we had a really good district meeting. Before, we were assigned to study something to help prepare us for the meeting and Hna. Ward and I decided that we needed to start praying for and expecting more miracles. Our District Leader was going home...one of the valiant ones! It was his last meeting and it was super powerful. We all were super pumped when we left the church and ready to work. We decided to put into practice what he was teaching and use inspired questions in all of our contacts in the street instead of saying the same things over and over again. We also were expecting to see miracles this day, especially with our dear investigator, Lucy.
We ended up finding 3 people who accepted a baptismal date in the street! Seriously, If someone came up to me in the street and asked me to be baptized in their church, I would think they were crazy. But occasionally we feel inspired to ask people and they accept! That was one miracle of the day.
We had been praying to be able to find Lucy because her baptismal date was on Saturday and we still weren't sure if she wanted to be baptized. We got the feeling that she didn't but we wanted to talk to her. She had a store next to her house and she is either working or out running errands so it is hard to get in a good lesson with her. We prayed really hard to find her in her house and when we went to find her...she wasn't there. We talked to her husband who is catholic and doesn't have any interest in the church and he told us that she doesn't want to get baptized. I felt so sad but as we walked out of the store, Lucy was coming around the corner with some groceries. We helped her in the house and she had some time to talk. We taught her about the importance of baptism and how it is a covenant with God and not us. We talked about the blessings we received and really had a good lesson with her. In the end she said that she still doesn't feel the need to be baptized yet. She said she is missing the desire. She knows the church is true but still doesn't want to be baptized. We asked her if we could fast with her that day so that she could receive an answer from God if she should be baptized. She said that would be fine and we planned on going back later that night to start the fast because she hadn't eaten anything that day.
We went back at 7 that night and started the fast. I had such faith that she would receive her answer. The next day we fasted so we went to the food (we usually eat at 3pm) with Tupperware to bring it back to our house since we couldn't eat it. It was the hottest day of the week, too. I was super thristy but the whole time I just kept thinking, 'This is for Lucy! She is going to get baptized on Saturday!' We went to her house at 7 the next day and she told us that she felt really good. We had assigned her a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon, too. She read it and said that she liked it a lot. I was so happy. Then we broke our fast and we asked her how she felt about her baptism on Saturday. She looked at us and said that she still didn't feel the desire or need to get baptized. That she wants to feel more prepared. We asked her the baptismal interview questions and she passed them all. She told us that she knows this is the true church and she believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet and everything! I was so sad. So so so sad. And thirsty. But I didn't cry and I didn't feel defeated because I knew that we had done everything in our power to help her and it just isn't her time. She isn't ready. She said that she will still come to church and that one day she will be ready to be baptized. We will still visit her, too. It made me sad because she obviously doesn't understand how important baptism is, but we literally explained everything and tried so hard. I know that we planted the seeds, though. I know that she will be a member one day. Oh Lucy, you broke my heart. So we headed home after that and I bought a tub of ice cream to eat away my sorrows.
On Thursday we couldn't leave our house because it was 20 de Noviembre and apparently there were manifestations and such in all of Mexico so we had to stay in the house all day long. The lady that was supposed to give us food was like 'Oh I am so sorry! That is too bad' and didn't offer to bring us anything! So we ordered subway and had it delivered to our house! It was kind of boring but I got caught up in my journal!
On Friday, we had a Noche de Hogar (FHE) with the ward and it was super fun. We played a game and then everyone went around and introduced themselves and told us why they know the church is true. The Pintor Family was there and Edgar said something that made me so happy. He said that before the sisters showed up at their house, he felt like he was missing something in his life. He was looking for it but didn't know where to find what he was looking for or what exactly he wanted. When we taught him, he knew that this was exactly what he needed and has changed so much and now he is so happy!
On Saturday, our stake had a really awesome activity. Since we had so many missionaries here, they did a missionary day with all the youth. Each of them got a fake missionary tag and they were assigned a companionship and people (menos activos) to visit. President Kusch was there and gave a little training. Hna. Ward and I were assigned two young women from a different ward in the stake. We were giving 5 people to go find in an area we didn't know! haha...luckily I know how to open an area! The girls were super cute and helped us contact everyone on the street. We went to every house that we had and the first 4 addresses either didn't exist or the people didn't live there anymore. We had one more to go and actually found a less active family! The man wouldn't let us in because he was heading to work, but we talked to him about going to church, reading his scriptures and saying his prayers. He said that he wants to go to church but his wife doesn't. We had a good chat with him in the street and then headed back. The girls were so happy that we were able to find someone and that hopefully our testimonies help him come back to church. After, we had a testimony meeting and it was so powerful. Almost every youth that got up said that they wanted to go on a mission now because of this experience, that it was super hard and they didn't find hardly anyone, but that they were able to talk to people in the street and feel the spirit! This little 12 year old who was super short got up and said 'Today I learned that size doesn't matter!' He started crying and said that he knows the church is true and wants to be a missionary one day. It was so adorable.
Later that night, we stopped by to visit Rosario. It was her little boy's birthday (Diego). He turned 2. She had mentioned that they probably wouldn't do anything since there isn't much money so Hna. Ward and I bought a little hostess cupcake and a fake candle that I made from paper! Haha. It was super cute. I love that little family. We taught the plan of salvation and Rosario loved it. She is so great. She came to church by herself yesterday with her two little boys and loved it again.
Yesterday we didn't receive changes like I mentioned in the beginning. I wasn't that shocked since...I mean, there isn't really any places to put us. It's always nice to have changes in the mission, but I know that this is where I need to be for now.
We met up with Hna. Hellstern today in the center with her new Companion, Hna. Peterson (from my generation). We ate lunch and we are going to hang out in the zocalo for a little while.
Well, like you just read, this week was full of highs and lows. It is so hard to see people you love not accept the thing that will make them the happiest in their life. Maybe I am understanding a little bit about what it's like to be a parent. You teach your kids the best you can and hope they make the right choices. Sometimes they do sometimes they don't, but you still love them anyway. I know that the efforts I make every day to get up and work aren't going to waste. We are planting seeds and finding those that are already prepared.
I love you all and hope you enjoy THANKSGIVING! I will miss the turkey and potatoes. I am sure I will eat some tacos to celebrate! haha. And mom, they don't celebrate it here, it's an American Holiday! haha.
Love you all. Don't forget that my birthday is coming up and any cards or packages are welcome. :)