This week has been so great. Well, minus Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – those days were a little hard due to the protests here in San Juan and basically every highway entrance in Guatemala. They are protesting a few laws about corn, light, and something else that I don’t remember…. Thousands and thousands of people filled every entrance to San Juan. It was a strategic move on the people’s part because you have to pass through San Juan to get basically anywhere, haha. We left Tuesday morning to visit, but NOBODY opened their doors to us or answered their cell phones! And the majority of our investigators and less actives and members were also protesting. On the days of protests, they shut everryyytthinnng down. There was not a single store open, a single person vending, it was the strangest thing walking through the streets. After 5 hours of not entering one single house, we went back to our own and the Zone Leaders told us we shouldn’t leave anymore because anything could happen in the streets when there are that many angry people. It was crazy. On Thursday 300 police came to San Juan to break it up but they left because there were too many protesters and broke up the protest in San Mateo (the town over) instead. San Juan goes CRAZY when there are protests, haha. We stayed in the house all Wednesday and Thursday. After 8 months of being OUT of the house all day every day, two days inside was TORTURE, haha. We were dying inside. It gave us some good time to study and read a lot, which was a blessing, but we were SO happy to be able to leave and visit again on Friday!
After a few days of learning and learning and just WANTING to be able to SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS with everybody in the whole world, the protests ended and we could leave normally again on Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And the Lord blessed us so much. On Thursday night, we were walking to one of our back up plans and found an old investigator of the Hermanas who were here before and walked her to her house, the path being a little dark and dangerous to walk alone! She invited us inside and we met a few of her children and shared the Restoration video with them. They remembered a lot of the story and when we gave them copies of the Book of Mormon they told us they would read it because they really wanted to know and feel if it’s true. I know that the Lord put this woman in our path so we could RE-find them and help them to discover the gospel. 🙂
On Friday we visited the less active who talked to us about his desires to be sealed with his wife and return to church. We taught him and his wife (17) about the principles of faith and repentance, and it was special to feel the spirit testify as we spoke of the Atonement and the Savior and the path that will lead us to live with Him again and allow us to be perfected day by day. What was even more special was seeing Floridalma, Ricardo´s wife, really GET it, really understand. When we first met her she was very closed off to the idea of really learning more about her husband’s religion, but it is such a blessing seeing her open up more to the idea of changing her life for the Savior.
On Saturday, we were FINALLY able to teach a young mother named Griselda. One of the members gave us her reference and her number, and after weeks of trying to set dates with her, we were finally blessed to be able to find her in her house with time to meet with us. We taught about the Restoration of the gospel and The Book of Mormon, and felt the spirit testify strongly to her of the truths we were teaching. I also hope you all know how many funny moments we have contacting in the streets or at houses. We were walking to the house of a less active around 7 o’clock when a family walked by in the street and (saludar? – ed) us. The less active wasn’t home and I watched the family turn the corner at the end of the street and just felt the prompting to FOLLOW THEM. I considered my options for a few seconds, how we would run after them and what route we would take, when the next thing I know, we’re running down the street one block over and turning to corner to try and ¨run into them¨ again ¨coincidentally.¨ We found them and it was probably SO uncasual but we began talking and they were more or less interested, but we invited and testified and left them with pamphlets. And guess what? NOTHING has happened with them yet, they didn’t share with us their number or address, and we may never see them again. But I know that the Lord tests our willingness to follow whatever prompting He gives us so that He can trust us to contact those who are prepared and ready to accept and live the gospel.
On Sunday, three less actives that we have been working with a lot came to church!!! And one of them came with her 8-year-old son as well. All three of them were so grateful they came, that Satan had not won in their minds that morning! We were so grateful to be able to see some of the fruits of our hard labor! That night, we went to visit Hermano Jorge, one of the less actives that came to church in the morning. He is about 60 years old, and we began teaching a brief lesson about the Plan of Salvation when three of his children walked in and wanted to hear as well! The youngest is 18 and the oldest is 23, with a little toddler. It was so amazing to be able to share with them the plan that our Heavenly Father has prepared for us and testify of the perfection of that plan, the love that He has for us, and the possibility of becoming perfected in Christ and returning to live with Him and our Father in Heaven WITH our families! Every time I study or share this lesson, I am struck with emotion and love for my Heavenly Father and my Savior.
On Friday morning, we had a zone conference and talked about the Plan of Salvation. Like I said, every time I study or share this lesson, the fact that the Savior is SO central to the Father’s plan just hits me so strongly. I have also been reading about the Lord’s part in the Father’s plan and I understand more and more clearly each day just HOW important the Savior is in our eternal path, how marvelous He was and is, and how MUCH I love Him. I love my Savior, and will NEVER stop testifying of Him. I love what you said, Em, in your email today! That we need to wear out our lives in the service of Him. May that always be our purpose! I wish I could share more about what I’ve been studying this week, but I promise to take more time next week! 🙂 Love you all!!