Monday, March 14, 2016

Managing Miracles

We've been having just so stinking many miracles that my companion and I don't really know how to organize our planners to make room for all of them. Let's start with the Pillajos.

Miguel and Marlene are progressing well towards their baptism...this Saturday!! It's been a good long while since I've actually been at the baptism of an investigator I taught, so I'm excited for the experience. They've passed their interview and everything and are super ready. At the beginning of the week, Marlene wasn't as sure as Miguel about the whole thing, but in companionship study we decided to read Matthew 3 along with 2 Nephi 31. We did so with them, and without even extending a baptismal invitation, Marlene committed to baptism more firmly all on her own! One miracle right there. The scriptures are powerful. Also, Miguel one day started asking us about the Priesthood because of what he'd read in the Gospel Principles manual (on his own, he's way ahead of where the class is) and what we were teaching about missionary work. He was asking about how he could get the Priesthood so that he could go out and preach as well. Awesome! He already wants to give us references. And they had their baptismal interview last Saturday and everything turned out well. We're super happy and excited to help them take that next step.

Another miracle. We've been teaching Ana Andino, a member who went to live in the Orient for several years and recently came back here to Ibarra. While she was out there, she couldn't go to church, because the church simple doesn't exist in the town where she was living. However, while she was out there, she really realized that there was a hole in her life without the Gospel, and so when she came back here she kept going to church (we didn't even know she was technically "less-active" until someone told us). Now, her daughter is also old enough to be baptized. We weren't sure if she could be baptized because of some strange thing here where the Catholic church supposedly requires people to be baptized and everything there to be able to study in the Catholic schools, but we've been praying for that to not be the case, and lo and behold, we learned this week it isn't actually necessary to do all that. So, she's going to get baptized the 26th!

This past Saturday the other elders and sisters in the branch both had baptisms, and the sisters had another miracle waiting for us. Earlier that day or that week they'd found a guy while looking for a different investigator who was interested in listening to the missionaries but lived in our sector. So, they invited him to the baptism, and he came! We went home with him afterwards because he lived practically just across the street...and gave him a baptismal date as well for the 9th! His name is Ramiro.

This isn't mentioning the mountain of other investigators we found this week, many with potential.

We had a funny experience fasting for some other miracles this week. During the fast, we had an appointment with the Pillajos and they offered us some corn bread (it wasn't exactly corn bread, it was ground up corn mixed with cheese and milk and stuff and baked in the oven so I guess it should be called corn bread), which of course we had to refuse, so they just left us with a big bag of it that just wouldn't stop smelling delicious all day afterwards. Then we ran into one of the sisters' investigators selling empanadas in the street, and she gave us some to try, which we just kind of held there not knowing what to do with them, thanked her, and walked towards the next appointment, supposedly to eat them along the way. We got to the next appointment, with Carina in her store, and gave them to her and her husband...and so she gave us donuts in return. Ugh. And then the next morning our district leader paid us a visit during the studies...and gave us oreos. It was pretty frustrating, but pretty rewarding when we got to eat all that as we ended our fast haha.

And like I said, the other companionships had baptisms last Saturday, and the sisters' investigator chose my companion to baptism him, which was great.

One small spiritual thought: I like studying Moroni 7:45 and all the things charity does. I had an experience this week where part of the scripture came to my mind and helped me understand it more.

 45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

I realized this week that one thing charity does is "believe all things." I realized that this can be like giving people the benefit of the doubt. We need to believe that people really are good and trying their best!

Anyhow hope you all are doing well. Get involved in missionary work! It's seriously the best.
 My companion, Carlos, the guy that got baptized, and Miguel Pillajo.

Eating a typical dish here called "fritada." It's made with potatoes, pig meat, and other stuff.

How they make it.

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