Happy Halloween! How crazy how time flies right? It is just cooking! It sounds like you'll have fun with Halloween tonight, I sure do miss celebrations and holiday over in the US, Halloween is a 'do it if you want, but we'd rather NOT go through the effort' in Ecuador AND there is no way mothers would send children door to door here, just a wee bit sketchy.
I am NOT Trunky but the Lord sent me a message on Sunday. We were eating with the Members and had lasagna! Yum! But even better, I had apple pie for the first time since Mom sent it to me in the MTC. That was so good! I got thinking of home and how yummy that pie was when the sweet grandma got telling me of cancer she had in her ovaries and I just got 'tickle wrists' (mase and cam haha) and all feelings of sweet apple pie went out the window.
This week has been great! Full of ups and many downs, but the Lord always comes through with miracles. That has been one of the biggest lessons of my mission, you never know when, but if you are faithful the Lord will always come through. We were stoked to get baptisms up and going weekly here in November and no one came to church... we got hosed. It was rough BUT I told you all about Kayla Gomez, right? She said she'd rather go to another ward where her friends are instead of getting baptized, a tiny problem gone wrong. Well anyway, we ran into her last night and she had been thinking and wants to get baptized in the ward! She's happy to keep her other friends, but decided it was best to get it done with and be baptized, our baptismal goal for this week that fell through with church attendance got lifted again! We will talk to her parents tomorrow and see if this Saturday is alright with her baptism, but we are stoked! She also invited her cousin upstairs who accepted a baptismal date for the end of November!
We have seen a lot of ups and a lot of downs this week, that is the mission, but I grow stronger and stronger in my testimony of God's love for us and His encouragement on the way! I don't have much time, but I'd like to share a humbling experience I had on Tuesday night. We visited Luis and Lucía, references from our convert here a few weeks back. They listen and enjoy, but are really nervous and always reject the invitation to come to church. We have to teach them really simply, yet all works well. Tuesday we were talking about the Atonement of Christ and it was a sweet, powerful lesson. We asked them if they'd like to personally feel His love in their lives and they saw past the question and got all defensive in saying they would NOT get baptized. They jumped the gun on us haha. That IS where we were headed, just bit by bit ;). What Luis said next truly touched me. It seemed he got offended and said 'Elders, we have let you in our home, we listen, I am even trying to pray every single night like you told us to when I have never said a prayer in my life, nor felt that God existed or loved me. We do all you say, can't you simply be patient with us?' I was truly humbled in that moment, seeing a family who is just getting to know the Gospel, who truly want it and put in practice was is taught, simply fear big steps like going to church, marriage, and baptism. God loves all His children and I learned then that I need to love them all individually, push them, yet to their own resistance. All God`s children are different and it was sweet to see a family who knew or felt nothing about God 3 weeks ago are now seeing the sweet blessings of having family prayer morning and night.
I know it is a small story, yet my entire week was full of small, sweet experiences like that. God wants us to be obedient, He gave us Agency AND WILL GIVE US THE BLESSINGS as we use it correctly. We will see progress as we keep praying, or begin to do so. Keep reading, or begin to do so. Keep going to the church and temple, or begin to do so. Personally and as a family. God places the right people in our way, He places the perfect experiences during our day and we shall see and we shall rejoice as we simply obey.
I love you all! My time is up, sorry, Happy Halloween!