This week we had changes and Hermana Madrid and I may or may not have cried a little but things are going great here in Cerrito! Hermana Madrid went off to Totonicapan, an area of my first zone, and Hermana Lopez from Mexico is here with me! She is GREAT. She has got a great loud and honest personality and everything is going smoothly as we both step up even more in our pursuit to reach the standard of the LORD for this area. Being the companion who stays in the area and receives a new companion is always a little bit stressful, but it forces you to just take responsibility for EVERYTHING. I have been constantly thinking of everything we can and are going to do in the next hour, day, week, writing everything everything down on a million sticky notes and we have had several days together just FILLED with lessons. It also means we come home exhausted every day but it’s always a great thing to be exhausted every night!
I’m just gonna tell about one great experience we had this week! A week or two ago, Hermana Madrid and I were walking home with 7 or so minutes left before 9:00 and saw a house that we realized we had never contacted nor had it called our attention before and felt we should knock! We knocked… nothing. Another time! Nothing. I knocked on the other door of the house… Nothing. I promised Hna. Madrid it was the last time I would knock hahah and I knocked for the fourth time… Nothing. We started walking down the street when a teenage girl opened the door! We ran back and talked to her a little, and began talking about our message of prophets and the restored gospel. We gave her a pamphlet and asked if she would read it and if we could return. She agreed enthusiastically to both commitments and also gave us her mother’s name, with whom she lives. The moral of the story is that we weren’t able to contact her, Daniela, nor her mother, in their house until THURSDAY of this week. We knocked and her mother, Patricia answered the door. She told us she had family visiting but that she wasn’t going to leave the house and we could return in 30 minutes. We returned, super excited, and a sister answered the door and coldly told us that Patricia was busy and couldn’t meet with us and shut the door…. Well that night as we were planning we felt we should try to visit Patricia again in the morning, and when we went the next day, we caught her just before she was leaving to visit family for a few days. She invited us in and apologized for Thursday and she told us she had just been recovering from a dangerous surgery that leaves many people paralyzed and how she had realized so clearly the hand of the Lord in her life in that time, and I kept thinking in my mind how PREPARED she has been by the Lord to hear and receive our message. We began to teach her about prophets and the restoration of the gospel. As we shared with her truths that we know, we could see our message touching her. She told us that if our message is true, it would be a great blessing for her family, and will pray and read and be baptized if she knows it’s true. All of the small but great experiences like this one are what made this week a powerful one.
Also, this Saturday, the Giron Family is getting baptized! They are SOO great and so prepared and we just love them. When we taught Hermana Mari about the Word of Wisdom this week, she said to us, ¨well, hermanas, to be honest we drink coffee, but I know this is from a prophet of God and we are going to stop drinking it!¨ (These Guatemalans love their coffee.) She and her family have been prepared by angels of the Lord and I am grateful to be here in Cerrito to watch them take this step in their lives!
I’ve been reading in Alma this week, and I am just struck every day more by how just and merciful God is, how it makes sense that He is BOTH merciful and just. I also love studying the principle of mercy vs. justice. If we do not repent and apply the Atonement, justice requires a payment. But mercy claims what is hers–and can ONLY claim what is hers. (Alma 42:24) It reminds me of an often-taught principle in the Book of Mormon, that the Lord can only nurture HIS OWN FLOCK. He will not steal from flocks that are not His own. We have to decide to join his flock and be nurtured by him. (Msh. 26:21, 24-26, 5:13-14) Let us be steadfast and immovable so that Christ can seal us His! I love you all and I hope you are always studying your scriptures and praying and doing good. 🙂 We choose to be happy!
All my love,